The Getaway CarBy: Leddy Harper
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. No—I refused to believe it. It couldn’t be true, because that would mean Maggie hadn’t been honest with me. Not that I’d been completely straightforward with her, either, but at least I hadn’t taken advantage of her and left her with nothing. Which was exactly what she’d done to me—left me emptyhanded.
Sitting in the back corner of the dimly lit motel bar, I stared over the tabletop at an empty, cracked, red-patent leather bench and tried to understand how I could’ve possibly missed the signs. How she could’ve done this. And more importantly, how I never saw it coming.
I pictured her hooded, sapphire eyes, wondering if they had mesmerized me, obscured the ugly truth that lived within her. Then I recalled how they’d transformed into a hypnotic, powder-blue color when she laughed, and how they squinted more than normal when she smiled. If it wasn’t her eyes that had cast a spell on me, then it was the prominent Cupid’s bow in her top lip, the deep V that came to two sharp points before sloping down on both sides and settling into the corners. Glossy, bare, colored…it didn’t matter. Her mouth had a way of stealing my attention…and every thought from my head.
The one part of her that didn’t scream angelic innocence were her eyebrows. They were perfectly arched, radiating deviousness, like she was up to no good. When she looked at me, sadness filling her eyes, they’d begged for safety. Safety I thought I could provide. When she was excited, they rose high on her forehead as if in celebration. Although, they were the most telling when she slept. Sometimes, they’d knit together, protecting her from whatever nightmare played in her mind. And other times, such as when she was asleep in my arms, they were relaxed, almost smiling.
That’s what gutted me most. How even then, while asleep, she’d managed to fool me.
Maggie was like a shot of heroin—offering the promise of better things, yet full of lies.
Not only was she addictive, I would’ve done anything for her. Anything. It’d taken one taste and I was hooked. In two days, she’d become my drug of choice and turned me into a junkie. And now, as I stared at an empty seat, alone and betrayed, I understood what addicts must’ve felt like when they woke up and realized their stash was gone.
I was so pissed I could’ve punched a wall. In fact, I had to fist my trembling hands under the table to keep from following through with those overwhelming desires. My brows were pulled so tightly together that my forehead ached, and I clenched my jaw with enough force I could’ve broken a molar. In the last two days, Maggie had saved me from this all-consuming, fiery rage. And now…she was the cause of it.
No matter how ticked I was, a large part of me was desperate to find out why. Why she did this to me. Why she’d leave tonight of all nights. Why she didn’t feel like she could be honest when all I’d done was show her support—regardless of what I had learned about her. The answers wouldn’t make it right, but at least I’d stop questioning every aspect of our time together. Right now, I’d make a deal with the devil just to hear her explanation—no matter what she had to say or how it’d make me feel.
Sitting idle only ensured she’d get even farther away. I should’ve jumped up and gone after her the moment I noticed my keys and phone were no longer on the table. Except I couldn’t move. At first, I worried if she was okay. Then the reality of the situation hit me, and apprehension set in. She’d stolen my car, my phone, and left me with nothing other than a motel room and a nearly empty wallet. And thanks to her, I was in an unfamiliar town with no way to get home. My hands shook the longer I stayed seated, and I had no idea what to do next.
I had so many thoughts, fears, and questions running through my mind at lightning speed that my head pounded. My shoulders were stiff, and my forearms burned from the tightly coiled muscles. Mindlessly, I’d bounced my knees so much that my thighs were on fire, as if I’d just run a marathon. And my palms stung from the edges of my nails digging into the flesh of my balled, hard fists.