Rowena was hiding behind the rosebush in her garden, watching Julian through his window. He was having his morning cup of coffee. Rowena was jealous of that cup. She was jealous of anything he touched and anyone not too timid to be close to him.

Rowena had been watching Julian since the first day he came to the neighborhood, about six months ago. It was his fault; he had such magnetism it was criminal. He lived opposite her, and she had caught many precious glimpses of him doing this or that. Tableaux of Julian, she called them.

Julian didn’t know she existed, and that had to change. Speaking to him was out of the question, though. She would blush; the very thought made her feel a hot flash. She had to find a way to be seen and remain unseen at the same time. She locked herself in the house for a week, to think.


Julian gaped at the duchess strolling up and down his street one Monday morning, dressed in Dangerous Liaisons’ fashion. He looked around to see the rest of some film crew. He saw no one. The duchess passed by him. Behind her heavy face powder he guessed delicate features, and a petite body under her grand dress. The duchess smiled and then walked past him with an air of pride and dignity. Julian watched her disappear around the corner. Then he got in his car and drove to work. There, among files and phone calls, he never gave her a second thought.

But in the evening, when he got home, an old witch was standing outside his door. She was crooked and gray, and looked as if she was waiting for him. Julian’s hands started to tremble. ‘What do you want?’ he snapped. The witch said nothing, but kept staring. And then she smiled all black teeth. Before he could say another word, she pivoted and ran away, disappearing around the corner. That night Julian had trouble sleeping.


Rowena was having a great time renting costumes and watching online tutorials on theatrical makeup. She stalked Julian dressed as a pimply pirate, a gleaming ghost, a flaxen fairy, a cloaked monk. Her greatest success was when she dressed as Death. Julian really noticed her. He was adorable.

Soon Rowena couldn’t tell whether she was motivated by her attraction to Julian or by her freshly dug up talent for disguise. She thought about it when she stayed in bed for a few days; she had dressed as a harlequin on stilts and sprained her ankle. She reached no conclusion, but it didn’t really matter.


Julian got a new job. He paid his bills, packed his things and moved out of his house – and out of the city. As his plane to nights of peaceful sleep was taking off, he smiled happily to the passenger sitting next to him. It was a woman, a little younger than Julian, somewhere in her early twenties. She was petite, with a delicate face, and her cheeks were tinted by the rosiest blush.



BLUSH was originally published on Life & Art Magazine, 10/29/2015


Basilike Pappa


(Image: Pinterest)

59 thoughts on “Blush

    1. Ιt was an idea I had discussed with a friend — a story about a shy girl in love with someone, disguising herself in order to get close to him. The dark aspect seeped through while I was writing it.
      Of course Julian is scared, but Rowena isn’t dangerous. Yet, who knows what happens in the future? Maybe this is a story to expand upon some day.

      Thank you, Charlie!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve had a someone similar experience in the case of Julians character. One time, an old friend from high school years ago. She told me that someone took pictures of me walking home and who I was hanging out with. Now, bare in mind, she told me this and I got scared…then I asked her if she knew this person. She said; yes – and I asked her tell her if so can stop…she fed me excuse after excuse. Then I got to think, maybe that friend didn’t have a friend and she herself was in on it the whole time. I believed she really did like me…because she did confess how she felt about me…but I got freaked out but what she has said.

        I do look forward to what the future of Julian and Rowena may cross paths again if ever. I love your stories as always my friend. 🙂

        You welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I was thinking about writing it from Julian’s point of view. Or expanding it a little to show more of Rowena’s character, and maybe give it a “proper” ending

      But I am very glad you like it the way it is! It was fun writing it

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All of that sounds intriguing…I often feel torn myself, because I love writing short pieces that are filled with implication and leave a lot to the imagination.
        But I do love that “ending” you already have. I’m sure if you expand it, it will be amazing.

        Liked by 1 person

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