Onion Street (sample page)

“No one knows you the way I know you,” she said, and James sighed.

From the way she was looking deeply into this eyes from across the table, he could tell it was going to be one of those conversations. They started innocently enough, but always ended up getting around to little queries like “Just out of curiosity, do you look at other women?” It was a typical damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situation. If he said no, he was lying, and she would tell him over and over “You can tell me, it’s all right,” and if he refused to admit that he looked at other women then he was holding back. If he said yes, though, look out!

This particular conversation was taking place at the Onion Street Cafe, a little spot with outside tables that were nicely shaded, but the warmth of the sun could be felt, and the breeze was quite nice. Rhonda was wearing a white blouse with a pair of tan shorts, and she looked particularly attractive today. Perhaps it was the light, but James thought to himself that it was the beauty of someone lit from within by the idea of knowing someone completely. She was perfectly comfortable with her certainty in that. She believed she knew every corner of James’ psyche, had in fact explored and mapped them all herself.

James looked down at his watch. They had been sitting at the table for ten minutes, and so far no waiter was in sight. Begun as a means to pass the time, the conversation was taking a direction with which he was not at all comfortable.

“Well, okay, granted. You do,” James conceded. Thinking he was a fool for pressing the point, he added, “all I’ve been trying to say is that you can’t know someone entirely. You can’t know everything about them. Right?”

Rhonda shook her head vigorously. “That’s not true. You may not have been with them every second of their lives, but you can know them completely. You can know more about them than they know about themselves.”

“Well, I disagree,” James said.

She smiled. “You disagree because you don’t like the idea that I might know you better than you think.”

Truth to tell, James didn’t like that idea, but he was not about to admit that to her.


This story as well as 8 other short stories and 1 prose poem are now available for your Kindle device or app as an Amazon Kindle eBook titled “The Rubberband Man and Other Stories”. You can buy all of them for just 99 CENTS!

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(c) 1992 by J. David Clarke


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