shot down

James looked upset. “Della, how can you say that?” Della’s hands began crinkling the paper bag closed, into a ball. “Della, I love you!” James repeated. Della continued crinkling the paper into a tighter wad, as if to drown out the moment. “I think you better leave,” she said, handing the bag back to him. She unconsciously ran a hand through her hair, blushing. “Bye James.”

The door closed and James stood on the porch, speechless. He stared into Della’s eye—although the blinds we’re closed, one small hole was darkened. No doubt she is waiting like some caged animal for me to leave quietly, James thought. He turned around and began walking down the steps and quickly turned around again, examining the blinds. She was gone, made clear by neat rows of holes down them, the sun shining seamlessly through each.

“Home from work early?” Miranda asked, walking her schnauzer. She flipped her short red hair back, smiling at James. “Who are you?” He asked.

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