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30th June
2011
posted by amber

Jonah To the Rescue

I’d recognized Jessie’s car in the lot beside the restaurant just down from the bar where I’d been going to meet my buddies. No, I’m not stalking her. I might go down her street when I’m heading out on my daily walk – it’s the street with the best access to the trail I like to use. I’ve seen her car outside her house. Don’t ask me how I know which house is hers.

I know, I know. She rejected me thoroughly the moment she saw my wheelchair, so why should I even give her a second thought? That was pretty cold, as the guys tell me way too often, when they aren’t urging me to keep trying to get her to date me because she’s ‘hot.’

It’s not that she’s hot, even though she is. It’s like she symbolizes something for me – that if I can get a girl like her to look at me twice, my life isn’t as f***ed as I thought it was, after the accident.  And, besides, the way she’s inspired me to get out of my funk, start exercising, start making plans, makes it worthwhile, even if she never agrees to go on a date with me. At least, I tell myself this, while fantasizing about ways to impress her.

When I rolled out of the bar an hour later, it was as if one of my fantasies had come true. My house is in the other direction, but I went past the restaurant just to see if she was still there, see if maybe I could get a glimpse of her face through the window. Instead, I heard angry voices coming from the parking lot and saw a man pushing a woman against a car. Against Jessie’s car.

I didn’t think twice. I got across the lot as fast as I could and bowled into the guy. Hit him in the back of the knees so that he fell against me. I had him in a headlock before he knew what hit him. Was it a fair fight? No, but I couldn’t exactly give him the opportunity to see that he was about to be tackled by a cripple, could I?

That’s when I started to wonder if I’d misread the situation. Maybe Jessie liked this creep. “Was he bothering you?” I asked, as he struggled in my grip.

“Yes,” she said, to my relief, and she grabbed him by the collar. “Steven, leave me alone. I am not and will never be your girlfriend. If you continue to harass me, I’ll get a restraining order. Do you understand?”

This last question came with a sharp shake, and the guy stuttered, “Yes. Okay.” She let him go and so did I, but I glared at him until he stumbled back onto the street.

Now what?

“I guess you’re my hero,” Jessie said, in a very un-thrilled tone. Not at all the way I’d imagined it. But she did ask if I wanted a ride home.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

The Jessie and Jonah stories are published every Thursday.

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