ARDOR Literary Magazine

ARDOR Literary Magazine - Issue One, Jan. 2013

Issue One, Published January 2013

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Page 24 of 73

lying in the clean white sheets of the master bedroom, a high-ceilinged room with wooden beams, our skin sticking together but neither of us minding it. Jenny had come up with the idea to say a number out loud at the same time, any number between one and 10,000, to see if we'd match. I still don't quite believe what happened, though I was there in flesh and blood, and I blush even now with the absurdity of telling it: honest to God, we said the same number. I haven't forgotten it. Won't ever. And so that's why the look Jenny gave me then in the car hurt so much and has, like that number, stayed with me. Go to hell, it said. But also: knowing you has been a mistake. This is your fault. The driver's seat had a cover made of wooden beads. It left marble-sized imprints on the backs of my legs. Plus the sun was fierce and with the windows open and no air conditioning, our elbows were exposed and got sunburned so terribly our skin gave off heat in waves. I drove the 230 miles to Texarkana. I wanted to find another campground, or maybe just pitch our sleeping bags somewhere off the side of the highway, but Jenny wouldn't have it. "I'm staying in a hotel," she said. "It'd be too much," I said. We crossed into Texas without realizing it, the border between the two states just an intersection with a traffic light, Mexican restaurants and Mobil stations on either side, then drove back into Arkansas because I could have sworn we'd passed a sign for camping. "I'm not kidding you," she said. "A place with air conditioning and a pool." I turned the car around again, crossing back into Texas. "We'll get take-out from one of these

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