She stood there for the longest time. She had trouble making herself believe what she had seen was real. However, as she closed and opened her eyes several times, the truth of it persisted. The cool air conditioning inside the mall helped to steady her as she found an empty bench near the fountain. Right there in the parking lot! In broad daylight! She reached in her purse for a handkerchief.

She tried to decide what to do now. Perhaps she should find a security person and tell them. She then realized how impossible that would be. How could she explain it? What if the guard was a man? She didn’t even know how she would tell her husband.

She tried to gather herself together, powdering her cheeks and straightening the lace collar on her dress. Each time she ran through the scene again it would slow down a little bit. The light glinting on the car window had blocked some of the detail, but there was no mistaking what it was the girl was doing. Again she saw the boy’s long straight hair parted by his naked shoulders. She saw him turn his eyes to hers as she passed. He closed his mouth and smiled.

Suddenly she thought of her husband Robert. 1943. His army uniform fit him tightly. The water in the fountain splashed behind her. She sat there for the longest time.

I growed up po and ignant in Alabama. Then I went off to college and became a socialistic atheistic business school grad with an MBA. Not wanting to add evil capitalistic bastard to my resume, I obtained an antidote degree -the MFA. What a difference a letter makes. Now I teach college and make art. That's more fun and I'm less prone to drift toward the dark side. So, at the advanced age of sixty.... I have chosen mind over matter, joined the League of Defensive Pessimists and have no better answers, only fewer questions.

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