Love Reigns Capo

Adina Pernell

Liem Rodchester Capo is a very distracted young man. I know because I've been engaged to him for two years now, and he' always late. It's always some plausible but equally improbable excuse-- something that would only happen to Liem.
I'm supposed to meet him beneath the bridge (was a bridge before the earthquake of '89). I would leave, but I never leave because he always comes.
Another hour passes, and I hear footsteps echoing strangely on my ears; sounding oddly weak-- not strong and sure like Liem's.
"Liem is that you?" I ask, suddenly feeling vulnerable out here at 12:00 A.M.
"It's me... Carl-- Liem's roomate," his voice trailing off fraily.
"Are you alright Carl? Where's Liem?"
He doesn't answer, but breathes heavily. Then I notice the blood squeezing between his fingers where he holds his side.
"It was an accident; I didn't mean to. We were horsing around in the alley in the back of our apartment building. There was broken glass back there. We fell..."
"Where's Liem?"
"He told me to find you... Said you were under the bridge... that... for once he wouldn't be late. He was going to propose... propose to you.
"Liem!" My legs sank like putty down to the ground.
"I'm sorry..." he whispered, tearfully.
As I ran for the nearest pay phone to call 911, the shot exploded in the darkness, and I stood frozen.

First published: February 1997
comments: knobs@iceflow.com