Far Horizons: Tales of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror. Issue #13 April 2015 - Page 35

My eyes snapped open. “Stop, Janet.” her machine. I left several messages, but she didn’t call me back. I stopped by her apartment, but she was either not home or pretending not to be. Janet frowned. “What’s the matter, lover? Did I do something wrong?” I ran into her roommate on Monday. She gasped and pointed at my crutches. “What happened to you?” “No, it’s not that. I love you. I’m flattered that a woman with a body as astonishingly beautiful as yours would offer herself to me. But I can’t cross this line. Not right now. I smiled. “It’s a long story. The short version is that I missed a stair and sprained my ankle. Can I talk to you about Janet?” reached up to remove her helmet. Janet began to cry. “I want you, Wayne! I can see that you want me. I’m giving myself to you! Why won’t you take me?” “I can’t have you, not now. The timing is all wrong. I wish I could explain why, but I can’t.” “You don’t love me.” I stroked her hair. “There’s no one on Earth I love more than you. I just can’t go through with this right now. I have to go. Can I have my crutches back, please?” “I could hold them hostage, you know. I could keep them until you give me what I want.” “Would that make you happy?” “No.” Janet got up, put her blouse back on, and retrieved my crutches. “You would hate me.” “What happened between you and her? She won’t talk about it.” “I don’t know If I should say if she won’t. I don’t want to embarrass her.” “She did the striptease, didn’t she? I told her it was a bad idea.” I smiled. “No, it was a very good idea. It just wasn’t the right time.” “What happened, then?” “I can’t say. Like I said—” “I know, you don’t want to embarrass her.” I nodded. “I do want to talk to her, though. She won’t return my calls, and she won’t buzz me in if I come to the door.” I stood up, balancing on my good leg as I tucked my shirt back in. “I could never hate you.” Aimee nodded. “I’ll help you. Meet me out in front tonight. I’ll get you past the front door and into the apartment. The rest is up to you.” She frowned. “Well, I would hate me.” “Thanks, Aimee. I’ll owe you one.” I put my coat on and kissed her. “I do love you, Janet. Don’t forget that.” “If she does break up with you, call me. I promise you, nothing embarrasses me.” # 5. The Oath I laughed. “Thanks for the offer, but I don’t have time for a serious relationship, or I’d already be in one with Janet.” I tried to call Janet the next morning, but all I got was “Who said anything about serious? I’m just looking PAGE 35