Main Squeeze

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Sharon poured two cups of coffee, and sat down at the table with her husband. "What are you watching, sweetie?" she asked.

Joe looked up from his laptop. "Following the news about those meteor showers. Seems nobody's been able to find any evidence of where they might have landed. Some folks think it might be alien spaceships. They're out there, you know."

Sharon nodded. "Maybe they didn't land. If I saw what was happening on this planet, I'd turn around and hightail it out of here."

"Thanks." He took a sip of coffee. "You were in the bathroom a long time."

"Touching up my roots."

"You sure do that a lot."

"My hair grows fast." She shrugged.

He closed his laptop. "You want to go with me?"

"To search the mountains for flying saucers? To explore a haunted hotel?"

Joe coughed. "Actually, my team is sending me to a paranormal conference the next town over while they get rid of some pesky ghosts for old Mr. Barnes."

"I thought you already got rid of all his ghosts."

Joe laughed. "Old Mr. Barnes moved."

Sharon shook her head. "Nothing like a satisfied customer."

"So, do you want to come with me?"

"Joe, are you asking me out on a date?"

He smiled. "After 45 years of marriage, we deserve to spend some quality time together, don't you think?"

"I suppose that will be together with your bag of gear."

He raised his hands. "Guilty. But who knows when I might need my EMF meter or EVP recorder or...."

"Or your camera to record evidence of aliens. Yes, yes, I know."

"Are you certain you're not psychic?"

"No, you've just been my main squeeze for decades. I'm getting to know how you think."

Joe put his coffee cup in the sink, then picked up his gear bag. "Wish I could say the same about you. You're still a mystery."

"I'm a woman, silly. I'm supposed to be a mystery." Sharon grabbed the car keys. "Let's go."

"Hey, I'm driving."

"Oh no, this is my treat today." She wrapped her arms around Joe and hugged him tightly. "Main squeeze, remember?"

"Are you crying?" He kissed her on the forehead

"Maybe a little. Sorry." She wiped her nose with her finger. "Let's get into the car. You don't want to be late, do you?"

=

"Hey, you missed the onramp to the interstate!" Joe said.

"I thought we'd take the state roads. It's a prettier drive. And we'll still get there in plenty of time."

"Fine." Joe slumped in the seat. "Hey, do you have the heater on?"

"No, but I can turn on the air conditioning if you want."

"Yeah, that would be good."

"Joe, are you ok? You're sweating."

Joe panted, "Not ok." He grabbed his chest.

"I'm pulling over." Sharon stopped the car on the side of the road. She grabbed a blanket from the trunk, laid it on the ground, and pulled Joe from the car. "Here, sweetie, rest here."

Joe collapsed onto the blanket. "Call for help...." he gasped.

She held him in her arms. "I won't be able to get you to a doctor in time." Tears streamed down her cheeks. "There's only one last thing I can do for you."

She laid down beside him in a fetal position and undid the knot of her hair. It streamed all around her, covering her body. Her hair turned into a hard, white shell. The shell glowed and rocked.

Joe heard a crack and struggled to raise himself onto his elbows.

Three young Sharons, about 20 years old, with long blond hair and violet eyes emerged from the cracked shell. They stood over Joe. One of them said, "I'm showing you the aliens, sweetie. We've been here all the time."

Joe groaned, rolled onto his side, and closed his eyes for the last time.

The Sharon who spoke bent down and kissed his cheek. The other two Sharons wrapped him in the blanket.

"Goodbye, Joe. We loved you," they said as they held hands.

The Sharons looked into each other's eyes and nodded. They got back into the car, and drove off to the next town so that they each could find a new main squeeze.

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