by Kevin Michaels
Margaret parks in front of the house on Philadelphia Avenue, turns off the Toyota’s engine, and feels that old familiar pain as she remembers the boy who had lived there years earlier. Even now she can recall so much about their time together in vivid detail – hours spent talking about the strength of their love and the way the boy could make her tremble just by rubbing his fingers in gentle patterns above her knee while telling her how much he loved her. But there was that cold winter’s night with their breath hanging in the air, like the words between them, when she misread her heart and through the tears said it was over. They had parked in that same spot on the street in his dirty white Mustang and she told him that she needed something more than he could ever give her; something she still hasn’t found with the man she married. It has been years since the boy moved north, and although she reads his words from time to time in books and magazines, they don’t fill the emptiness left inside or the longing that consumes each day. She is desperate for that kind of loving touch to make her feel alive just once more – alone in her car no one can hear the sobs caught in her throat or see the tears inching down her cheek as she wrestles with a loneliness only she knows.
Kevin Michaels, whose full catalog is here, is the author of two upcoming novels (BOUNCE and STILL BLACK REMAINS). He lives, breathes, and writes at the Jersey Shore.