On our way out, I see a sign taped to the wall: Swing dance tonight! “Do you swing?” I ask. Cindy blushes. “I mean, the dancing kind?”
“Oh, yes. That is, I used to, when …”
I sense another mental wound, and rush on. “We could go if you’d like. Mary and I …” Then I’m the one choking up.
She stops under a tree and holds me. “Go ahead and cry.” Her name tag pokes me; she takes it off.
In the clinic parking lot, she stops at a battered RV. “My place.” She opens the door and pulls out a thermos. We turn toward the clinic.
Deputy Miller is in the entrance. He’s looking back and forth between the Andrew Pace flyer taped to the door and me.
I’m on my bike and out the driveway when his first shot crashes out. The birds fall silent, and the world holds its breath. I pull the handlebars, forcing my feet to spin faster. I hear a pickup door slam and its engine start.
I fling body and bike over the ditch, almost fall, and dive down a woody trail. Miller fires three shots into the forest.