Flumes Vol. 5: Issue 1, Summer 2020 - Page 69

59

Whiskey Lights

By B. Domino

Jamie peeled and picked at her nail polish while she and Al sat in the courtroom. When he finished his remarks, she swept the pile of blackish-purple flakes from her lap, under her chair where he wouldn’t see. The guard had Jamie unzip her boot to activate her new ankle monitor with some sort of scanning device, and when the Judge excused them, the boot flapped behind her as they walked to the car. Al gripped the steering wheel even though he hadn’t started the car yet. He hadn’t looked at her once in the last hour.

“No jail time. That’s good,” she said.

“You’re welcome.”

She had to make him smile. That was the trick. A landed joke always loosened him up. He just got stiff when he dipped into the legal world, but if she could get him to chill, she could kill off the silence.

“Babe, that judge had such a stick up his ass. I mean damn,” she said.

“Yeah, he was really irrational about a DWI. What a dick.”

“I didn’t mean to—"

“You never mean, Jamie. You didn’t mean to crack jokes, you didn’t mean to make light of blowing a 1.4 and driving ninety miles an hour. You didn’t mean to disrespect the judge that could have—excuse me, should have handed your ass to you. But you did.”

Al started the car. As he sped past their exit off I40, she tried her best to stay quiet. When he got off on the Paseo exit, two miles up the interstate, she panicked.

“Al, what are you doing?”

“Taking you to Savana’s.”

“You’re kicking me out?”

He reached into the back seat without looking and tossed a duffle bag into her lap. She unzipped it. He had packed her things. He had to have packed everything before they left for court that morning. He had planned for this.

As they pulled up to the apartment complex, Jamie could see Savana waiting for them outside. Her curly hair flowed in the breeze along with the satin robe she wore. She didn’t step off the concrete to meet the car. Jamie’s throat burned.

“Remember to do everything the court said. It’s all written down.” He handed her his yellow legal pad. “I made a list on the last page for you.”

Jamie nodded.

“If you miss anything, you’ll go to jail. Okay?”

She nodded again.