International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year:
With Me Tonight
told her to come with me tonight. I told her I know the roads were
always bright but if she gave me a chance I could show her the light.
She wasnt buying. She said if I wanted sex I could have gone
to a whorehouse. I told her why go to a whorehouse when I get it
for free by lying. She slapped me. I was being sarcastic but it
was the wrong time I guess. She turned her back to me
She turned around.
"Yes?" It was the coldest voice I have had ever heard.
"I didnt mean that crack about lying to get it for free .I
"You are just sorry."
"I know youre right."
"I know I am right."
"Just leave me alone."
"You said you wanted me to leave you alone. I am going to leave
She now had the look of confusion.
"Interesting." She said.
"What is?" I said and laughed a little.
"You are not pushing me begging me you are being passive."
"You told me no .I respect that .I will do as you ask "
"How can I be sure you will?"
"I promise from here on out as long you and I work at that store you
will never see me .if that is what you wish."
"I am going to hold you to it."
"You remember what I said."
"All right. Bye."
She turned and walked back into our place of work. I was off and I continued
with daily rounds. My daily rounds for my days off included getting
a soft drink at this grocery store for it had a vending machine that
sold canned drinks for only 50 cents and the drive there from my apartment
gave me time to listen to my music. I would then go to the mall and
walk both ends. I would then go to the book store and then head to my
apartment. I read and then watch my sitcoms or boxing videos I had not
seen yet. I had not made it to even walking the mall yet when she headed
back to work. I never knew how to maintain a friendship with a woman
but I sure knew how to fix it. It was the only easy part. I was going
to do as I said I would. I would avoid her area. I just dont know
if she wanted me out of her life forever or if she just wanted space.
I wondered if she was just testing me? She found me odd for sure. I
assumed that other men kept pushing her no matter how many times she
said no but with me it took only one no. I dont think she was
use to that. It was a good sign. It would take time. I had plenty of
it and patience. These things mostly took patience.
I started on my daily rounds again. I didnt have a chance to get
started for I heard what sounded like a sound from a .45 automatic.
I quickly turned to look behind him and I saw a woman laying on her
back. There was blood coming from her back I looked around for the gunmen
and I felt a hand grab my arm and then twist it. It hurt but I didnt
"All right one more move and your arm is history "
"I know that " I said.
"Wise guy huh "
"Well I like to think I am."
"Shut the fuck up."
He held the pistol to my neck and he pulled back slowly.
"All right .anyone tries anything .he dies "
I thought no shit. It was pretty obvious that would be the conclusion
to my life if I or anyone did anything. I couldnt do anything
except hope or wait for him to make a mistake. I heard a shot right
next to my ear. I fell to the ground. The gunmen was dead. I saw blood
coming from behind his head. I got up slowly and I saw it was the woman
"Dont mention it."
"May I pay you back in some way?"
"You never quit do you?"
"I am sorry I didnt mean that. You saved my life. I am indebted
"You are not indebted to me. I did what any of us would have to
do in that situation."
"I am sorry if you thought I was making a pass at you. Thank you
again for saving my life. I will see ya. Maybe I can get my rounds finished
today." I laughed and turned to walk away.
I stopped and turned to face her.
"Just remember what I said earlier?"
"I will I promise."
She put the gun back in her purse and headed back to work. It was rare
but our store did allow us to carry firearms with a permit. I never
did carry one. I never thought I needed one until today. There were
a few odd things I didnt notice until after I saw her head back
to work. There was not a single person in that cafeteria that screamed
or even seemed to have noticed anything was happening. They went back
to their daily business once the man was shot dead. I contemplated that
for a minute and then I lost interest. I went about doing my rounds.
I was wondering if I was going to even make it out of the mall. I had
to laugh to myself about that.
I made it to the bookstore in one piece. I left at noon and I normally
was at the bookstore around 1pm but due to unexpected circumstances
I was at the bookstore around 2.30 pm. It was okay. It was all worth
it. I did enjoy talking with her and it was going great until I asked
her if she wanted to hang outside of work as we were having lunch before
she killed the gunmen. We didnt plan it. I just saw her sitting
alone and we had talked before a few times at work so I thought it was
appropriate. I went too fast I guess. It was the luck of the draw maybe.
Was Just Another Manic Monday
Randall W. Pretzer It was just another day at work she thought. A typical Monday. No
customers. She had four more hours before her shift ended. It was days
like these that she begged for a customer