by Claire Rudy Foster
That morning there was an email from Paul. Gemma clicked on it without thinking. Her coffee mug steamed at her elbow, too hot to drink. She forced her eyes to focus on the tiny electronic letters. Legal issues, he wrote. Looks like it’s back to jail, do not pass go. I’ll try to be out by summer break so we can meet again in the usual place. She had to read it twice, slowly. Then she slammed the laptop shut , as though extinguishing a flame.
Pouring her coffee into the travel thermos, she took care to rest the lips of the cups together. That way, even her shivering hands couldn’t spill—no messes, her kitchen spotless, not a beer can in sight, the garbage can empty and lined with a fresh plastic bag. A place where no roach dared to tread.
Don’t nobody know my troubles with God, she sang along with Moby on the radio. Traffic was light going into the city, but she tailgated the red Civic in front of her anyway. The maples and pines that shouldered together on both sides of the highway were close and dark, the ivy obscuring their trunks so they seemed like a dense wall of green. As Gemma’s Volvo rounded the final bend, and she saw the tunnel that opened to the city, the sky began to lighten in the west. A handful of leaves floated over the road for a moment, showing their yellow bellies.
“You won’t need those,” Allie told Gemma in the locker room. “She’s doped.”chop! chop! read more!