I watch the light from the streetlamp narrow until there is nothing escaping between their two bodies.

Their slow, gentle, exploratory kiss becomes more passionate as they get to know each other. Not only am I angry that she is kissing this man she hardly knows, but I’m also furious that it’s escalating so quickly right in front of my eyes. I can’t control it, and I need to control it.

I can hear my tendons crunch as I move my jaw back and forth. This is not what I want. This is not what I have planned for Penelope. This must stop.

I squeeze my hand into my jean pocket and pull out my car key fob. I press the tiny red panic button and hunker down as low into my seat as possible.

Constant honking, alarm bells, and flashing lights go off. I wish I could see them part from each other, but I need to stay low, so they don’t see me. I let the alarm go off for a good twenty seconds before turning it off.

I wait, hunched low for another twenty, before slowly bringing my head up to take a peek, testing to see if it’s safe to sit up.

They’re not looking this direction, but I did my job. I broke them up enough for Penelope to go into her apartment. Alone. Her front door closes just in time for me to witness it. Nathan remains in the same spot by the mailbox, but his eyes are on Penelope’s door. He doesn’t turn to leave until a few beats after her door closes behind her.

I, on the other hand, stay for several hours.