Toast & Wine

by Danny Loomis

Toast & Wine

The man closed the door with a heart ache, the only thing he knew was going on. After watching the dryer for an hour he stood up slowly, grabbed a pack of cigarettes for the first time in more than months. What the hell? he thought, grabbed the lighter placed next to the candle he bought for her 2 weeks ago, no wax melted yet. He shook his head, heard her rustle in bed in the other room, 7pm.

As he strolled down the street, the fresh, old lighter burst out a flame, the toke made him cough, took another drag as he recovered from the first. He began thinking when? how? , I couldn't love anything more, yet... her eyes told some story, the long nights for the past 2 weeks hadn't enabled him to figure out what that story was. He felt sad, defeated, saw a bench, sat down slower than ever, cigarette in the side of his mouth, took another long drag, blew between his nose, what the hell? , he thought.

They met traveling in that remote place. The first time his eyes crossed her was an image that would vividly be carried with him forever. She was beautiful, careless, except with morale, she laughed, giggled, sang, she was everything he dreamed of. When she sat down next to him that night a new feeling came over him, reason. Quickly he realized I want nothing more than to care for her, nothing more. ?

They ate breakfast together daily, switched places, views, seats, their eyes explored as one, she would catch the plane, and he would point out the object hidden in the clouds, she would find it often, smiles grew bigger.

As he sat on the bench he began to write a sad story. He watched as the people ran to catch the buses, hoped that they were going home to big smiles. He missed it dearly. Checked his phone he tried to leave behind, no call, wished he had.

An hour past and the story turned to fantasy, happiness filled the page, as the t in jubilant scribbled on the page his mind turned blank, he ripped out the page and lit a cigarette. As the smoke cleared the letters u-n-f-o-r-t-u-n-a-t-e-l-y were on the page. Two pages were filled before the next bus arrived, the busy street turned quiet, the same cigarette was smoking. As the clouds filled the sky and the headlights flicked on he decided he'd finish the story when he got home; he checked his phone, nothing, she must be asleep still...I hope... He walked home quickly, excitement in his bones, just a story, he thought. He handed a homeless man his half pack of cigarettes and unzipped his coat.

His last paragraph wrote:

The man opened the door. He saw the eyes he had been thinking about for hours; the movie they rented earlier in the night to be watched with the wine purchased was playing in the other room. The fingers he had held for years were touching the letters on her phone, he saw the send button hit, felt his pocket, no vibration.

"Did you get dinner?" she said.

"No"

Her hand reached for a full glass wine. He picked his wallet up, "See you in a little". "OK" she replied.

The man walked to the shop and bought her her favorite dish, a meal he couldn't stomach. As he took the last drag of the cigarette he bummed off the homeless man, the man thought of the ending to his story;

He had toast and wine for supper.

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