More than thirteen years passed before Robin understood it wasn’t her leaving Paolo took as betrayal,
but the light touch she gave to his groin outside a party. In front of a stranger in a brightly lit
hallway, she had crouched down to entice a skittish feline, saying: Here, pussycat. This stranger, his
suggestive remark, and in the moment of Paolo’s duplicitous laughter Robin turned her
disappointment to his, shamed him instead.

Years later she finds herself wondering if she had only said: Here, kitty …. When she was done petting
the cat would Paolo have extended his hand, helped her up from the floor?

Julie Mahfood hosts a reading series for Montreal's West Island writers and has had work in: montreal serai, Literary Review of Canada, The Antigonish Review, Room, and carte blanche, among others. Julie was shortlisted in THIS Magazine's 2008 Great Canadian Literary Hunt and will begin graduate studies in English Lit/Creative Writing at Concordia this fall.