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She leaned against my back, laughing, “She’s perfect. And this…this is Nebraska?” “We’re in Omaha.” “How far do we drive today?” “Maybe we should just watch this all day,” I said, squeezing the dimple above her knee as the woman took one step forward, one step back, the hoop never faltering. “Get ourselves some beer and a bottle. Have a little vacation.” Jenny smiled into the hush of morning like she could–melancholy and joyful. I loved that smile, and I loved her, and I wished so much we could hold right there, never have anything but what this moment asked of us. “You should paint this,” I said, as the hula-hooper spun a slow circle, an oblong oval of sweat widening between her breasts, coloring the halter top the deep gray of wet cement. Jenny made a camera with her hands. “Click.” “It’s only a few hour’s drive, but tomorrow might be a better day for it.” “Um,” Jenny said, standing up straight, tension filling her skin as she leaned toward the window. “Um. Where did you park the U-Haul?” “Just over there,” I said, pointing toward the corner of the lot where our U-Haul no longer was. A gull hovered above a small dark wad of garbage. An old couple in matching sweat-suits rolled suitcases toward a maroon sedan. The hula-hoop looped and looped. “Oh,” I said, thinking in that deeply wishful, instinctual manner that I had simply been remembering wrong, and that our U-Haul was parked in the lot’s opposite corner. Not so. Or, perhaps someone–the Pakistani manager of Good Knights Inn?–had needed it moved in the middle of the night? Also not so. * Jenny was dressed and out the door before I could get my own shirt on, running barefoot to that blank parking spot and FICTION | 25


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