Cashmere Silk by Deborah O’Neille Schubbe

Roadside Fiction

Kelsea’s Truck

Cover photo by Steven Falconer

‘Cashmere Silk’ by Deborah O’Neille Schubbe

I fell in love the day I first laid eyes on my sister’s new boyfriend.

I was sitting with relatives at a distant aunt’s engagement party. Uncle Bart was ad-libbing a toast to her and groom number three when Kristie waltzed in with a dark-haired man who stole my breath.

The kissing of glasses made perfect music for their entrance—she in a hot little black number and sparkling necklace, and he in a suit manifestly tailored for his testosterone-driven physique.

Between my yellow empire dress and Shirley-Temple curls, I felt like a Suzy Q at a birthday party. Kristie was pure silk. I was corduroy. Had she tripped, she may have stolen the show of my champagne sloshing onto the tablecloth. Of course, she didn’t. A mustached waiter with a clean, spicy scent winked and blotted up the disaster.

My skin heated and I grinned apologetically, still wishing Kristie had stumbled.

She came off as a well-meaning sister, the kind who never forgot you when pawning off not-so-bad ex-boyfriends as though blessing you with hand-me-down sweaters you couldn’t afford new.

I chastised myself for not having a date, let alone a masterpiece of masculinity, until a familiar face entered the room. Tony, my once almost brother-in-law who still pined after my sister.

“Sit here.” I waved him over to the chair beside me.

He exchanged hellos around the table.

“How’ve you been?” Aunt Sally eyed his passé, baby blue shirt, then me. “Jordi, doesn’t he look good?”

“Great,” I said. A white outline against his sideburns suggested a recent haircut. He blushed.

“Still at the computer plant?” Bart asked.

Sally elbowed him. “Software technician, dear. You make him sound like some factory worker.”

“Nothing wrong with that,” Bart said, shooting me a collaborating arched brow.

My gaze strayed to where Kristie sat with the poise of a model. Her date nodded my way, his small but brazen smile teasing me. Tony stared at the couple too, and my heart sank for him.

“Tony, you should stop by sometime,” I blurted. “Still big on board games?” I didn’t own one, but offering a distraction seemed right.

His face brightened. “Yeah, on the computer or the table, either works for me.”

I laughed, glancing ahead. The dream in the suit appeared to be checking me out. Kristie had no idea what she’d given up in Tony.

Before I managed any acknowledgement of the flirt, nasty or nice, the delicious-smelling waiter who’d cleaned up my spill stood between me and Tony and refilled our glasses.

“I’m Aidan,” he said in a warm, throaty voice. “Let me know if you need anything.”

I didn’t think it was legal to mention what I needed.

He and another waiter returned not much later with our feasts. Aidan set mine down and offered me extra napkins. “For you,” he said with a humorous twang. “Anything you need…” he reminded us before stepping away.

Tony and I caught up on old times as we traded critiques for the perfectly marinated filet mignon and the mite-too-mushy garlic potatoes.

Aidan interrupted our conversation often. “More mignon? Champagne?”

At nine o’clock, Tony gulped his last swallow of champagne. “I’m meeting someone at the airport.” His eyes revealed that the someone ranked as special. “A stewardess, Parker’s cousin, the guy with Kristie.” He nodded to them, then stood to leave just as the band started.

He left. A half a heartbeat later an overwhelming solitude wrapped around me, took hold tight. I dropped my hands in my lap and peeked at Kristie, when someone tapped my shoulder.

“After I clear tables,” Aidan said, “I’d love to get out of this jacket and dance with you, Miss…?”

The shock made me hesitate. “Jordi, er, Jordan.”

He took my hand, his cologne scenting the air, eyes persuading me.

At his touch, an electric tingle I’d only heard about shot through me. The dance turned to two and three and talk about the boutique I’d someday own, the catering business he’d open, favorite movies and the romantic lands we’d vacation in. Then, he clasped my fingers and cradled my back. “How about a waltz?”

Without warning he spun me and I fell clumsily into his arms. We laughed and high-fived each other and danced some more.

“You’ve got style,” Aidan said, and I felt like cashmere silk, barely noticing Parker whispering into the ear of a woman not my sister. For once, Kristie’s unbreakable confidence made me smile—she swooped up a conservative-looking gent, and hit the dance floor.

Aidan and I closed out the night with a slow dance and a magic kiss. I waited for my breath to return. “That was…”—unexpected—“nice.”

“Can I see you again?”

I envisioned a warm breeze and the smell of coconuts, he in faded denim, me in silk, dancing under moonlight.

In cashmere glory, I said yes.


Did you like the story? Opinions? Praise? Please leave a comment below



Deb Schubbe
Deborah O’Neille Schubbe lives in Minnesota with her husband and furry best friend, Jada, whose tail never ceases to wag. Schubbe’s short stories have appeared in Downstate Story, the Writers’ Journal, Short Stuff for Grownups, The Storyteller, The Sunflower Dream, and Amelia magazine. Her fiction has received two honorable mentions in Writer’s Digest Competitions and first prize in the Stella Wade Award for Children’s Fiction. Her personal essays and articles have been published in Midwest Living, Woman’s World, Scribe & Quill, The Corresponder, The Writing Life, Vocational Biographies, and Once Upon a Time.

She studied writing through the Iowa Summer Writers’ Workshops and at Minnesota State University, where she graduated summa cum laude. Her blog address is

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13 Responses to Cashmere Silk by Deborah O’Neille Schubbe

  1. Judith

    Great story, Deb, congratulations. Enjoyed the bits of humor, too.

  2. I love the way this stroy develops. Short bits of of description and dialog that matches many a dinner party at a resturant that I’ve been to. The sybling rivalry is great, but its the ending that really make me swoon. Nice work.

    • Roadside

      A nice insight into the mind of a dinner party guest who has her eye on a few targets at once!

    • Thanks so much for reading the story. I appreciate it.

  3. Peter

    Great character-driven story, Deb. Peter.

  4. A lovely story with the right mixture of humor and character insight. Well done, Deb.

  5. Great story that rolls out, stringing us along and putting the pieces together to a very fulfilling ending. I enjoyed it. Thank!

  6. garreth keating

    Lovely use of words, double meanings suit the development of the story, especially as main character doesn’t seem to know where things are going, well done.

  7. Laurie Holen

    This is the first of your storys I have read. Sorry I’m not to computer savy. It’s really good and I can’t wait to read some more. I’ll always think of you friend and wonder how you are.

  8. Kimberly McGuire

    Great story! I enjoyed the details that describe the characters in the story. These excellent details allowed me to visualize the scene. Keep up the great work!

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