The Perfect Spot
By Kelene Blake
We left the drug store and went to a small café across the street to sit. He ordered me chamomile tea and a sandwich. I was glad, because I was starving. His name was James. His mother suffered from panic attacks, and he recognized what was happening to me as soon as he saw me racing down the street and ducking into the drug store. I ignored the embarrassment flushing my face. He knew he could help, so he came in after me. I told him what had happened earlier with the taxi. It was only in the telling that I realized how funny it all was, and we both laughed freely. Free. That’s what I was feeling for the first time in years. I liked this James.
James asked me where I was going, offering me a ride. His concern returned to his face as he saw the change in my expression. I remembered my morning, realized I didn’t know where I was going. For some reason it seemed pointless to go to the Creole restaurant now. I knew I wouldn’t find Kara there. “I have to go find someone… I have to tell her that my Mom passed away this morning. Then I have to pick up my daughter.” I started trembling in the afternoon heat. I saw the weight of my words descend on him and I thought, Bye bye James. It was good while it lasted. He cleared his throat. “Um, excuse me a moment. I have to…” He indicated to his cell phone as he stood up and walked a few steps away. The poor guy was visibly shaken, likely plotting his escape. He came back to the table with a weak smile several minutes later. “Okay. I cleared my evening. You really shouldn’t be out alone today. Where do you want me to take you first?”
I could only think of one place I needed to go before I picked up Mariana. It was just outside the city. There was an old fort overlooking the sea. Mama and I used to go there sometimes. She’d let me wander around on the beautiful green open space chasing butterflies while she sat on a particular crest, looking out over the sea. She loved that spot. She always seemed so peaceful there.