It Only Made Sense

firefly, thanks to Pixabay and balloonimals, lightening bugs, romanceSally finally made the phone call. She planned on answering Ben when he first asked. But that had been – oh dear – at Great Aunt Agatha’s 90th birthday party five days ago.

Ben was her cousin. But not by blood – he had reminded her of this fact carefully and consistently over the past six months. Their only family connection was maze-like, through Great Aunt Agatha.

As childhood neighbors, Sally and Ben  played  outdoor games during the summers and chased and bottled lightening bugs at night. Ben caught, and Sally released, because even at 6, she knew that a living being should never be stuck in a jar.

But after high school the two “cousins” never saw each other, although thanks to Great Aunt Agatha they reconnected years later via a pen-pal relationship; once a month, they wrote “real” letters to each other: snail mail. Ben heard all about Sally’s romantic failures, her degree in philosophy, her acceptance as an associate professor at Tufts University, which brought her to the same coast as Ben.

And Sally read all about Ben’s broken back when he was a college quarterback, his struggle with pain-killers afterwards, his love of a woman who broke off their engagement, and his success as a financial consultant for Summit Partners in Boston.Casa Romero, Boston, Mexican restaurant

So, it only made sense that Ben invited Sally for dinner at a Back Bay restaurant in late September once Sally was settled at Tufts. It only made sense that when they made eye contact at Casa Romero, they recognized each other immediately despite a 19-year lapse. It only made sense that Sally’s heart lurched, and that Ben’s smile lit up the cozy Mexican restaurant. It only made sense that after a pitcher of margaritas and a dinner of enchiladas, Ben leaned over and kissed Sally as if his life depended on it.

But Sally escaped as if her life depended on it. She was a lightening bug, and she had vowed years ago she’d never get bottled up in a relationship. She ignored Ben’s entreaties to Zoom or at least e-mail.

He then began to send her a postcard every week:

Confucius, life is simple



Happiness, love story



Sally hated these trite quotes and vehemently threw away each card. Then, Great Aunt Agatha’s birthday party occurred, and for some reason, she hadn’t considered the fact that Ben would be there. His presence took her breath away. It only made sense for her to stay as far away from this man as possible, which wasn’t too difficult with mask on, in the back yard, in a circle where chairs sat six-feet apart.

But then, Great Aunt Agatha approached Sally and whispered in her ear. “He’s right for you,” while handing Sally a note written on vellum stationary:

thanks to Pixabay and Joshua Woroniecki, fireflies, romance

What did Sally want?

“Please. Don’t say no. Call me.” 

So now, finally, five days later, Sally pressed the send button on her phone, knowing exactly what she needed to say, but wondering if instead she’d say what she wanted.

139 thoughts on “It Only Made Sense

  1. Well now… I was Ben and my guy was Sally. But I didn’t push in any obvious way (i.e. no postcards 😉 ) and patiently waited for him to come to his senses 😉 Which he did. As, I am sure, she has, also!

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    • Sally certainly needs a push into being okay about being uncertain, and adding some hope to her life! May we all feel young enough – all lifelong – to do so. Thanks so much – great to see you here. ❤


    • Thank you so much Donna. I think that’s neat that you’d recognize my writing even if not bylined. My stories always seem to have a touch of romance. I can’t help it – love is the way! 🙂


    • Haha, let’s face it Pete. For some of us, enchiladas are more enticing (and inspiring) even than sweetened alcohol. Hey, put some guacamole on there, and I’m a happy woman. 🙂 Yes, cheers to Great Aunt Agatha.

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  2. Just when I thought your storytelling couldn’t get any better–voila!

    It makes sense that Sally will follow your dictates. Head or heart? Only the storyteller know for sure. At least she had the good sense to release the fireflies. 😀

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    • I know, Bernadette. So many women (and men I presume) worry that being in a relationship means foregoing freedom. But if there’s compromise and common sense, passion and compassion, a couple can be free and yet bonded just as well. ❤

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    • Thanks for visiting here, Darren. I agree – our souls can’t be stuck in a jar (body), thank goodness! Your blog is fascinating. I didn’t find any place to “follow” it though. You may want to add that button.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the compliment of my blog. I’m not sure why you can’t follow. I’ve had a few people follow it already (I assume through WP Reader), and I couldn’t find anything to add today. I did go ahead and add a link to the RSS feed along with other social media buttons in the side bar. I also clarified the extended project on the new “Newsletters/Project Scope” tab. As a side note, I wrote today on Medium ( about how my delusional disorder in adulthood has changed the beliefs about death (being trapped) that I developed when my mother died when I was ten years old. Thanks for the support. I enjoy your blog.

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  3. Pam, a beautiful story and I don’t know how you do it but you’ve captured their whole lives since childhood brilliantly along with the swing of emotions. Ben is persistent luckily and if Sally doesn’t say ‘YES!!” I’ll shake some sense into her myself! A terrific post, Pam and a joy to read! I feel as if I’ve been part of their lives! Wishing you a lovely Sunday, my dear friend! xx ❤️

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    • You know the answer to how we do it, Annika. I start the pen flowing and Ben and Sally appear, telling me their story. The more I write it, the more I know all about them. A miraculous part of the writing process. Thanks for being such a appreciative reader. Yes, most of the women readers here want to sit Sally down and tell her to “go for it.” Some of the men here are confused. It’s a tough time for men and romance – are they allowed to pursue, and if so, how much? Interesting dilemma!

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  4. It only makes sense that this story would play out this way, but who knows the ending? I think she realized that she could be a free lightning bug sharing her space and life with her love but never relinquishing her freedom–or his either.

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    • It only makes sense these days that a man and a woman (or any semblance of a couple in the LGBT community) both want the ability to love and also “be” themselves. Why not? You and your guy know how well that works! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sally might not know what she wanted, but with the days and postcards adding up and Ben keeps coming back, while no other guy doing the competition, she could just say, “Wait no longer.” That’s what I think. Great story, Pam.

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    • What I like about asking a question like this at the end of a flash story, Sue, is that each individual reader decides on the answer depending on how THEY’D answer it, I believe. My guess? Sally has heart (and she knows to listen to her Great Aunt). She’s going to go for love! ❤

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  9. I miss lightening bugs. We no longer have them in our part of Texas. The speculation is the pesticides and pollution have killed them all off. I caught them as a child and put them in a jar but then released them before going indoors.. I could not stand the thought of them dying in the jar which they always did by morning.
    Great story with more than one metaphor! ❤

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