- – Flash Fiction –
Jean and I were driving to the Napa, California Wine Country, enjoying light conversation, taped music, and an occasional soft touch of endearment via hands or lips. It was our first weekend trip together after a few initial dinner dates and exploratory love episodes. It was a happy sunny Saturday, a clear blue sky, and the promise of taking our relationship to perhaps a more permanent stage. We were a couple filled with the desire to know if we were a true match.
We stopped for a Red Light in a small town. In the light’s left-turn lane, a couple were vividly angry about something, and the man began to throw hard punches at the woman.
Without thinking, I yelled at the man: “Hey, knock it off, Man!”
The man turned quickly and glared angrily at me: “Shut your face, ass-hole!” He turned off his ignition, opened his driver-side door and started to round his car to get to mine.
Jean was scared as I started to get out of the car: “Don’t get involved, please…this could end up badly. Just drive off. Go through the light. No cars are coming either way. Please, don’t fight this guy. He may have a gun – or, a knife. Hurry, please, drive through the light.”
Just as the madman reached for my outside door handle, I sped away and through the light. I could not see the other car in my rearview after turning onto our road route to Napa. Jean and I sat silent for some time.
Jean finally spoke: “I’m sorry, BR, I hate violence. I know you wanted to help the woman, but it’s likely the action you did take cooled him down…”
“I hope so, Jean. That lady was crying, her face already bruised and wet with her tears. I just… Oh, never mind. Hopefully, it was just a spat that will be forgotten soon, and they will have ‘whatever it was about’ out of their system.”
We listened to our musical tapes without a lot of talking the rest of the way into Napa, and I kept checking my rearview mirror for the madman.
The weekend was lovely enough, but there was something hanging in the air that kept it from being all we wanted it to be.
Jean and I saw each other a few more times, but something went missing that we could never quite get back.
Flash Fiction from a true event, by:
BR Chitwood – June 19 2021
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