In hindsight, the solution was obvious. They had sat there for nearly half an hour, staring up at the stars. She'd tried to figure out why he was so quiet. He'd picked her up at 7, right on time, survived her dad's "look of death", and taken her out on the river in his boat. Now, sitting on the little sandbar, the remains of their picnic sitting in the basket beside him, he'd gone silent. She wondered if she'd said something wrong, something that made him regret ever asking her out in the first place. Or perhaps he was bored;...
Six minutes. You wouldn't think it a long enough span of time to affect anything. Anyone.
It's time enough and more to change your life. My life.
We were given six minutes. The span between one time slot and the next.
Six minutes to explain.
Six minutes to speak.
And I couldn't. There was nothing I could say to erase what I did.
I kissed her.
And this time she melted into my arms.
Wrapped hers around my neck.
And for six minutes it was perfect.
Until the buzzer rang. And someone rapped on the...
Marilyn's breath felt thick, like syrup in her throat and coating her tongue, she'd run so far already, and she didn't care that she could barely breathe as a result of it. The alley was empty, the pavement clattering hollowly under her soft sandals, and the sweat coating her palm loosened at the string of the balloon she held until it slipped and ascended, quickly snagging against a fire escape and popping.
Marilyn laughed, stopped running and stared up at the remainings of the balloon, the silver string winking in a dart of sunlight, the torn rubber fragments dangling from...