Bad Timing

by Ashley Mintz

She stood in line while 
looking out the window 
at him. 
Clutching the test in her hand, 
she got the kind that you could just pee on. 
She read the box. 
"Results in as fast as sixty seconds!" 
But no one ever reads the fine print. 
"Wait at least three minutes. Do not read test after ten." 
She didn't have three minutes anyway, and 
especially not ten. 
He was waiting and 
She paid and 
asked to use their bathroom. 
She held it long enough and now she 
had to go. 
She unwrapped and 
unbuttoned and 
held it under her. 
Pulled out a few squares of toilet paper to 
put the test on.
She flushed and 
cleaned herself up,
all the while she was
counting to sixty in her head;
no Mississippi in between.
One line was all she saw.
She tossed it in the trash and
walked out, feeling
She got in his truck and smiled. 
"Negative," she said as he 
handed her a Newport. 
They were off. 
Speeding away, the engine sounded like 
But alone in that bathroom, 
had she waited a little longer, she 
might have thought twice about 
lighting that 

Bad Timing by Ashley Mintz

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