A Tale for the Modern Attention Span
“No, no. Don’t worry,” Steel replied magnanimously. “If you have a problem, I’m here for you.”
“Well, it’s not a problem exactly. It’s news.”
“Good news, I hope.”
“Yes, very good.”
“Well then, by all means share it. Lord knows I could use some happy tidings.”
Viv hesitated only a few seconds before saying, “I have a new boyfriend.”
“You do?” said Steel—though whether he was surprised or wary was difficult to discern.
“Yes. I’ve been seeing him for almost four months now.”
“That’s right after you were supposed to marry Hugh Rection.”
“Yes. We started dating shortly after the wedding.”
“Who is he?”
“Why don’t I show you?” Viv answered. She crossed the room, opened the door, and said, “Come in,” all very dramatically.
When Norbert Oglethorpe entered the study, Steel looked pensive for a moment. He knew he’d seen the man before, but couldn’t place him right away. “You? Why, you’re the man who interrupted the wedding. You’re Hugh Rection’s brother.”
“Yes sir,” Norbert confirmed in his soft, high-pitched voice.
“Oh Steel, if you only knew how magnificent Norbie has been for me.” Viv hugged her beloved’s massive arm and looked up at him with wonder. “It was he who kept me from drinking. It was he who kept me sane. It was he who saw to it that what happened did not defeat me.”
“We love each other so intensely,” Viv continued, “and we need each other so much, that we’ve come to a decision.”
Steel took his eyes off the silent man when he heard that. (He’d been looking at Norbert’s immense hands and feet, thinking, Does he really do all those things for Viv, or is a love of girth clouding her judgement?) “What decision have you come to?”
“We’ve decided that Norbert should move in here.”