Derek Asks a Leading Question

“Have you ever hit a woman?” Derek said.

Derek likes to ambush people.

He was sitting back in his tan leather Barcalounger, smiling.

“That’s a leading question. If I had, why would I tell you Derek?”

“ I think you just told me.”

“Don’t rush to conclusions, Derek.”

He paused, kept smiling, fixed his eyes on me in that truculent way of his. “So you’re not going to talk about it.”

I said I had better be going.

He kept up that ironic, truculent smile.

When I got home, I sat for a long time thinking about someone I once knew and loved, picturing that round face, those bright eyes.

After all these years I can feel her short, close-cropped hair brushing against the palm of my hand.

I went through my old papers and eventually found this.

The Day She LeftI never saw her again.

Then I went out, took a long walk and stayed out too long and got caught by the darkness. It’s dangerous on these lanes, after dark,  if a car can’t see you.

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