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Eve's Paradise

Kathryn Petruccelli

At the light, Eve smooths her silver hair in the rearview. Her phone dings on the seat beside her. She glances over at the text. Adam. He’s got a book rec for her of all things, link scrawling down and off the screen. Eve shakes her head. That guy needs a job. Light changes and she swings around the left-turner to continue straight. The author some buddy of his, no doubt, the story a few perfunctory descriptions of shades of green in the garden (like he was there!), then, plot, plot, plot, bang, bang, twist, twist, the poor, broken, narcissistic male protagonist. Men are snakes. Eve drives past the minimart, the bank building that used to be a jewelry store but now is a bank again, the buskers on guitar and sax. Did he really think she needed his book recommendations? Didn’t she have plenty lined up that she wanted to read already? That she’d have to fit in between work, picking the kids up from soccer practice, grocery shopping, and God knows what else. Then again, that’s exactly where Adam got his ideas. Spitting, fucking, image. And wasn’t He always popping over with unsolicited advice? When you gonna cut that hair and show the world your pretty face? Bought insurance yet? I shouldn’t have to tell you, this life doesn’t last forever. If Eve was going to read, it would be books on herterms, the setting just right: Everyone out for the night. No one to cook for. The cat curled on her lap. Paradise.

Kathryn Petruccelli holds an MA in teaching English language learners and harbors

obsessions over place, words, and the ocean. Her work has appeared in the The Southern Review, Los Angeles Review, Sweet Lit, and others. Kathryn teaches workshops for adults and teens.

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