Sarah heard footsteps approaching. She both heard and felt the driver’s door open. When it slammed shut, the whole trunk shook.
Her adrenaline started flowing. She unzipped her fanny-pack, pulled out her cell phone, and pushed the button. One thirteen.
The engine started and the whole trunk rumbled. She put the phone back in the fanny-pack and took a deep breath that reeked of emergency tire rubber.
She coughed into the inside of her elbow, hoping she hadn’t given herself away.
The car backed out of its space, stopped, turned, and went forward a few feet before turning and speeding up what she assumed was a long aisle. The car turned again, went forward a little bit, and stopped.
The driver’s door opened. The front passenger’s door opened. The car sank down with the weight of two people getting in. Both doors slammed shut. The car lunged forward.
The radio blared on, assaulting her now overly sensitive ears. She recognized Axel Rose’s distinct voice over the thundering guitars but she had never heard the song before.
The car made a quick left, went straight for a few seconds, and made a right turn. It made a few more turns and then sped up noticeably.
She assumed they had just merged onto the freeway. Either that, or he was blind drunk and speeding down the city streets. The sudden blinking of the left turn light caught her off guard and made her squint for a second.
The car sped up even more. She had her arms and legs spread out in an X, trying to disperse the impact of any unexpected shifts as much as possible. Thumping over a large, surprise, pothole bounced her torso an inch off the trunk floor.
She tried to console herself with the thought that it was unlikely she would get rear-ended at this speed, but it wasn’t much of a consolation.
The car stopped. Sarah remembered his house had a security gate at the end of the driveway where it met the street. She imagined that’s where they were, waiting for the gate to roll open from left to right. The car slowly moved forward a few feet, then stopped again.
This time she imagined they were in his driveway, waiting for the garage door to open. Again, the car rolled forward a few feet then stopped. She both assumed and hoped they were in his garage.
The engine was turned off. The radio stopped playing as soon as the doors opened. The car rose up with the weight of two people now gone. The doors slammed shut and shook the whole car.
Sarah heard the garage door opener engine whirl for a few seconds, then stop whirling with the sudden bang of the garage door closing behind her.
She took soft, shallow, breaths as she heard another door get slammed shut. She hoped it was the door from the garage to the house.
Sarah unzipped her fanny-pack and fished out her cell phone. She pushed the side button. One thirty-four. Considering how fast he’d been driving, she wasn’t surprised to see they had made such good time.
She wanted to jump out of the trunk, kick the house door in, knock the assumed thief out with a head-butt that would leave him with a concussion, get the book, and maybe bitch-slap the young woman with questionable morals on the way out.
Alas, no. Sarah would have to wait before she made her move. Patiently. She wondered how far along they would be. Would they be having drinks? Would they be kissing? Or would they actually be having sex?
Sarah had never understood how anyone, man or woman, could have sex with someone they didn’t know very well and care about very much. It wasn’t that she was a virgin. It was that she was selective. Very selective. Extremely selective.
Sex with her was a privilege that could only be earned through repetitious acts of kindness, genuine displays of affection, irrefutable examples of intellect, sprinkles of sincere compliments, and no small number of jokes, funny stories, and good-natured teasing.
“No wonder it’s so hard for me to get laid.”