Responsibility

   Skinny and his new found friends are soon gone. I should have had their names. Their numbers too. I let them go instead. Honestly wanted them gone. But the key point here was supposed to be that she is dead.
  “Hello?” I say.
   It’s wrong as I say it. If she wants to lay there, that’ll be her prerogative. I’m proud enough that I bought her some time away from the prying of others and here I go prying as much? This will be complex. I take a step back down the road myself, sock squelching in my sodden boot. Start looking for some place to sit. The road is dry enough in places. I park myself and creaking slowly down, and almost immediately feel relieved. See a weirdly new perspective on the same old scene: the dry grasses stand firmer, taller; hefty clouds overhead show off how clear the horizon has become.
  “Wo beautiful ma?” she says. She’s lain her head over on the side to look across at me.
   Trick question?
  “Who are you?” I say.
  “Die wo,” she says. “Die wo hui qu Meiguo ba.”
   First thing anyone wants to know is where I come from. She asked that one already. But no one has yet asked me to take her back to America.
  “Okay,” I say.
   I should just go. Even now I’m not going to find out what she is. I haul off a boot. “We’ll go in a minute,” I say. Her eyes have glazed. She’s stopped moving. I try a last time. I’ll regret it if I don’t. “You’re not a prostitute,” I say. Might look the part, but doesn’t act it. I peel off the sock and haul my foot back up onto my thigh. It’s awkward but I’d rather not get dusty as well as wet. “So who are you?”
   No longer tracking my movement.
   I should just go.