The Date (3/3)

May 4th, 2003

Ford woke the next day to a tingling sensation between his shoulder blades. He knew at once that it was Selena, tracing shapes and patterns with her fingertips.

She rose to her knees, and slapped Ford’s buttocks. “Right!” she said, “I’d love to hang around, but unlike you, I’ve got to work.”

Ford grunted. “I thought criminals get weekends off? Or aren’t they all so forgiving?”

“You’re sharp for first thing in the morning.”

“Amongst other things.”

Selena danced around the room, collecting her clothes and oddments. She looked very positive, full of life, vibrant. It was all for Ford. He had always fancied redheads, even plain ones, and it was as if Selena knew this about him, and used it to her advantage. The way she flaunted herself, leaving nothing to the imagination, it was all very endearing. He wondered if she had much of a history in the way of men. Was she always so confident?

Ford looked up at the ceiling and mused. He couldn’t lie to himself, he knew he found Selena a little bit intimidating. Probably because she had it all figured out.

Who knows? he thought. If things were to work out, maybe she’d stick around. Maybe she’d get to know me enough that she’d break me down into little pieces, and put them back together again. Like a thick, limited child, obsessively reconfiguring a diorama made of Lego.

“Before you go,” Ford said. “I need a word.”

Selena smirked. “But Daddy, I really need to get to class.”

“I’m serious.”

A comfortable silence broke the room.

Ford raised himself up. He cleared his throat, he spoke clearly. “Selena, I’ve had a wonderful time. I really like you. And as you said last night, I’m very open with you. I love that I’m able to do that. It’s incredible, really, that I’m able to do that, because I normally find it very hard to open up to women. And Jesus Christ, it’s only our second time together. Can you imagine that? I’m not sure what it’s been like for you, but for me, it’s pretty amazing.” He paused. “So, I’ve decided that this is as far as I can go.”

The comfortable silence broke, and the room itself seemed to come alive. What was this place? Just another nondescript bedroom, in a nondescript apartment in Reno. Selena had seen rooms like this many, many times over, both at work and in her day to day life. Rooms with big double beds, upended clutter on surfaces, and suntanned movie posters. Stacks of VHS. Televisions. The only different thing about this room was the man who laid before her.

This was a man with not much going on in his life.

At the same time, like a parallel highway coursing out into the Ruby Mountains, this was a man with an unexplained power. The kind of man who could take you into a hole, heavy with the scent of sweat, and show you a completely different world. The kind of man who could break your heart.

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