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It took lots of fast talking, but I finally convinced Ryan that I wasn’t from any sort of government office or police bureau and he quit pointing the gun at me. He still stood
there staring at me while barely making more than grunting sounds as I quickly and embarrassingly explained what I was doing there.
“So, you’re telling me that we dated?”
“We did.” I forced myself to smile as I answered.
He looked me over from head to toe a few times before completely lowering the gun asking, “Did you have my kid?”
“What? NO, I didn’t….I mean we didn’t…no, just…no…” I stopped myself from saying too much
because of the fear of having him point his gun at me again.
“Well, what brings you out here then?” Ryan stared at me like he still wasn’t sure I was who I was saying I was.
“Umm, well…” I looked around at the nothing that surrounded us. “Would you believe that I was just in the neighborhood?” I tried to smile at my own joke, but wasn’t successful.
Ryan relaxed as he took a step back and swung the rifle over his shoulder, “Well, I guess you better get inside then.”
Scared, I took a step back toward my rental and put my hands up to wave off the idea of going inside. “Oh no, that’s OK. I just wanted to see you and say hey. And, well, now I’ve seen you, so…you know…hey.”
I forced myself to smile, but Ryan’s expression remained skeptical. “I better get back on the road now. It was nice seeing you. Take care.”
I kept my eyes on Ryan and his rifle as I took small backward steps toward my car. Ryan took a step forward and I froze as he shifted the gun.
“I guess, you didn’t hear me. I said you better get inside. I’m expecting company and it won’t do for them to see you standing out here.”
Once again, I looked around at the nothingness that surrounded us and wondered where this “company” was coming from. I looked back at Ryan and he stepped aside and used his rifle to motion toward the door of the gas station. Every cell in my body was screaming for me to run, but my feet walked toward Ryan and into the gas station.