Short Story
                                          The First Time
                                                                  By William Clarke


  “You’re sure no one saw you?”

  “I think so.”

  “Yes or no.”

  “Yes.”

  “Don’t say it just to say it.”

  “I didn’t see anyone, so no one probably saw me.  And I went the way you told me” she added.

  “Was Mrs. O’Reilly home?”

  “Who?”

  This shouldn’t be the hard part.  “The green house, two houses down.  Was she out gardening?”

  “You shoulda said the fat lady” she giggled.  “No, she wasn’t.”

  “Did you see her in the window?”

  “Huh?”

  This was like pulling teeth.  “Was she watching from her window?”

  “Oh, no, I don’t think so, I didn’t look in or anything.”

  “Alright.” Not one hundred percent but this wasn’t a test, it wasn’t possible to get hundred percent.  
Avoiding contact was a good start.

  “You did the shirt right?”

  “Yeah, see, I’m wearing it, you like right” she said pulling her striped shirt out.

  “It’s nice, what had you been wearing?”

  “It wasn’t that bad of a shirt, I like that shirt, it’s really cute, I don’t see why you don’t like it.”

  “So when you changed, no one saw you, right?”

  “Now who’s the scared one” she teased.  He returned her grin.  A good line, maybe he’d use it in a few
minutes or so.

  “Lay down.”

  “I know how to do it.  You don’t have to always order me around.”  He said nothing.  She either would or
she wouldn’t.

  “No, not there, here.”

  “But that’s all sticky.”

  “What?”

  “Isn’t it sticky.”

  He ran his hands up and down the plastic.  “No.”

  “Oh, my brother had something like that, and that was sticky.”  She sat up and inched over, “You’re sure it’
s not sticky.”

  He rubbed his hands on it and then out.  She examined his hands and giggled.  “Your fingernails are
dirty.”  His head started to hurt, she lay down on the plastic, he exhaled.

  He knelt down by her.  He started at the neck, tracing down her stupid striped shirt.  A nice line from her
neck down in between her ribcage, the shirt ended and he lazily spun the knife around her bellybutton.  She
giggled, “It’s so cold.”

  Laughing at him, questioning him, never listening to him. He pressed the knife down harder, she winced,
no blood.

  Yet.  She didn’t mind this game.  Would she mind what happened next.  Probably, who knew?  Over to
his right, a notebook and pencil.  It was important to write down everything that happened.

                                                                                  #

  “Jonathon, Jonathon, it’s me” Christine called out.  Working on a Saturday was bad enough but losing
the Paulson file, no wait, not the file, just the expense reports.  Thank god she kept backups though would
that get brought up?  And had she lost the files?  She took a breath, these few minutes away were hers
and only hers.  “Sweetie, I just forgot something, I’ve got to go back to work.  Jonathon?”

  Feet stomped up the stairs from the basement, she moved to the kitchen to greet him.  A few minutes,
Dan Young could understand.  Well actually he wouldn’t but she had made good time getting over here and
whether she was back in twenty minutes or twenty minutes and thirty seconds he was still going to be an
incompetent asshole.  Jonathon came up and she smiled.        

  “Sorry honey, I can’t stay for lunch, I just had to get something.”

  “Okay.”

  “Have you eaten already?”

  “Some spaghetti.”

  “If you want to head to Frosty’s I have some…”

  “No, I’m good.”

  “Honey I’m sorry.  You know, we lost Susan and we’re behind and, oh geeze, you don’t need to hear this.  
Tell you what, Saturday, no, Sunday, Sunday we’ll go out, you pick the restaurant okay?”

  “Sure.”

  “So what’ve you been doing?”

  “Not much.”

  “Anything interesting?”  

  “No.”

  She leaned in and kissed him on the forehead.  He grimaced, and wiped it off.  She laughed.  Moody,
five word sentences at the most, embarrassed by physical contact, yup, she was getting a teenager soon
enough.  “Alright, I’m off, be good.”
About William Clarke

Will Clarke, thirty two, lives
in Ypsilanti.  When not
working retail he writes,
reads, runs, drinks with
friends and takes his dog
Pepper for walks.
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