Leaving his fiancee’s apartment after four-hundred-and-fifty-seven arguments over the wedding, hurrying down the stairs with the feet of Mercury, tripping on the crack in the sidewalk, picking his frustrated body off the ground, rushing toward the car, Owen caught sight of the flat tire on his Honda. Not stopping to change the tire, he rushed past the car, anger in each of his steps.
He dashed through an intersection, barely dodging a fortress of a truck. Down an unlit street and toward the unknown, his fingers squeezed tightly against his palms. Coming to a dead-end, he turned onto a side street, then stopped in mid-stride. Standing there alone in the dark, gazing through the window of a house, seeing a couple arguing, he realized he had one more thing he wanted to tell Louise, his fiancee.
He glanced at his watch. It said three a.m. Where had the last two hours gone?
He turned and began the effort of retracing his steps. After several bad choices, he found himself back at this car and its flat tire.
Leaning against the red vehicle, taking out a cigarette for a quick smoke, lighting up the tobacco, drawing in one long drag after another, dropping the butt to the asphalt, he pulled on his emotional armor, readying himself for the combat about to come. He headed up the stairs two steps at a time. Arriving at Louise’s door, he pounded on it until he heard a movement inside.
From several apartments, neighbors shouted, “Cut the noise.”
The door opened. Louise stared up at the man she’d thought she was going to spend her life with. “What the hell do you want?”
“Okay. We’ll have a church wedding.”