Selected Stories

“Unchain My Heart” - Excerpt

Confrontation, No. 96/97, Winter 2007

It was in her junior year of high school that Margo went wild. When she took to wearing purple eye shadow the color of love bruises. When she made out in nightclubs, in the back of cars, on friends' sofas. When, sometimes, in desperation, she and Wynn made out on the beach, the sand rubbing their skin a glowing pink.

Wynn was her first intimation of the way love could crack open a life. An honor student, a science whiz, a virgin, she had been going steady for almost two years with Lewis Knight, to-be-valedictorian, fellow science whiz, and all-around nice guy. In the promiscuous dark ages of the early Eighties, Margo had been a prude, only allowing Lewis to first and second base, although they both acknowledged that they would probably cover home plate after the senior prom. Like a test that they aced, they would then together attend college, medical school, and do humanitarian work in deepest, darkest Africa. Margo pictured herself sitting under a large, shaded rubber tree, dandling a cherubic black baby in her lap while Lewis vaccinated a long, patient, cheerful line of natives.

That was the plan.