The night I met your father I was PMSing.  It was muggy so I ran sans bra to the 7-11 on the corner of Market and Pine, yes, the sketchy one I won’t let you to go to, for some rocky road ice cream and tampons. Your dad was behind me in line with PBR and beef jerky.

As I was getting ready to pay, a man in an Abe Lincoln mask cut in front of me, took out a revolver and demanded everything in the register along with a case of Snickers bars from the pimple-faced clerk. The clerk was so scared he pissed his khakis as he dumped the cash into a plastic sack. You know how I get when people cut me in line. I also wasn’t about to let Abe Lincoln get away with robbing a teenager, so I did what any woman in my situation would do: I flashed him.

Abe became momentarily paralyzed by the sight of my breasts, and your dad took that opportunity to bash in his head with one of the beer bottles. Abe fell to the ground and blacked out. I took off my tank top and used it to tie his hands behind his back. When the cops came, they found the clerk crying hysterically, your dad drinking one of his beers while looking at a car magazine, and me topless and holding the gun.

Yes, I’m sure your dad paid for the beers. Of course the ice cream melted. The tampons were Playtex, not OB.

But back to my story. The Chief of Police hailed us heroes and gave us keys to the city. No, you can’t see them because I lost them in the last move. Anyways, we did the talk show circuit for a few weeks and then got married in Vegas. There was talk of a book deal and possible Lifetime movie, but we decided we’d rather just sell our story to People and return to our normal lives: your dad as a public defender and me as a clown. Abe Lincoln turned out to be a disgruntled used car salesman named Mick from Andover whose wife had just announced she was pregnant with quadruplets from another man. He sold his story and soul to Steven Soderbergh. Jude Law won an Oscar for his portrayal of Mick, but don’t waste your time looking for it on IMDB. What, you don’t believe me? When has your mother ever lied to you?

Okay, okay, the truth. I met your dad when he represented me after I wrote a series of bad checks to the local library for overdue fines.  According to him, the case was too
tempting to resist, especially since I was a professional clown. We got married at the courthouse after we found out I was pregnant with you. Vegas was too expensive and your dad has an irrational fear of slot machines. I always did want to foil a robbery, though.



Danielle Dreger is a writer and librarian in Seattle, Washington. Her flash fiction has recently appeared in The Dime Show Review, 200 cc’s, and will appear in the Spring issue of Cleaver Magazine. Her essays have appeared in The Creative Truth Journal and on mom.me. She is a contributor to Preemie Babies 101 and her first novel, Secret Heart, was published in October 2016. She has never foiled a convenience store robbery.