Noble - Cupid hits his mark
By Robert C. Noble
Chloe and Jason looked up as a young boy with curly blond hair burst into the room and raced over to hug the blood donor nurse. “Aunt Hera, Mom said I could go home with you this evening.”
“My sweet Master E.,” she said and gently disengaged herself. “We’ll have a wonderful time. But you must be patient. I need to finish with my last two donors.” She gestured to Jason and Chloe in adjacent beds. “You can work on your homework in my office.”
The little boy looked at the couple. “Miss Chloe! Mr. Jason!” He shouted. “What are you doing here?”
“We’re donating blood for sick people,” Jason said. He looked at Chloe. “Do you know Eric?”
“I’m the assistant to his third-grade teacher at Canfield Elementary. How do you know him?”
“I work with Eric’s Cub Scout troop at the Indoor Archery Range. He has incredible accuracy for an eight-year-old.”
“He’s such as sweet boy, I can’t see him as a bow hunter,” Chloe said.
“Not all archers are bow hunters. Archery is a great way to relax. Eric doesn’t care about hunting and neither do I. He only wants to hit the bullseye. And trust me, he can do that almost every time. I can’t believe that we both know this little fellow.”
Chloe watched as the nurse led Eric to her adjacent office where she could keep an eye on him through the picture window. Chloe was overcome with emotion. Finally, the ice was broken with this handsome stranger, but what could she say next?
Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip.
Jason came to her rescue. “Our blood donation is almost complete. Every time I give blood, I get tremendously hungry. Forgive me for being forward, but could I take you out for dinner? You pick the place.”
“That would be nice,” Chloe replied. “We can share experiences about Eric. He’s a remarkable boy.”
* * *
On a windy, rainy evening, the day after their 30th wedding anniversary, Chloe was at home sitting on the living room sofa, thinking about the day she had given blood and met Jason, who, at this moment, was at the Indoor Archery Range, now as owner and still directing a class, when she heard the front door open and the quick steps of their daughter, Erica, a third-grade teacher at Canfield Elementary, coming down the hall.
“Mom,” Erica exclaimed. “You’ve got to hear this!”
“Erica, what in the world. You’re all wet!”
“It’s raining Mom,” she unbuttoned her rain coat. “That story you’ve told me about how you and Dad met, about the little boy you saw while donating blood?”
“Oh, little Eric. I’ve told you the story a zillion times. That’s how you got your name.”
“Yes, but I think you got the wrong name. Remember you said that before the year was out, he and his mother had moved and didn’t leave a forwarding address. I spoke with his aunt, and she didn’t know where they had gone. So, I got curious and looked up his old school records. It turns out that the family was originally from Greece, and his mother told the principal that she was concerned that her son’s real name would cause him to be teased.”
Chloe was puzzled. “I knew they were from Greece, and ‘Eric’ was of Norwegian origin. What was his real name?
Erica laughed. “Mom you are not going to believe this. The little boy’s real name was ‘Eros’, you know, the Greek god of Love, a little guy who goes around shooting arrows into folks causing them to fall in love. The Romans called him ‘Cupid’.
Chloe was stunned. “This is a joke, right?”
Erica shook her head. “No, and believe it or not; there’s more. You said the kid had short curly blond hair. I went online and Googled ‘Images of Eros or Cupid’ and you’ll never believe what I came up with.” She reached in her raincoat pocket, withdrew her iPhone and tapped in an address. “There are zillions of paintings and sculptures of Eros. Here’s one by Benjamin West ‘Cupid Stung by a bee complains to his mother, Venus.’” She held the phone for her mother to see. “Does the boy in the painting look like Eric?”
Chloe looked and laughed and laughed. “It was a long time ago, and our Eric wasn’t naked. Listen, precious daughter. You are mine and you are dripping all over our carpet.
Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip.
Vindicator Love Story Contest 1-31-2018