Vacancy: xii

“At happy hour, I convinced you to meet me at the Galaxy motel. I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal. My girl and I were on the outs. You playfully mentioned you were…discreet.” Chas hesitated. I didn’t recall ever having described myself as such.

“I didn’t know you were…not really there,” he continued. “Which totally sucks, because damn…” He brought his hand up and rubbed his chin. “I thought we had fun.” He flashed a white smile at me and I was struck by the memory of shitty bed springs.

Bed bugs, I thought. They must have been pretty voracious.

“But if I had known…I wouldn’t have, um, taken advantage,” he admitted.

“Well I’ll let it pass…this time, if you quit delaying and get on with it. What happened next?”

She found us. I didn’t know she had started tracking my phone…” Chas’s smile was gone. He was very serious as he spoke in a low voice. I didn’t think anyone was close enough to overhear, but his paranoia was starting to make me anxious. Every cell in my body was tense. The carefree baby in my lap flapped his arms in oblivious joy.

“What happened?” I asked again, in a whisper this time. My eyes darted around the park to see if anyone was by chance watching us.

“She was shouting and banging on the door. It was the fastest I’ve ever gotten dressed in my life, but I had to get her to stop before someone called the cops. As soon as I opened the door she rushed in and was chewing me out. You tried to slip out the door unnoticed,” Chas paused. He caught my eye and stared at me. “You really don’t remember anything?”

<<Part xi                Beginning                Part xiii>>


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