She was still young enough to have escaped when her parents and friends pleaded with her not to accept an invitation to dinner from the tall man in cowboy boots. He was unshaven, they said. Neither his hair nor his clothes had been washed in a very long time. The boots were caked with something they were afraid to identify. He had a patch over one eye and a swagger that announced an ego. He was silent to the point of rudeness, and the swagger was accompanied by a smirk. All in all, they couldn’t find even one nice thing to say about him although, for the sake of her feelings, they did try.
In the end, all their pleas had no effect. On the night of their dinner, she took special pains with her shower and, after, used lotion and perfume liberally. As for clothes, she had taken the trouble to add to her wardrobe one pair of torn jeans, a not-quite-white t-shirt, and a denim jacket, all purchased at a local thrift store. She had given in to vanity enough to purchase a pair of brand new, brand name boots that she thought were just bad-ass enough to pass. She would discover later she was mistaken. She was pleased with the result but, as she closed the front door behind her, she could hear her mother weeping.
They never heard from her again. One day an envelope appeared in the post with a newspaper clipping and a photograph they were fairly certain was their daughter, although her face was almost hidden by a bandana. The newspaper clipping reported the execution of a woman who had been sought for years by the federal authorities for bank robberies and murder. She had made only one request on the day of her execution.
She wanted to be wearing her boots.