One Word: Mercury
The mercury had climbed to nearly 100 today and she wondered why they called it a dry heat. Heat was heat. She had showered and stepped out into the motel room with the water color print of mountains hanging on the wall and the paisley spread on the bed. She pulled on her little black dress and fastened her gold earrings. Checked the mirror and touched up her lipstick. She turned back to the bed, smiling.
He was cute, with his farmer’s tan and sunbleached hair. There was something not quite right about that grin, too much teeth and just a bit of mean. She hated lies and he told two. He said he had money. She looked in his billfold while he was in the bathroom. There was maybe two hundred dollars in there. She had closed it and set it back on the nightstand. He told her he was single. While she was checking out the money situation she spied the picture of a skinny little dark haired girl with a couple of kids peeking around her and staring up at him with sad eyes as he smiled his coyote smile for the camera.
Mama always said once is an accident, twice is a sin.
She couldn’t let it go. He had to atone. She laid the Gideon’s Bible next to him, open to Exodus 20. She emptied the money out of the billfold, and then thought about it and put a hundred back. The little girl sitting at home waiting for it would need it. She grabbed her purse and turned on her iPod, smiling as Tom Petty sang:
“Oh my my, oh hell yes
Honey put on that party dress
Buy me a drink, sing me a song,
Take me as I come cause I cant stay long”
She turned back for one last look and blew him a kiss. He just lay there with the letter opener sticking out of his eye. It wasn’t too late to stop at the bar for one last drink before she splurged on a taxi and she was too wired for sleep.