by Rikki Payne
Perhaps it was the blankness that woke her. In the second before she opened her eyes, she felt the warm confidence of her bed and the anticipation of waking up to the face she loved most. Heavy eyelids rose with a sleepy smile and drank in shock to the rest of her body. A billboard greeted her through glass. Where, when, why, were all she could think, desperately, with less words than waves of feeling. Disjointed facts came to her one by one. She was in her car, alone. She left the concert before it started, and didn’t want to miss it. I’d better get back inside. Looking around, she felt dread creep up. No cars in the parking lot. She grabbed her phone for the time, squeezed the button on the side. 4:24 AM. Her heart morphed into lead and sank through her stomach. How? I missed the whole thing... Shawn, where are you? She opened her phone to call him, and realized he didn’t bring his tonight.