C18: Memory Lane

A forbidden suburban street. Forbidden for where it led: down memory lane.

Turning into the nicer part of town to Anja felt like Little Red Riding Hood skipping downtown after dark. The sinking feeling that she was driving herself deeper into trouble remained subtle until she turned left just past the wooden fence before the stoplight. She continued all the way down to the stop sign.

“What am I doing? What am I doing?”

Anja gripped the steering wheel for barring. If she didn’t look up, she wouldn’t know where she had driven to. She wouldn’t realize how close she was to him. The panic writhing in her gut wouldn’t surface, and she could remain entirely in control of herself.

“What am I doing? Why am I afraid?”

Anja raised her eyes to the windshield. She glanced to the left. Right down there, through the side streets, was Sal’s old burger job. The silver car flashed before Anja’s eyes. Sal getting out of the driver’s seat. Jennifer getting out of the passenger’s. Stung by betrayal, Anja’s eyes wet instantly. She looked back to her steering wheel.

“I can’t. I can’t. I can’t do this.”

BEEP! BEEP!

A horn blasted behind her.

“Oh. Sorry.”

Anja released off the brake, rolled into the street and turned right. She swung left on the next street and crept down a side road between two white houses. She steered into the empty
lot behind one of the white houses and parked her car.

“Just gotta turn around. I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to do this.”

Anja took deep breaths in and exhaled them through tight lips. Her hands vibrated on the steering wheel no matter how hard she gripped for control.

“Come on! Just go dammit. Come on.”

She sobbed and threw herself back in her seat. “I don’t want to see him. I don’t have to.”

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