“The knife,” said Shea. She checked him up and down, then pushed her hand into his chest and walked away.
“Shea wait,” said Calvin. He jogged over to her, then grabbed her shoulder and spun her around. “What knife?”
Shea held her phone in one hand, and covered her eyes with the other. “Yes, hello? I could really use a cab, like right now… at Cherry Bumps, downtown. Ok, thank you so much.” She lowered the phone and gulped.
“Men are liars,” she said. “All of you!” Her eyelids cracked open and tears leaked out.
“Tell me about the knife,” said Calvin.
“Who cares about the knife! How can you be okay with this? With them!”
“I’m not. But my wife and your husband are trying to kill me-”
“They already killed me.”
“What’s wrong with me? Am I so ugly that every guy has to cheat-”
Calvin grabbed her hands. “Stop. You’re gorgeous… plus you know who The Verve is! And, maybe I’m out of line to say this, but I’ve enjoyed talking with you more tonight than… fuck it, any conversation that I’ve ever had with my wife.”
Shea blinked, and her pupils bounced from Calvin’s eyes to his lips.
“What?” he said.
“Nothing.” Shea brushed a blond hair behind her ear. “So… what are you gonna do?”
“Leave, maybe call the cops.”
“Right, because that’s what I meant.” Shea turned around, walked over to the sidewalk, then sat down on the curb.
Calvin hurried over and plopped down beside her.
Shea rubbed her elbows. “Please, don’t offer me your jacket.”
“You want to be alone?”
Shea rocked her head back and let out an exaggerated scoff. “I want a man who won’t cheat. That’s it.”
“I meant me.”
Her head swiveled to him and her eyelids snapped wide open.
“Do you want me, to leave?” said Calvin.
Shea faced the street between her feet and bit into her hand.
“Does that mean yes?” said Calvin.
“If you don’t want to stay, you should go.”
“It doesn’t feel right leaving you.”
“I’ve enjoyed talking with you, too,” she said.
Shea turned to him, and her words rattled between her teeth. “I called a cab… do you… what about you?” said Shea.
“I’m gonna call the cops. If those two are trying to kill me, they deserve to-”
“You’re an idiot.”
“Just don’t offer your jacket,” said Shea.
“You look cold. Take this.”
“I told you I don’t want your-” Shea cut short her protest when she noticed what Calvin held in his hand.
“Wow… you have a sense of humor… too.” Shea ripped the Ipod out from his hand. The song listed was “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve. “Why did you bring an Ipod to a night club?”
“Because I’m a one song kind of guy,” said Calvin.
Shea’s cheeks flushed red. She plugged one of the white earbuds into her ear, raised the second, bit her bottom lip, then handed that earbud to Calvin instead.
He smiled, stuck it in his ear, and they listed to the song together.
“How come you’re not freaking out?” said Shea. “I mean, doesn’t it bother you?”
“It does,” said Calvin. “Just not right now.”
“I don’t know,” He said, then scooted closer. “It should. My wife’s cheating on me, and your husband’s plotting to kill me.”
“So you are freaked out?”
“No,” said Calvin. “Because this moment, right now…”
“…yea?” Shea lost her eyes in his.
“It’s almost perfect.”
Shea bit her lips, then sniffed. “Yeah, I get that.” She laughed. “I mean, obviously it’s not going to be perfect with everything you’re going through. Because of you wife, right?”
“Ah, my husband. Maybe if he wasn’t trying to kill you?”
“No. That’s not it..”
Shea folded her arms, shut her mouth and glared down at the pavement. “Oh. I get it. If another girl were here then it would be per-”
Calvin took hold of her jaw and turned her face to his. She shut her eyes and met with his lips, then boomeranged her arm around the back of his neck, tugging him closer and kissing him deeper. They finished kissing, but left their noses squished together.
“Now it’s perfect,” said Calvin.
“So,” Shea said, then gulped. “What now?”
“We leave. Together.”
“For the night?”
Shea laughed. “That’s…” She quit laughing. “Perfect.”
A yellow cab pulled up and parked by the curb.
Calvin took Shea by the hand, and the two stood.
“What about them? The gun? The murder plot?” said Shea.
“Forget it. They can’t hurt me if I leave.”
Shea’s freckled cheeks lifted from her smile.
“You two ready?” said the cab driver, out the window.
“I’m ready,” said Calvin. “Are you ready?”
“Yea,” said Shea. “I’m ready.”
Calvin opened the door for Shea, whose hands stayed linked together at her waist as she continuously swerved her hips.
“Aren’t you coming?” said Calvin.
“Oh, yeah,” Shea said
“Well… what are you waiting for?”
“My moment,” Shea said. “I’m cherishing it.”
“Yo, got a job here guys,” said the cab driver.
“One second,” said Calvin, before returning to Shea. “I’m glad, but we really should get away before your husband tries to kill me.”
Shea laughed, then nodded. She stepped closer, kissed Calvin on the cheek, then giggled as she lowered her head and entered the cab. Calvin came in, shut the door, then held her hand.
“Where to?” said the driver.
They looked to one another. “Anywhere but here,” said Calvin.
“And step on it!” said Shea.
The cab driver shook his head. “You got it folks… hope you ain’t maxed out already.” He started off, and they were on their way.
“Wait!” said Shea.
The driver slammed the brakes.
She turned to Calvin. “The knife!”
“What about it?”
“I have to go back.”
Shea reached over him for the handle, shoved the door open, then crawled over his lap, stumbled onto the sidewalk and rushed back toward the nightclub.
“Just wait for me, I’ll be thirty seconds!” She called over her shoulder.
“What’s your wife doin’?” said the driver.
“That’s not my…” Calvin shook his head. “I don’t know. She’ll be right back, though.”
To be continued…
- Thomas M. Watt