HBTE Part 15

“No one is dangerous to anyone else unless the endangered person wishes to encounter danger,” she said, sipping her own root beer slowly and looking him in the eye, but without any intended provocation.

“And suppose I do?”

“Then I recommend bungee jumping or demolition derbies.”

“What if that is not the form of danger I wish to encounter?” He swirled his root beer in the glass as if he were swirling wine.

Cute, she thought. “Have you ever considered chasing thunderstorms or tornadoes?”

“Why do you wish me to die?” he asked. “The world needs happy, able, full-bodied men like me.”

“So lots of women can fawn over you?”

“At least you noticed,” he said, permitting himself a small grin.

“It would have been difficult not to.”

“That’s one of the things they said about you,” he said.

“Who and which things?”


“Oh, really? Checking me out?”

“Guilty. And unabashedly so.”

“Hmm,” she said. “Well, you can gab. And you don’t gush.”

“You are awarding me points for that?” he said.

“For that, and the fact that you seem amused.”

“Does that gain me enough points to leave with you?”

“Depends on where you think we’re going when we leave.”

“I know where I want to go,” he said.

If he says “into your bed,” he’s so out of here, she thought. “And that is?”

“I want to walk near the lake with you.”

“Oh,” she said, and like Molly Bloom in Ulysses, she said, “oh,” again.

“Am I to take that as a yes?” he said, sipping his root beer, then setting it down.

“I suppose,” she said, taking a last sip of root beer and setting her glass down not far from his.


About franniez

Author of FatLand: A Novel and editor/author of Fat Poets Speak: Voices of the Fat Poets' Society, along with Kathy Barron, Anne Caplan, Corinna Makris and Lesleigh Owen.
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