Nora pushed the empty mayonnaise jar around the tiled floor of Luca’s apartment with her nose. She didn’t know it, but Luca had named her for the woman who had broken his heart.
Nora—the whippet, not the woman—had found him slumped on a stone bench in Oaxaca’s central plaza as the October sun crept over the red-tile rooftops of the city center. She didn’t know Nora the woman had left him the night before, that he’d ended up in the Zócalo after attempting to drown his tears in a liter of mezcal.
She’d licked his hand—it was curled around the remnants of a carne asada taco—and he’d started awake. His hand opened and the taco fell. Nora snatched it from the air before it hit the cobblestones and followed him home through the slowly brightening day, her nails clicking on the pale-green stones of the sidewalk.
That morning was almost a year ago now, but of course, Nora didn’t know that. Nora also didn’t know that Luca spoke to her in Italian due to his mistaken belief that she was an Italian Greyhound, but she would have forgiven him had she known he was from Milan and made his living selling pizza and pasta to tourists who’d tired of corn and beans.
The doorbell rang at the same time as Nora’s tongue found the last dollop of mayonnaise inside the jar. Luca opened the door—and stood very still. Nora walked over to him, leaned against his leg, and looked up.
A tall, dark-haired woman with black hair hanging to her waist stood in the doorway. She wore an embroidered blouse and a long jean skirt.
The woman looked down at Nora. “She’s beautiful. What’s her name?”
Luca looked down at Nora, up at Nora, then down at Nora once more. Then he looked at Nora the woman and said, “Daysi. Her name is Daysi.”
Nora looked up at Luca, her head cocked to one side. She didn’t know what to do. He patted her head, and she wagged her tail.
This story was prompted by katpetewrites ( a jar of mayonnaise, a whippet, a deserted apartment in Milano). I cheated a little with the apartment.
Send me a prompt with an inanimate object, a living thing, and a place.