Saturday 24 June 2023

'A Therapeutic Lie' by Katy Goforth

The Chili’s sign lights up the inside of the car, bathing me in red. Stevie Nicks croons about a girl named Rhiannon as the rain slides down my windshield. I barely let my foot off the brake in the hope of triggering the stoplight to change.

A motion from the left catches my eye. Expecting to see an angry face, I turn my eyes but not my head. Staring directly is an aggressive move.

It’s a woman. Silver hair, soft smile, and hands motioning for me to roll down the window. I oblige.

The wet from the rain coupled with the cold and the smell of seared meat slaps me in the face. The woman grips the side of her passenger window and rests her chin between her hands, a slip of silver hair falling across one eye.

“I found you, Linda.”

I smile politely, although I’m confused. I do not know her. I am not Linda.

The back passenger window rolls down. A woman mouths something to me. I can’t make it out. I lean closer and make out the words she and thinks and daughter, as she twirls her index finger around her temple. My brain hasn’t caught up to the scene unfolding at the stoplight.

“She’s looking for her daughter,” the woman shout whispers from the backseat.

I nod, understanding at once.

The light changes to green. I wave at the silver-haired woman.

“You did find me. I’m glad.”



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