Skip to content

Log Out



SHE SKIPPED THE FLU SHOT and opted for a ride with a man who would never be her boyfriend. She liked that he was no sleepyhead, could be happy feeding pigeons, maybe even getting dripped on.

He ended up her husband.

They lived on the base in San Antonio, still young, in training, and Corpus Christi was nothing, compared to where she’d come from.

When they finally got to the beach, they decided it was cold out. They didn’t have blankets or anything. Still in their shorts, they couldn’t even turn the heat on, since they were almost out of gas and had no idea how they were getting back, where they’d each have to report in the morning.

They sat there for a while, watching the tides roll. She’d never, until now, ever seen the ocean.

But it was so dark she could hardly see anything.

He’d said that he could fix it.

She was a girl with big hair when she wasn’t in uniform. She’d had a guy who she thought was her boyfriend who wasn’t really her boyfriend. He was blond and in Kansas and he was ignoring all her phone calls. She had his picture in her dorm room. He was a star. He rode bulls. He was supposed to be a champion.

This one was here with all his roses. He was from a big family in Jamaica. They didn’t have much in common, except for their difference.


He said he didn’t know how they’d get back. They continued for a long time on empty.



Kim Chinquee has published fiction and nonfiction in The Nation, Ploughshares, NOON, StoryQuarterly, Denver Quarterly, Fiction, Story, Notre Dame Review, Conjunctions, and elsewhere. She is chief editor of Elm Leaves Journal and codirector of SUNY–Buffalo State’s writing major.




Image depends on its subscribers and supporters. Join the conversation and make a contribution today.

+ Click here to make a donation.

+ Click here to subscribe to Image.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Related Fiction

Three Stories


Diane Williams

The Guests


Alisa Ganieva

Assembly Line Prayer


Renee Simms



Alexander Ramirez

Receive ImageUpdate, our free weekly newsletter featuring the best from Image and the world of arts & faith

* indicates required