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Or flight

In her heart, she is jumping out of a plane without a parachute.  She puts the fork down on the napkin, careful not to stain the table cloth.  In her heart, she is swimming through shark infested waters.   She stands up from the table, careful not to cause a scene.  This is the only time she has ever worn this evening gown, and no matter how beautiful she is she will never wear it again.  In her heart, she is sprinting across the Serengeti when the sun is high.

Still seated, he asks her a question, but she turns and won’t answer.  She walks out carefully, unsteady on heels this high.  If he got up to follow, she couldn’t run.  In her heart, she is one step ahead of a fiery explosion.  She will never talk to this man again.

The next day, she will change her number;  when her friends ask about him, she will shrug and say nothing really happened between them.  In her heart, she didn’t make it out alive.


Benjamin Wachs has written for Village Voice Media,, and NPR among other venues.  He archives his work at

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