A Brush With An Alternate End

When I crossed the street was when I saw her. It was her hair that caught my eye. She had just exited the rundown nail salon ran by Vietnamese sisters that was in desperate need of a remodel into this century. She looked at her nails admiringly before she pulled out her phone and snapped a picture of them with her shiny pink iPhone. She was so engrossed with her nails that she didn’t see me gazing at her for longer than I would normally gaze at a girl openly.

Her hair was a gold that shone and sparkled in the sun. It fell midway down her back in waves and swayed as she walked. Most men would probably be focused on her ass as she walked but not me. That hair was mesmerizing. Of course, I glanced at her ass and saw that it was athletic and worthy of a look. But my eyes kept getting drawn back to her hair.

I turned to the window on my left. It was a window to a store filled with antiques that the beach town had collected over the years. While I tried to look interested in costume jewelry draped over red velvet covered armchairs, my peripheral vision strained to see her. She had changed direction and was heading towards me, typing on her phone, oblivious to the world. Her toned legs trailed down out of her maroon skirt as she walked in the sway that caused the river of gold to cascade back and forth.

As she approached the antique store, she looked thoughtfully into the window next to me. She didn’t seem to have a pressing schedule, which was good for me. Her phone was clenched in her right hand. Her nails did look good. There was no ring on her left hand.

She walked to the entrance of the store and tried the door.

“It’ll be open in about 10!”

A man called to her from across the street.

“Alright, thanks!”

Her voice was assertive and had a slight accent that I couldn’t place. It was magical. I wondered what it would sound like when she was scared.

She continued past me and briefly made eye contact as she passed. She looked away rapidly and her demeanor changed. Could she sense me? She quickly ducked into the next shop, a surf shop.

This wouldn’t do.

I looked down at myself. I was dressed adequately for this town full of bums and drugged up hippies. What else could she want?

I walked to my car that had a full view of her chosen hideout store. I would give her time to forget about me, as they always did. The others would briefly recognize me before they fully understood what was happening to them. Maybe girls like her should pay attention to men like me. Maybe they would live.

Fifteen minutes later, my girl had exited the surf shop. She was carrying a wetsuit and had completely forgotten about me as she practically bounced to her car. She got into the vehicle, a blue Jetta, and tossed the wetsuit in the backseat with a nonchalant attitude. She didn’t see me watching as she pulled away.

She didn’t see me pull out after her either. Girls like her are so self centered that they never look around to see the world and how it truly views them. Pretty girls glide through life with no struggles while everyone else scrambles for a gentle smile from them on the streets. I wonder what it must be like to be so free of concern as everything is handed to you.

She pulled into an apartment complex less than three minutes later. The lazy bitch could have walked. I parked close behind her and watched her sway up the steps to her apartment. She glanced down before she went inside and shook her head, tossing the gold back and forth gently.

The door closed.

I turned off my vehicle and got out. I didn’t need a disguise. No one ever remembered me, remember? Peter, the forgotten one. That wasn’t how the Bible put it. My mother would be so ashamed to see how I have soiled my namesake.

I walked up the same steps as she had, but with much less grace, and walked to her doorway. Reaching for the doorknob, I glanced down to see what had caused her to shake her head so gently before she had entered.

It was a pair of children’s shoes.

I couldn’t. Not a mother.

As I walked back down the stairs, I heard her singing happily.

“Come on, baby, don’t fear the reaper…and she ran to him…”