The sound of metal scraping on metal made Gloria stomp on the brake and yank her head around. The front bumper of her red Corolla was firmly pressed against the powder blue door of the neighboring car. Crap! Shifting into drive she pulled forward again into the parking spot and eyed the damage to the small, two door beside her.
It looked like an older model with some rust along the bottom of the doors. Without much straining she could see a crack running the full length of the windshield. The scrape she had made was a freshly gleaming, silver, eye-sore in the early morning sun.
If a tree falls in the the woods and there is no one to hear it…
If a woman scrapes a car in a parking lot and there is no one to see it…
No heads bobbed along the lanes or stared at her from the seats of the surrounding vehicles. From the looks of things, she was alone in the parking lot. She could just leave if she wanted to. She could back out and drive away, pretend she didn’t know a thing about it.
Judging her from the passenger seat was her two grocery bags, free range eggs and whole wheat bread in one and a few organic, produce items in the other. The earlier debate she’d had with herself over whether she should just eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast or go to the grocery store seemed a long way in the past right then.
The sound of a door opening beside her jerked her head upright. Heart pounding, she turned to look, catching the sight in her sideview, of a man loading the trunk of the blue car. Now or never.
Opening the door she swung her feet out and tried to stand. Her arms flailed forward for a second as she swung like an infant against the seat belt. Feeling idiotic, she pulled herself back inside and released the belt. Free of all restraint, she exited the car, impulsively sliding her purse straps over her shoulder. It was only three steps to the trunk and she was beside the man.
Then she was past him!
Calmly she walked back into the store and bought a block of butter, chatting casually with the same clerk that had rang up her previous purchases. She even stopped to buy a lottery ticket from the vending machine.
Back in the parking lot, the spot beside her Corolla was empty.