Keep on Waiting Kid

By Richard Dubus

The phone buzzed and showed the text saying, “Going to the store. Be there after.”

I replied fast with, “I missed you. I can’t wait to see you.” On the screen, three dots appeared, shuffling, but went away.

I reached for the sun god-scented body spray, and misted it on my tee shirt. She hated the one I used to use. I wanted to clean the clutter up a little before she came and noticed a few unpacked bags remaining on the swept tile floor.

I sat on the sofa and put my feet on the table while I waited for her to text back. It reminded me of the last time we were together at the end-of-semester party at my friend’s house. We made out on the glass table in the shed. The glass broke and we fell through and hit the cold cement floor. She laughed and I took out a speckle of glass caught in her tawny hair. Her hair always smelled like cheap strawberry shampoo, but I liked anyway. Her smile stretched the mole on her cheek. Mosquitoes could be fossilized in those amber eyes that looked down at me.

My phone still had not vibrated, and I bit my fingertips because the nails were already chewed down. There was a knock, and I opened the door. The “Welcome Back” poster was still taped over the peephole. She walked in, and I went to kiss her. She turned her head quickly and nudged me away to arm’s length.

“Listen,” she said.