• kiddwadsworth

Ping Pong

In this piece I juxtapose two elements: one happy, another tragic. I want the reader to be tossed back and forth, knowing that these two worlds are about to collide. BTW this is a true story.

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Green never took on as many shades, or the Earth appear as lush, as in the summer of ‘92 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Windows down, radio up, I drove, my newly minted sister-in-law in the seat next to me. I’d been married a blissful eight weeks. We’d eaten lunch at Red Hot Lovers, a delightfully greasy hot dog joint. I had the dregs of my sprite in my cup holder, and she the last of her diet coke in hers.


Slowing, I came to a stop behind a sedan waiting to turn out into traffic.


We jammed to the beat, hands in the air.


Filling the crowded sedan were four Arab men in robes and two women in hijabs. One woman sat in the middle of the front seat, the other in the back on the right.


I drank the last of my sprite.


The sedan driver turned yelling, pointing his finger. The woman in the backseat threw open the door. As she tried to escape, the man beside her, pulled her across his lap. She thrashed against him. The second man in the backseat grabbed her. Her fist hit the back windshield. Her legs pummeled the first man as he reached out and slammed the door shut. The sedan, wheels squealing, sped out into the traffic. A car honked; another swerved.


I clenched the steering wheel, shaking.


As the sedan disappeared around a bend in the road, she whispered, “Did you get the license plate?


“No.”


“The car was white.”


“It’s going east on…” Frantically, I searched for a street sign. “what road is this?”


“I think it was a Chevy? Maybe a BMW?”

Background photo by Brandon Morgan on Unsplash