At the Beer Store
By Samantha Bell
My husband opened his wallet, discovering
his only credit card was missing, had been stuck
in an ATM for seven hours in the scalding heat.
He only wanted to buy a soda at noon, was thirsty
and had to drive into the city at one. His soda
was cool and bubbly. I was not. Standing there,
I panicked that a common stranger plucked the plastic
straightaway and ran to the nearest airport, bought
a one-way to Alaska. Escape this heat, anyway.
Instead, when we called, the only transaction
was one I had already made. I asked my husband
if he held onto the receipt. In the bedroom, he smiled
slightly in the greasy mirror. I ate it, he said. I knew you
wouldn't want me to throw it out. I knew you would
have been mad. And he was right. I would have been.
Would have yelled at the sky, forsaken. Instead, I took a walk
alone, and thought about what I was so afraid of losing.
- Samantha Bell lives in Lawrence.