#18

The first time I saw her I didn’t quite believe that she could actually be real. There was something about her skin with her smile and teeth and eyes and then she tossed her hair a little, and I thought “Now this just can’t be.” Her waist curved in from the round of her breasts and hips, and her legs were long and bright as she walked. She must have been wearing shorts. It felt hot enough to wear shorts, or at least I did.

My brother Mike, who knew her from the restaurant, said her name was Sandra. He said she came in all the time with her mother, the lady at the library who’s always squinting at you. Not that I’m at the library all that often I guess, but some people just stick with you.

When I asked if she was single, Mike looked at me like I was stupid.

“Yeah. No. I don’t know–how should I know?”

Twenty years later, I was still wishing I would have found out. As luck, or fate, would have it, I happened to get that chance one Saturday morning while walking to the store to pick up the newspaper. I can never quite justify a full subscription, a strange sort of stubbornness that has gotten me in trouble just as often as its helped.

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