Excerpt. Full text in Cimarron Review Issue 160, Summer 2007
My breathing shallows and I’m so dry I might have a mouthful of flour.
She’s moving toward a bike. I reach for the ignition. I’m so close. I can follow her if she sticks to the sidewalks, but even if she doesn’t, I’ve seen her bike, the clothes she’s wearing today. I know for sure this is her dorm. She’ll have to come back.
She reaches the bike and takes her hand from her face to fumble with the lock. Now that she’s moved her hand, I see her face is all wrong. Her eyes are too wide set, her complexion too dark. Her nose is too long.
What if I never see her? I feel a quiver swell up from my midsection into my chest and I sniff hard.
Then I shake my head. Stupid. It’s not even lunchtime.
I should have brought something to do. Something to occupy my mind when I start to worry about never seeing her, or getting caught, or my wife calling my store when I’m supposed to be there. I told Paul to cover for me, but you never know. Maybe she’ll get someone else on the phone, or Paul will forget.
She already knows I’m keeping something from her.
I know it would seem sick, what I’m doing. That’s why I have the cover story. There are so many twisted people in the world, that a middle-aged man sitting in his car, waiting for a young girl to come out of her dorm… Well, that can’t help but seem suspicious.
It’s funny how life is. How easily you can end up on a strange road, headed somewhere you never thought you’d go.