Over on MySpace, a friend posted a picture of herself in a mug shot and asked people to submit a story that began with, "So, I was sitting outside of 7/11…" and ended up with her arrested. This was my entry.
So there I was, sitting outside 7/11, waiting for the good-looking college kid to finish his shift. Yeah, I was twenty-nine and married, but every woman can use a young piece of meat on the side.
So midnight finally arrived, and the night-shift guy walked in the front door, but the cute college kid didn’t walk out. After a few minutes I figured out he might have used a back door, so I drove around the building. There he was, crouched behind a dumpster.
When the headlights hit him, the kid broke into a run. On impulse, I jumped out of my car and followed him. There was something in his hand, some kind of shiny metal object. Probably drugs; it was always drugs. The kid wasn’t much of an athlete, and I’d been a competitive swimmer in college, so I caught him quickly. We stopped on a deserted farm road behind the 7/11. He smelled electric, like adrenaline. His brown hair was a mess and his skin was silvery in the moonlight.
“What do you want?” he asked.
“You,” I told him. Sure, it was forward, but a shy kid like this was never going to ask.
He didn’t say anything, but his eyes widened, and I guessed that he’d never been with a woman. This close he looked younger than I remembered.
“What year were you born?” I asked him. I learned that trick from working in a liquor store…if you ask the year it’s more difficult to lie.
That made him nineteen, a relief. So he wasn’t jail bait.
“What’s in your hand?”
He looked away from me, slyly, side-to-side, like someone in a movie might. Then he opened his hand and help up the shiny object for me to see. It was some kind of lightweight foil, wrapped loosely around a bunch of fine wires.
“What is it?” I asked again.
“You’ll laugh if I tell you.”
“If you tell me,” I said to him, nodding toward the car, “I’ll make you a very happy man.”
“It’s supposed to be a time machine. I’m going to be a physics major, and I had this idea the other day, about how simple everything is. How we’re all connected. I thought…well, it’s supposed to be powered by human emotions.”
I wanted to laugh, but I didn’t. Instead I pushed him in the direction of the car. “You’re such a cute kid.”
He was shaking as I undressed him. His hands never stopped clutching that bundle of wires and foil. The night was humid, and the windows fogged over quickly. Seeing the joy on that kid’s face recalled my own teenage years, when sex was a strange and wondrous new discovery. It was wrong, doing this as a married woman, but in the climactic moment, as I imagined light flickering all around us, nothing could have been more right.
We dozed for a while afterwards. I dreamt of my college days, when I had thought myself a rebel, when I had more fun than a girl should be allowed to have.
Then a sharp knock on the window startled me awake. Through the silvery window I could see the vague shape of a man. A police officer.
“Step out of the car, ma’am.”
A million things ran through my mind as the cop watched me get dressed, as the kid pulled on his own clothes. He looked smaller to me now, younger, and I felt guilty for having taking advantage of him.
The cop asked for my driver’s license, and then looked over at the kid.
“Lewis, I guess it was your lucky day today.”
The kid stared at the ground and didn’t say a thing.
“Ms. Blank,” the officer said. “I’m placing you under arrest for having sex with a minor. Would you like to hear your rights?”
“What? He’s nineteen years old.”
“Ma’am, this young man is my neighbor’s son. He’s a sophomore in high school.”
“But he said he was born in 1987! Why would he lie?”
“I think,” the officer said, “that you could use another trip to high school yourself. Being that it’s 2003 and all, the math works out for me.”
Unreality washed over me, and my instinct was to lash out at the cop for his sarcasm. But then I looked again at the kid, who indeed appeared smaller and younger than he had last night. In his hand he was still clutching that bundle of foil.
Yeah, so maybe I went to jail that night, and I’m probably going to do some time. But somehow that’s okay with me, now that I know there is magic in the world.