Reaching the Fall

The sky was overcast and the world was dull. The pathways were mottled with people wearing fall jackets for the first time that season. When I saw her come around the corner her hands were deep in the pockets of her fitted leather jacket. Dark sunglasses and darker hair obscured her face. The click of her heels on the pavement rang above the Sunday morning din.

She sat down beside me, but tight to the opposite arm of the bench. She looked straight out and propped her sunglasses on her head. “Hi,” she said.

“Hi,” I said.

I couldn’t look at her either. The sadness, the red around her eyes, it was too much.

“So what are we doing then?” she said.

“I don’t know.”

“What do you mean, you don’t know?”

“Sorry. I do. It’s just… this isn’t easy for me.”

She turned to me and her eyes narrowed. She crossed her arms and stared.

“What I mean is,” I said, “it’s not easy for either of us. It couldn’t be less easy. I just wish I could take everything back.”

“Everything?”

“Not everything. Just the bad parts I guess.”

“So that’s what you think life is? Keep the good and sweep the bad under the carpet?”

“No, I…” I learned forward and put my elbows on my knees. “This isn’t the way I wanted things to go. I’m sorry.”

“Yeah well, me neither.” She sighed and looked away, then she pulled her sunglasses down and stood to walk back the way she had come.

 

***

 

This and That but Mostly the Other is my new short story collection. It is a collection of moments, from the briefest glimpse to those more complex. It’s about introductions and endings. It is a reminder of what was, and a glimpse of things to come.

Click the home page to see all the different ways you can find it.

 

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