by Jana Andrews
“You heard me. It’s over.”
The clamor of the busy shoppers faded into the background as she was swept into this new reality with those few words.
“You prick,” she resolved through clenched teeth.
“Listen, I have my football career to think about now. It’s not every day a guy gets an opportunity like this. Besides, I’m not gonna be just another one of those teen parent statistics.”
“You are twenty.”
“Whatever. Just take one of those pills and be done with it already.”
“Should have thought of that six months ago, fool.” Hot tears rolled down her hardened jaw and splashed onto her swollen belly.
“Yeah, well, a guy’s gotta look out for himself.”
With that, Jackson turned and walked away. Stepping onto the escalator, he fixed his eyes forward in the ascent and smiled at his cleverness to end it in a crowded mall. No scene.
And then his body jolted forward at the top of the ride.
Jackson realized two truths in that moment: the escalator stopped, and the teeth of the step greedily gnawed at the hem of his jeans. He tried to disentangle himself by jerking his leg up, but his pants wouldn’t budge.
“Help!!” he screamed in panic.
Body flailing in all directions, Jackson felt something give, and then he fell forward, bare skin slapping onto the cold marble floor.
If only he had slipped on a pair of boxers – or anything – under his jeans that day.