In the Not Too Distant Future,
As I looked at my phone, Emma’s text said. “Meet her at the corner of Banner St. and Oak Leaf, and her name is Mari” As I drove the final mile, the sky was still its normal colors of fire. There was orange and pink and sometimes swirls of purple, where it had once been blue. Another missile screamed overhead trailing black and gray smoke.
And there she was! Another human being still alive, and was that her son? As I got out of my SUV limping with my hiking pole, both of them waved. We all had our masks on and protective equipment. I beamed at her, and I was hoping she could tell.
She introduced herself and Fernando her 10 year old, when a cloud of orange exploded, and a popping noise began to rain not far away. I yelled, “A Searching Drone! We need to get inside!” With our masks and protective clothing off inside, I noticed her middle was large. Was she pregnant?
She mentioned, “I can still have your child…. if that’s what you want….” She smiled with eyebrows raised in a question. I wasn’t shocked at all, and these were desperate times, but I said, “Honey, I’m too old for you, and besides I’m just looking for conversation!” I hadn’t seen anyone in months.
It was actually cozy in her kitchen as she took out a platter of fruit and cheese. Another drone scanned the neighborhood. “I’m sorry the fruit is canned, that’s all we have left now.” I understood. I was so grateful, and we made small talk about how much supplies we had, and would the plagues ever end? Everything was going just fine until she took my hand and began massaging it with her thumb.
She said, “It’s just that I really need…I mean I really really need some…some…company.” Well I admit it. I was nervous. Who wouldn’t be?
When I found out she wasn’t actually pregnant, that was it. I was in trouble for sure. I didn’t know what to say. She practically dragged me up the steps to the bedroom, mentioning on the way up that Fernando would be in the basement, tending his plants. “His plants?”
Later, after I thought our wildness had subsided, I was beginning to doze off when she moved in close again. I felt her rub my arm.
She whispered, “You awake?”
Writing and Image © Copyright 2022 rivers renewed
Next Saturday: Why did Emma place us together?