Headlights by Sean Bronson

Flash Fiction, Picture prompt

It’s bright enough for me to squint my eyes and look away. Two bright headlights. They stay that way, lighting up the whole corridor of mostly closed small restaurants and drinking establishments. My eyes just get used enough to the glare to notice somebody inside the car with, I think, a shaved head and white shirt. For a moment, we both stop, expecting whoever it is to gun the car down the corridor. There’s enough space on both sides. And there’s no reason for a luxury car like that to be at the entrance at a place like this unless they were a small van delivering food supplies. She grabs my arm and moans softly. I laugh, doubting anyone would want to “do” anything to me. I was just a foreigner, not doing anything remotely illicit. Still, exhaust from the vehicle’s carburetor intermittently swirls and dissipates in the wind as if not believing my lies. All that I have told her just earlier has been momentarily forgotten—by the both of us. That I was going to leave Japan and go back to America. It was hard thing to say because we had been living together in a small studio for nine months. She had let me stay at her place because, like a fool, I had used up most of my savings and could not even buy a plane ticket back.  I had somehow secretly scraped up enough money from my begrudging family members and bought a one-way ticket back. The car, finally, as if changing its mind, backed up quickly and went in the opposite direction with a squeak of the tires. “Why didn’t you try to protect me?” she said. “From what?” I said. Who should I have been afraid enough for them to come and take me out? Then, I remembered.