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Carolyn Moncel

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Member Since: Jan, 2011

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…Or, Maybe Just Leave, Steve
By Carolyn Moncel
Monday, January 10, 2011

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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One of five short stories contained in a collection called "5 Reasons to Leave a Lover," which debuts in spring 2011. Steve and Cinnamon have a special relationship. Follow Cinnamon as she deals with their breakup and how she recovers and finds acceptance

Cinnamon loved him too, even if it was in an unconventional way. As she considered the situation closely, leaving her behind might be more difficult for Steve to do than splitting up with his wife. After all, it was Cinnamon who had been in his life the longest. She was with him when he moved into his latest apartment in Ravenswood Manor, and also when he split up with his last three serious girlfriends. When Northwestern University called to inform Steve that his English literature thesis had been accepted, she was the first to witness his joy.

Only she knew just how tickled and amazed he had been to discover that his topic, comparative language patterns between obscure Elizabethan poetry and Seattle grunge lyrics wasn’t considered bullshit after all.

What’s more, she knew just how predictable Steve’s daily routine could be. He would be up at five; their run was over by six; he was in and out of the shower by seven and out the door to the brown line train by eight. And, without fail, it was a certainty that he would return by seven every evening.

His food choices were very peculiar as well. For instance, he was the only person she knew who liked to eat his Frosted Flakes cereal first and then chase down the bowl’s contents with a glass of cold milk. If his cereal became soggy, he would freak out and flush it down the toilet immediately. Essentially a vegetarian, he loved garden salads, plain without dressing, and would only eat the skin of fried chicken and perch fish. Macaroni and cheese always was a welcomed menu selection on any night.

Additionally, he ate his food in a weird, clockwise fashion, starting at 2 o’clock position. He abhorred any of his food touching on a plate for fear that the juices of one dish might contaminate another.

The good news for Cinnamon was at least she could always count on Steve to prepare her meals correctly and on time. Yes, he could be nuts, but she loved him any way.

Over the years, Cinnamon also had learned to adjust to Steve’s moods just by observing his face. His emotions at times could be very complex. He easily could be pensive and brooding, or vacillate between introspection and sheer euphoria when inspiration suited him. If he came home from work and went to his bedroom directly, it meant he had had a very long and hard day and he was pissed off. It was always her cue to let him be and remain silent.

So it was no surprise that Cinnamon felt closely connected to Steve, and they spent a lot of time together, too. Provided that he was in a proper mood, he would discuss his day with Cinnamon. Later, they would curl up together on the sofa to watch their favorite television programs. Sharing a bag or M&Ms with peanuts was not uncommon.

Steve met Cinnamon in the most ironic way. When he and another girlfriend, Maura, had gotten together, they wanted to share their lives with others. It was Maura who had chosen Cinnamon and also Sage to enter their lives. Steve hadn't cared for Cinnamon at all, but over time he grew to love her. So when Steve and Maura broke up three years later, friendships were divided.

Always the loyal one, Cinnamon remained with Steve. He took her everywhere possible…that was until he met Leah, the final girlfriend that would later become his wife. In fact, she had met Leah before anyone else in the family. Now, Steve had been married to her for the last ten years, but Cinnamon still pre-dated Leah by at least three years. ...


       Web Site: Excerpt from 5 Reasons to Leave a Lover

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Reviewed by Donna Chandler 1/12/2011
Interesting. Am I assuming correctly that Cinnamon is a pet? If so, I like the idea of a story told from the eyes of a pet VERY MUCH.

Excellent write,

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