She watched him greet his guest at the airport. Some business thing or other, she supposed. This wasn’t the time or the place, after all. Her hand caressed the gun in her pocket and she waited for them to go by, the woman by his side pulling a wheeled carry-on with a portfolio carefully balanced atop it.

She followed them all day. He took the woman back to her hotel and waited briefly in the lobby for her to return. Then they went across the street to the team shop in the Arena where his guest bought a jersey.

She stayed carefully back as they visited what was left of the old Forum and looked at team memorabilia. Hmm. Someone who loves the sport as much as he does. I wonder …

In late afternoon, they found a restaurant not far from the arena. Must have flown in for the game. But to come all that way? How does she know him?

Finally, she stood in the doorway of an office building nearby and watched and waited as they went to the game, glancing at her watch. The last couple of years had taught her patience, where he was concerned. This is worth waiting for. I can wait forever.

Gradually, the city’s lights rose. She huddled in the shadows, and was finally rewarded as people exited the arena, rejoicing in a hometown win. He’ll be so happy. A pity. I’d rather he’d been disappointed. Like me.

There! The two of them crossed the street together, holding hands like children, laughing, talking of the game they had just seen. Did you see that? That was a play to remember! He smiled at her. The watcher was furious. He SMILED! At HER! Goaded into action, she darted from her hiding place, pulling the gun out and pointing it at him.

They gaped at her, frozen in bewilderment. “What?” was all he had the time to say before she fired. But the woman with him pulled him aside and spun in front of where he’d been. She staggered and fell, and he caught her in shock. “Allie? Allie? My God, what?”

For a moment, she was furious. All that planning. All this time. And that bitch ruined it — then she really saw him, saw the pain on his face as his friend died in his arms. And she began to laugh.

“This is so fitting. I wanted to kill you, but this will hurt more. Hurt that someone else died for you.”

“Who ARE you? I don’t even know you!” He rocked the dead woman back and forth as if he could revive her, comfort her.

An ugly snarl disfigured her face. “You don’t know me? Every day for two years you walked by and I said hello and YOU NEVER SAW? YOU NEVER SAW!” She raised the gun and put it to her head. “Now there’ll be two people who died because of you.”

As people came running, including two police officers, she pulled the trigger and the gun clicked on an empty cylinder. Puzzled, at a loss to understand, she looked back and forth between the empty gun and the approaching officers. What? What? What did I do wrong?

The police wrestled her to the ground. What did I do wrong? One of the cops took the gun and looked at it.

“She was trying to kill herself, she said.” He came up behind them, face hard and set.

“Well, I guess she didn’t know she had a gun with a hair-trigger. She emptied it all at once.”

“Into Allie.”

“Yes.” The officer had the grace to look abashed. “But she’ll stand trial for it. She won’t get to choose her own way out.”

“Good.” He spun away, angry, and wiped the tears from his face. “To use her own word, that’s fitting.”

One thought on “Fitting

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