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Young Love

Katie Robles loves science fiction and playing outside. She works at a school for children with disabilities and is the author of the book Sex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating: Hilarious Weight Loss for Wives.
Margaret played with the chain on her reading glasses. "I'm not sure about this."
Phil shifted in the faux leather waiting room chair. "The Patels tried it. Said it saved their marriage."
Margaret's hands went still. "Does our marriage need saving?"
"No." Phil reached over and held her hand. "But it's our twentieth anniversary. It could be fun."
"It feels like cheating."
Phil smiled. "Loving feelings are just chemical responses and stimuli in the brain. It's the same thing."
"But it's not my brain making the chemicals."
He squeezed her hand and she squeezed back. They sat quietly until a nurse called their names. They followed her into an examination room, signed and initialed the proffered paperwork, and sat in twin reclining chairs. The nurse strapped their heads to the headrests.
The doctor had been quick and professional. Almost too quick. Phil wondered if the man had stimulated anything in his brain at all. Maybe they'd just wasted their money on a placebo effect. He smiled at Margaret as she slipped on her coat and held the door for her before they stepped out into the spring sunshine.
"Anything yet?" he asked. He felt happy, but not lovey-dovey. Not like when they were twenty and first falling in love. Not like the advertisements promised.
"Maybe." Margaret breathed deeply of the warm air. "I feel... it's like what I feel when you wash the dishes and I haven't asked."
Phil nodded. "Like when you iron my blue shirt first because it's my favorite."
They stopped at the crosswalk to wait for the red light to change. Phil suddenly stepped close, pulled his wife to him, and kissed her fiercely but gently. He released her lips but kept his arms around her. She pressed her forehead against his.
"Is that the chemicals talking?" she asked.
"I don't care," he said.
Margaret smiled and kissed him again.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, February 15th, 2021


When I first read that love is just a series of chemical reactions in the body, part of me rebelled against that idea. My parents have been happily married for more than thirty years. Love has to be more than chemicals in order to last that long. Right?

- Katie Robles
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