He asks you who your father is and you look at him, but say nothing. You do this because although you recognize his words, you do not know who he is, you do not know what “father” is or is not, you do not know where you are.
You turn on your internal controls and try not to panic (which you are very close to doing). You clear your throat and cross one leg over the other. He – the man, this man – is now looking at you very intently. Finally, you say, “Does it matter?”
The man sighs. He says, “Look, I know you’re probably scared.” You look away from him. He knows nothing, but you will not tell him that he knows nothing because you have a sense that saying this will make him talk more. You have to get away. That is what you know for certain. You ask him if you can talk later, you say that you are tired. The man nods and stands up. He says, “I want you to think about things so you can talk about them.” Then he leaves.
You look out the window, the one he had been blocking when he sat across from you.
You see things you have seen before and they tell you nothing. You are awash in panic - you know now that you have most likely always been here, in this place, and that the man, he will come back for you.
(Cara Long lives and works in New York State. Her first collection of short stories, Partly Gone, was published in June 2014 through Unsolicited Press. A Greek translation was published by Strange Days Books.)