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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2273415
He's late but for a super reason.
Blame it on the moon.”

“I beg your pardon?”

Jay winced as he closed the door, gripping the long cardboard tube in his hands just a fraction tighter. He deserved the fury he saw in the depths of Kennedy’s flashing silver-blue eyes, the set of her lightly dimpled jaw, and the violent red flush in her alabaster cheeks. He knew he did. They may be best friends but even he’d reached the end of her patience.

He’d promised her a night on the town to celebrate her week. Jay knew she needed support now more than ever. Kennedy had – in the space of seventy-two hours – graduated from her master’s program, laid her grandfather to rest, and received the paperwork informing her that her divorce was finally final. Each event alone was a lot to cope with but in that short space of time it was understandably overwhelming and Jay knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Kennedy had reached the end of her tolerance. It had been that knowledge that had provoked him to press her into going out rather than wallowing on the couch with a bucket of ice cream and a stack of well-watched movies. But his good intentions had gone awry the moment he’d stepped outside that night.

“How, exactly, is the moon responsible for you being three hours late with no phone call?” Kennedy demanded with narrowed eyes.

“When I left the office, I was treated with a brief but glorious peek at the full moon through the clouds. It was one of those supermoons that are so big and close it looks like you can reach out and just touch it.” Jay explained, ignoring the eye roll from Kennedy. “So I got my camera and set it up on my eastern deck.”

“You just can’t leave work, can you?” Kennedy snorted, bringing a small grin to Jay’s face. Her tone had shifted slightly, giving him hope that she was going to forgive him.

“You know me,” he shrugged with a sheepishly impish grin.

“Yeah, I do,” she nodded in resignation. “So have you been sitting out there just waiting for the moon to come out from behind the clouds again?”

“No. I sat out there waiting for almost two hours.”

“And you got the perfect shot for the cover of the Gazette?”

“Nope. I got the perfect shot for you.”

Jay waited, watching Kennedy closely – waiting for the words he’d said to completely register with her. The parade of emotions that flowed over her face was amusing. She paused, clearly taken aback by his announcement. Then, she opened her mouth and immediately closed it again as though the words she sought had escaped her. Jay bit his lip as Kennedy’s head tilted as if she were working out something puzzling followed by her mouth opening and closing again in silent question. Finally, her brow furrowed into a deep frown of confusion.

“What?” Kennedy asked with a sharp note of demand underscoring her confusion. Jay smiled widely and handed her the tube he’d brought in.

“Someone else will have to give the Gazette their moon,” he stated in a low, soft voice. Kennedy pried the lid off the tube and peered futilely into the dark tunnel. Shaking it vigorously until a corner of a glossy poster emerged.

“It took a while for my large scale printer to boot up and to go through the shots to find the perfect one,” Jay continued as she gingerly pulled the rolled paper out, dropping the tube to the floor. He took the corners she offered and, once again, watched her closely as she unrolled the poster. A brilliant smile lit his face as Kennedy’s mouth fell open in shock.

“Jay!” she breathed in awe.

“I wanted a way to remind you that you are amazing. You’re beautiful, brilliant, and gifted. You should always reach for the moon because you can literally do anything you set your mind to.” Jay coached as he watched tears fill Kennedy’s eyes. He watched her drink in the photo he’d taken and printed out, the moon taking up more than half the twenty-seven by forty sheet of paper. The clouds framing the moon gave it a mysterious quality while the reflection of it across the water underscore its magnificence.

“Thank you,” Kennedy murmured, her voice thick with tears.

“You’re welcome. And I’m sorry I was late and didn’t call you.”

“You’re forgiven,” she snickered.

“I’m glad because I hate it when you’re angry with me. You aren’t angry with me anymore are you?”

“No, but you could have come up with a better reason to be so late.”

“Maybe. However, I really do,” Jay smirked. “Blame it on the moon.”

Word count: 787

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