He first saw Alfia Furst on the corner of First Avenue and First Street. It was May Day and the sun was shining on her in a way it was not shining on the parking meters or the grey and melting snow banks that still lined the street.

He followed her all the way to the coffee shop, and then continued on without her to the dry-cleaner, which had been his original intent. At the dry-cleaners there was a clerk he had always found attractive but this attraction was significantly diminished today. He accepted and paid for his pressed shirts with no more than the required amount of friendly banter.

He saw Alfia again on the first day of Summer and took this as a definitive sign. She was sitting at the corner of a bar he sometimes frequented. The light of a nearby Michelob sign did not have quite the same effect as the sunlight had had in the previous season, but still there was something about her that stirred something inside him in some unspecified place. He had had several drinks by this point, so his thoughts were necessarily vague.

He moved over to a stool closer to her—though leaving one stool empty between them as a gesture of his respect.

“I have seen you before,” he said.

She said: “That is probably because I have existed prior to this point.”

He was charmed. He was smitten. He was done. Her voice was like music to him, though admittedly a music made from carelessly stored and tuned instruments. He bought her next drink, and she bought his drink after that. By the end of the evening all their feelings were mutual.

They married on the following May Day in honor of that time he had seen her on the corner in the sunlight, and years later he would begin introducing her to people as his first wife. The joke would not amuse her, and really, it was not completely a joke.

Grant Bailie is the author of the novels Cloud 8 and Mortarville, as well as numerous stories online and in print. His latest novel, New Hope for Small Men is available in e-book form under the auspices of Necessary Fiction, where it was first serialized. His book TomorrowLand--an illustrated novel of sorts--is due out in the fall through Red Giant Books Mr. Bailie currently lives in Lakewood, Ohio, which is a stone’s throw from Cleveland. He knows this because sometimes the people in Cleveland throw stones.

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