Story Prompt: “Are You Ready?”

“Are you ready?” he whispered closely in her ear.

She barely budged. Her hands stood firmly placed on her lap, only occasionally dragging the tips of her fingers along her dark nylon stockings. She made tiny circles for a few seconds at a time and then her fingers slid back and forth along her thighs. She mostly kept them on her lap until she went back to drawing the tiny circles. She still hadn’t said a word since they had parked.

The streetlights sent a foggy shimmer through the windshield. The roads seemed as though they had all been tucked-in for the night—no cars drove past them. The misty rain clouded the already thick air and everything appeared blurry through the windows. They sat in the four-seater for a few more quiet minutes, staring out into the sidewalk ahead.

A girl young enough to have been out way past her bedtime sat on a bench patiently while clutching her backpack, seemingly oblivious to the obnoxious gusts of wind and rain.

His voice remained calm. He knew how important this was for him and after months of running every possible outcome, he knew it was time.

“You can do this, just like we practiced,” he slid his hand along her neck just under her earlobe, rubbing rhythmically by her hairline with his thumb. “It’s the only way. We went through this. If there were some other way, we would’ve figured it out by now.” He continued to caress the soft skin above her ear. He knew it was the only way she would keep calm.

“But what if I can’t do it?” She finally broke her silence. She wiped her eyes and tilted her head up toward his. Her eyebrows slowly crept up to the tip of her forehead just below her perfect hairline.

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