On the third date, for the light to shine, we first need to be broken.
Writing by Kayleigh Kitt
Art by David Bartus
On The Third Date
This was not what I’d expected when he’d invited me for a walk and picnic.
The first couple of dates had been filled with us periodically sneaking honeyed glances. The third, right now, he was alert, and I commanded his full attention. Our conversation stilled, as the razor-tipped rain arrived, stinging our faces, as we limped across the boggy ground, sucking at our boots, attempting to claim a prize. Neither of us spoke, although we reached out to each other, in silent companionship, an anecdote to later be remembered. The lips of the wind ripped the moment away, as we slunk further into separate coats and thoughts.
We reached the car; the locks releasing as we gratefully slid onto seats, discharging backpacks onto the floor pan, shrugging away jackets. Brushing wet-plastered hair from my face, Gary leaned in for a kiss before cracking the windows and flicking on the heater. Twisting in the seat, my leg caught the glove compartment, and it flopped completely open, round-mouthed, terror pressing my spine painfully into the door.
“Why is there a handgun in the glove box, Gary?”
My voice no longer belonged to its owner. He thoughtfully scrutinised me, slowly removing his glasses to polish them.
“They sent me because I don’t exist.”
He had this look in his eyes that made me wonder just how many people he’d killed. His
lazy hint of a smile said he’d probably lost count.
“Is it loaded?” I demanded, squeakily.
There was nowhere to run.
He had a handgun.
Running would make a target.
He had a handgun.
Although I probably had the mettle to run….he had a handgun.
Gary put the spectacles away in a side pocket, replacing them with a folded piece of paper in
his outstretched hand. There was a faint hum way off in the distance.
He thrust me the folded sheet – “You went to receive the results of your blood tests this morning, but the doctor told you they were classified.”
“How do you know that?”
My taut voice punctured the fuggy vehicle interior. Gary’s eyes skipped away, the thrum of whirring blades in the background suddenly seemed less so, as they got closer.
“Do you trust me?”
“No,” I whispered.
“Good. That’s what’ll keep you alive.”
He gestured towards my seatbelt, putting the vehicle into four-wheeled drive, letting it slip unseen off the road and into the woods.
About The Author
Kayleigh Kitt lives in South Shropshire, UK with her husband and a disgracefully ageing tabby cat. She started writing in the pandemic and found that it was delightfully addictive and hasn’t stopped since. She’s had work published in Flash Fiction North, Bangor Literary Journal and the Meditating Cat Zine.