He Let Her Go

Two cars pulled up side by side at the red light; one Ford, one Chevy. The woman behind the wheel looked straight ahead. The man turned and looked at her through the glass. She looked more than familiar. He knew her. Hadn’t seen her in years. He honked his horn.

At first the blonde didn’t look over. She kept staring straight ahead. The wrinkled man honked again. And, again. She gave a quick glance. He motioned for her to roll down her window. She smiled and turned the other way.

The light turned green. She decided to drive a little faster. He did his best to keep up. They came to another red light. Their engines hummed. He rolled down his window. Hey, he said. Remember me? she kept looking straight ahead. I said, do you remember me? she glanced over at him.

The woman knew who he was. An old lover from way back when she used to work at the A&P grocery store. She was seventeen. He was twenty- four. They didn’t tell anybody.

They’d drive off in separate cars when they got off work. She followed him up to the lake. They’d park under a tree. Meeting each other in the back seat. Radio on some FM station and the windows fogged up. She’d draw a heart on the back window and put an arrow through it. They both laughed.

This went on for a year. Till she got pregnant and they decided a child was not in their best interest. Words were never spoke again.

And now, here they were. Stopped at a red-light. Her looking straight ahead and him staring at her. Light turned green. He let her go.

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