Love or Lust - Linda Kunnath

Was it love or lust? The way he looked at her, and laughed at her precocious ways was endearing. He himself had his mother’s crooked smile and had succumbed to the gentleness of women long ago, calling his mother daily, even at 40, and checking to see if she was okay. Was her foot healing after the surgery? Could she send him her stuffed grape leaf recipe? Would she be coming out anytime soon? Women for him were like flowers in a field that needed tending to and so when she stood on a chair in the middle of the room and flapped her arms, explaining how she had tried to shoe the dog, who she was deathly terrified of, away - he smiled, enjoying her spontaneous improvisation. She was from India and afraid of all dogs, but her hair was so long and black and shiny and her eyes so brown and beautiful against their sharp white contrast that when she went on to describe the dog, a big yellow lab, who was wagging his tail, while holding a soggy tennis ball in his mouth, when she was trying to shoe him away, he still laughed, caught up in lust, like clouds in the room he couldn’t see through.