The Last Time Anybody Saw Lydia

When I woke up, all I wanted was a cigarette. But I knew what would happen if Stella caught me smoking, even on the porch – she’d probably shoot me if she realized I’d been cheating on her “S” diet all along. The “S” diet. No smokes, no sex, no sugar.

I’d considered shooting myself.

So I was sitting outside fiending a cigarette, holding on to my coffee mug to keep my hands from freezing in the sub-zero weather, when I saw Lydia drive by in her cherry-red pickup truck.

It wouldn’t even have been all that remarkable, except that was the last time I saw Lydia, and maybe even the last time anybody saw Lydia. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with the image of her eyes burned into my vision -these haunting rounds of pale blue.

Deep. Sad.

I remember that she was wearing her white sweater, and I remember that she was crying, mascara running down her face in inky black lines.

Our eyes connected that day and I felt chills crawl up my back, and it wasn’t because of the cold.

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