Bruce marched along on the other side of the street. He was looking down, but he would see her if he turned his head. She needed to get out of the middle of the street. Liza’s mind had stopped functioning, but her body was working again. A van drove past and she took the opportunity to bolt back to her side of the street. She crouched behind a taxi that was parked at the curb and tried to see Bruce through the windows. He was still walking. Thank God.
She didn’t want to talk to him. Nothing good could come out of that conversation. Plus, talking to him would delay the whole process of forgetting that he existed. They hadn’t spoken since the day he was released from the hospital in the summer. When she found out from his assistant that he had returned to campus and hadn’t contacted her, she realized that they were finished. Whatever. He didn’t owe her anything. An explanation would have been nice, but she wasn’t going to chase him down to get it.
“27-15,” a loud, garbled voice blared from above her. Liza hopped back from the car, and crashed into a pair of legs. As she was flying backwards, she noticed that the taxi she had been hiding behind was a cop car. Its owner was standing above her looking really pissed off as he tried to stay on his feet. Splatters of coffee flew out of the cup in his hand. They slopped over his fingers and rained down on Liza’s hair. Dread spread through her. It was the same feeling you would get when you were sent to the principal’s office or one of your parents called you by your full name.
The cop steadied himself and flicked his fingers, sending more coffee drops into Liza’s hair. He pushed a button on the side of a radio mic that was attached to his coat. “27-15, go ahead.”
“27-15, check for a fight on the highway at 32nd and Arch. Possibly one person down.” The voice sounded like the teacher from the Charlie Brown movies.
“27-15, ok,” said the cop. He bent down and yanked Liza to her feet. She squatted half way back down, aware that Bruce was still marching along somewhere behind her. “Are you looking for me?”
“No, I’m sorry. I’m hiding from someone. I didn’t realize this was a cop car,” said Liza.
“You were hiding. And you didn’t know this was a cop car… Is someone chasing you?”
“No,” said Liza. He stared at her like he was trying to decide if she was lying, crazy, or dumb. He must have decided that she was just dumb.
“All right, have a good night. Stay out of trouble,” said the cop. He hopped in his car and drove off toward Arch.
Jake materialized out of nowhere. “There’s seriously something wrong with you,” he said, shaking his head. But he was smiling.
“Where’d you disappear to?” asked Liza.
“I didn’t disappear to anywhere. What, was I supposed to lay all over the cop car too?”
“I wasn’t lying on the car. I just touched it.”
“And then you ran into…”
“Sorry, fell into a cop. I didn’t realize that you meant for me to do all those things too. Now I know for next time.”
Liza smacked him on the arm. “All right, all right.”