Lana Onion
Ben Loory

Lana Onion had a powder blue corvette, and boy did she like to drive it. She’d come and pick me up early in the morning and we’d drive on out to the coast.

Then we’d stop and have a picnic under a tree. She always had this big basket of food.

I really liked Lana Onion.

And I’m pretty sure she liked me.

Then one day Lana Onion called me up. Turns out she had something to tell me.

I’m pregnant, she said.

I tried to say something.

I opened my mouth, but nothing came out.

I remember we went out someplace for dinner. We didn’t talk very much. But later on that night, I called Lana on the phone and asked her if she wanted to marry me.

But Lana just smiled. I could hear her smile all the way on the other end of the line.

I don’t want to marry you, she said. I don’t think you’d be a good father.

I didn’t know what to say after that, and so finally we just hung up. And from that point on, Lana Onion and I sort of started drifting apart.

By the time Lana Onion started to show, she was already making plans to leave town.

Where are you going? I finally asked.

I don’t know, she said, and sort of smiled.

When Lana Onion left, I watched her drive away. She drove off in that powder blue corvette.

A few months later, I got a postcard in the mail.

It’s a boy of course, was all it said.

Ben Loory lives in Los Angeles, in a house on top of a hill. His fiction has appeared in Wigleaf and The New Yorker, and is upcoming in the Antioch Review. His book Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day is coming in July 2011 from Penguin Books.