Firefly. // A Short Story


Kristyn M. Potter

He stood outside of her front door, glancing down at the last text correspondence that they had collectively engaged in, shocked that he had made it to this point, and so quickly. It had only been a few days of their texting- day-long endeavours, beginning with a coy text about a dream that he had had the night previous, wanting to let her in to the depths of his own forlorn mental state. Shy and darkened, his tortured soul longed for another, like-minded soul, vast in its complexities and unable to break through its residue to find a state of freedom; a place of peace.

Their conversations had begun like so many others in their society- milennials, escaping archaic conventions of what love and marriage appeared to be from their parents time, and turning to dating apps and online dating platforms instead. This one occurred on OkCupid, a step up from the other intrinsically sexual platforms, the shared deep and carnal desire of another metropolitan city finding its foundation in a surface level form of exploration. He had signed up for some of the other platforms as well, knowing that he needed to spread himself around digitally before he could do it in the natural world. His last relationship had been a three month stint with a girl he held little to no value in, existing solely for the purpose of their frequent sexual encounters, until one evening she requested, no demanded, more of his attention and dare she ask, loyalty. The conversations all went the same, “You’re really amazing, and I really value what we have but I’m just not ready for that.” He alluded to relationships as if it were a foul word, hoping to keep things existing on the surface for as long as the other person would allow. Relationships of years past had damaged him; he suffered daily with dark nostalgia of his ex girlfriend. Ex live-in, almost fianced girlfriend. It happened about two years ago, almost to the date, but he still managed to play his emotionally unavailable card every hand that he had been dealt.

Reading and re-reading their text conversations on the subway, en route to her house, he felt differently about this one. Sure, he couldn’t wait to stick his body so far inside of her that he felt a transcendental escape from the mortal realm in which they were forced to live, but while his mental constructs were telling him no, something deep inside his heart was telling him yes. Proceed, with caution. Their OkCupid conversations began similarly to all of the others- what do you do, where are you from, how long have you been in the city. Yet, a certain conversation that they had, before they moved their conversations from the online to the offline, had startled him to the point of near-submission.

“There is nothing that I love more than sex. Well. That’s not true … I love myself more.”

Intrigued by her simultaneous acknowledgment of sexual prowess, as much as her feministic self-love, he didn’t know what to do with her. Should he just one-night stand this girl, and move on to the next one, or should he examine what exists in her mind to allow her to say such a powerful statement. The sheer attraction that he felt for her, the desperate need to overcome her body with his own, had in some odd way transferred to the mental sphere; the New York girls that he had come across daren’t express their ‘self-love’ … if it even existed. The women he had been sleeping with were as unsubstantial as they could get, much to his appreciation, but after coming across this Venus on this social dating platform, he couldn’t get enough. What it was, he didn’t quite know, but he couldn’t just one-night stand this person.

Standing outside her door, he wondered if he should text her, announcing his arrival or if he should nonchalantly knock on the door, proving his aggression and assertiveness in one simple act. He wanted to own her physically, but something deep inside was commanding attention to the mental and emotional layers as well.

Hey, I’m outside.

He settled with a nonchalant text instead, his left hand shaking in his pant pocket. What the fuck, he thought to himself, I’ve done this over 100 times, why am I nervous. Opening the door in an oversized tee shirt, and what appeared to be nothing else, he realized that he may have, perhaps, met his match. A sense of confusion and excitement overcame him, not knowing whether he was hunting or whether he had been hunted, and uncharacteristically, he yielded to submission. He wanted to kiss her forehead, and immediately wished he could take back this hidden desire. What the fuck was happening here, he thought, grabbing her side with his right hand and pulling her in close, stepping into the foyer and letting the door slam behind him. Feeling her sharp and chaotic breathing against his chest, she grabbed his left hand from inside his pocket, and squeezed it, kissing him on his cheek and leading him into her bedroom. No words had been exchanged. They weren’t needed.

In her room, a Doors album spun on her record player, incense burning near her window.

“Sit down,” she commanded, pushing him toward her bed.

That same feeling of diminished masculinity and intrinsic excitement ran through his body. Her bright green eyes twinkled in the lamplight; she was wearing red lipstick.

Climbing on top of him, she pulled out the most recently published New Yorker magazine from her bedside table, and settled on top of his cock to read the piece of fiction. Elated beyond belief, his hyper-masculinity had dwindled to almost non-existence as he allowed her mind and her body to overcome his at exactly the same time. Dozing off into a deep mental sleep, he listened to her soft, raspy voice read the words on the pages, feeling content in his submission. Her eyes lit up like fireflies on a warm summer night, her dark brown hair falling over her shoulders as she read. The evening was the antithesis of what he had expected; his anxiety had been subdued. When she finished reading the piece, she glanced down at him and said three words he never thought he would hear from this vixen,

“I wrote that.”

Evaporating into the air, his years of boundless baggage would be somehow meaningless after this night. Nothing would stop him from spending the rest of his life with this woman, deep, sparkling fireflies lighting up her room, as she laid him down on her bed and overcame him with her essence. This is what love was, he thought, leaning back and casually listening to the end of L.A. Woman.


Published by Kristyn Potter

Founder of Left Bank Media. Editor of Left Bank Magazine. Copywriter. I write about music, and New York mostly.

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