11. The parking lot

Luna tapped the steering wheel impatiently while her eyes flew from left to right, trying to spot a free space between all the parked cars. It was a Friday afternoon, and I wasn’t surprised that it the parking lot was packed. I felt a little guilty that I had talked her into driving us here in the first place, only because I had wanted to take her out to Starbucks for a coffee while telling her what I wanted to say. The mall was certainly going to be overflowing with people too. I sighed, resting my head against the window of her car, doing my best to spot an empty place before she would. It was almost like a game this way.

She turned the corner and slowly drove into the next lane. It seemed full as well. Soon we’d have to go up to the next floor. I felt my nails digging into my thigh, through the fabric of my skinny jeans. My stomach felt strange, tight, tensed. “God dammit,” Luna cursed when a car drove in from the other side and picked the only available spot in the row. She slammed the steering wheel and continued driving, turning up the ramp, onto the next floor.

I felt more guilty now. The next floor seemed full too, as far as I could tell from the first glimpse when we rounded the corner. Luna cursed again, and I started. “I did it!” I blurted out, not realizing I was talking until I heard the echo of my own voice in my ears. Luna didn’t react much. “You did what?” Her voice was strained, most likely because she was trying to focus on finding a free parking place. I decided it was best to continue. “I talked to Susi.”

“What? Why?” Luna’s eyes flickered for a split second as they turned to me, but then she was focused on the lines of cars again. It was easier, in a way. I could lie without her catching me. “I wanted to apologize.” My voice sounded airy, casual, but my fingers were shaking. Luna slammed her hand on the steering wheel again, from the corner of my eyes I saw her perfectly manicured nails reflect the dim, orange light in the parking lot. “No! Dammit, Kaysa, you’re not supposed to go near her. What were you apologizing for anyway, ruining her life?”

My heart started pounding, I felt a cold sweat break through my skin. I wanted to open the door of her car and escape this crossfire, I wanted to pull at my hair and claw at my face, but instead I stayed in my seat, immobilized. I heard the sirens of a police car in the near distance. “Yes.”

“I don’t believe you,” Luna said, through clenched teeth. I didn’t dare to look at her. My fingers dug into my thigh harder, I wanted to break my nails. Of course she didn’t believe me. She had been through it all with me. The hysterical screaming matches, the embarrassing police visits, the fake suicide letters, the fake love letters… “So? What did you say to her?” Luna asked impatiently as she drove up the next ramp, to the third floor of the parking lot. “There!” I pointed, excitedly, for a second forgetting the awkward conversation. Luna swung her car to the right, almost hitting the headlight of the car on the right. She cursed again and hit the brakes. Now I was getting annoyed too. “Why do you have to drive such a damn big car?”

Luna backed out again, searching for a new space. Her jaws were tight, her brow furrowed. “Why do you have to be such a fucking psychopath?” she bit back, and I wanted to slap her. I didn’t though. I would never cause anyone physical harm, that was not the kind of person I was. “I’m not!” I protested. “I just wanted to see if she was okay.”

Luna laughed dryly. “If she was okay after you stalking her for months? How kind of you.” Her sarcasm cut right through me and I shivered. “I hadn’t seen her in so long… It was really difficult to face her again you know? To know that she might be angry with me… Look, you’re supposed to be on my side here!” Luna laughed dryly again. “I’m here, aren’t I? And Susi has every right to be angry, and you should stay away from her. You could get arrested for real. Dammit Kaysa, I thought you were over that now. I thought you were back to normal.”

My heart skipped a beat, my stomach tightened in excitement. The sirens that I heard earlier seemed to be getting louder. Then they stopped. “There, an empty space! It’s big enough for you!”

“Who cares!” Luna yelled, but she still turned to the right, into the empty space that I had spotted. Her fingers were clamped so tightly around the steering wheel that her knuckles had turned white. She almost bumped into the car in front of her, then angrily pulled the keys out of the engine and looked at me with eyes that were flashing fire, her face paler than I had ever seen. “So, tell me, what did you say to her? Kaysa, what did you do?!”

Behind us a car door slammed shut, and I realised that it wasn’t her eyes that were flashing fire – it was the flashing red light of the police car that had parked right behind us. “I just told her that she’s the only one for me.”

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