Still Counting by Phil Fragasso

Still Counting by Phil Fragasso

Adam Donatello and Nina Morales share an immediate and powerful attraction, and their future together seems assured. But love is difficult enough without adding complications—real or imagined—to the mix. Nina sees life as a thousand shades of gray, while Adam tends toward black-and-white. He wants to move fast; she needs time. Nina sees her past liaisons with women as immaterial to their relationship, while her disclosure drives Adam to a state of irrational jealousy. He doesn’t know how he could compete with a woman, and his suspicions—which Nina views as hypocritical—lead them both to make decisions they may live to regret.

A Sneak Peek Inside

I hadn’t planned to propose. It just happened.

It happened while we were hiking Mount Greylock. Depending on the terrain we either walked side by side or in single file. At one point, Nina was walking ahead of me. I heard her counting aloud.


A short pause.

“Eighteen and nineteen.”

“What are you doing?” I asked.

Nina glanced back and laughed. “It’s kind of stupid. I count butterflies. It’s something I’ve done since I was a little girl. I keep track of every one I spot, write it down in a notebook, and see how many I see in a year. My best was 227. It was a perfect year for them, dry and not too hot.”

“You’re a strange woman,” I said.

“I prefer quirky.”

“That too.”

I’m not exactly sure why I did what happened next. My brain went a little fuzzy with synapses crackling like a mouthful of pop rocks. I walked to Nina and gave her a light kiss on the lips. I knelt on the ground, picked up a small stone and handed it to her. “Will you marry me?”

Nina looked at the stone and tossed it away. “Are you some kind of moron?”

I looked towards the stone she had tossed. “I was planning to replace that with a real rock.”

Nina just shook her head and starting counting on her fingers.

“You’re counting butterflies again?”

“No, you idiot,” she said. “I’m counting all the reasons I won’t marry you.” She was now on her second hand.

“Looks like you have a lot.”

“I could probably name a hundred, but I’ll stop at ten.”

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Who is Phil Fragasso?

I sold my first article at the age of 16. Since then I’ve written and published a wide variety of books, articles and essays. After many years as a corporate marketer,  I left to pursue endeavors that were more fulfilling personally and more contributory on a societal level. Today I focus my time on writing and teaching. I’ve often said “I live the American dream” and that is indeed how I feel. With a wonderful wife, two grown children, great friends and a couple of rambunctious Labrador retrievers, I can’t complain about a damn thing.


Twitter ID:  @PhilFragasso

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