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You’re sitting next to your husband in that 1991 Porsche that he picked out after you first got married. As he drives he puffs on long cigarettes and you watch the complicated pattern of smoke rise and form delicate ropes around his face.

“You excited to get together with your parents?” he asks, turning for a moment to face you. But all you see is smoke.

“Sure.” You try to curve your lips into your best lipsticked smile as your head fills with thoughts of yelling and prolonged silence, of closed doors and chewed fingernails.

“You look pretty tonight.”

And you do. Your make up is so perfect, your dress is red and fluttery. You saw the way your husband’s eyes raked over you as you left the house. He was hungry for you, but your parents were waiting and time was short, so that appetite would have to wait.

“Thank you.”


You’re what? You’re welcome? You’re perfect? You’re ready to return to that house? You’re happy, aren’t you? You’re in love with me, aren’t you? Aren’t you?

But you’ll never know what your husband was about to say because somewhere, lost in the smoke, his eyes must have drifted from the road to look at you in that red, red dress. And before you know it, you are spinning around and around in that 1991 Porsche, and then there’s a crunching sound.

A breath.

You’re okay. You turn your head and quickly close your eyes at the sight of your husband’s body.

You squint – you can’t help yourself. The scarlet of his tie begins to blend in with his shirt as it stains and for some reason you wonder if dry cleaning would help. You shake your head and think. A breath. It is snowing and too cold and you are too pretty and too too too afraid. So you run – off the road, through the trees, into the forest, leaving only footprints and a couple of flashes of that red, red dress.


 Jennifer Gordon is a student of film, with a focus in production. She has a lovely dog and two rabbits. On weekends, Jennifer likes to take long walks and play Scrabble. Her favorite word is calliope.

Read more stories by Jennifer Gordon.


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