A Line Avoided

“Sorry I’m late,” Alec said.

“That’s fine.  We missed the 6:30.  Next one’s at 8.”

“It’s not on another screen?”

“That is the other screen,” Samantha replied.  “I left work early to get here.”

“I know, I know.  I got caught up.”


“Look, I’m sorry.  And then the train, it was just crawling.  Let’s grab tix now.  I hate lines.”

“Already got them.”

“Oh…thanks, honey,” Alec said as he leaned in to give her a quick kiss.

“What else was I gonna do?”

“Want to grab a latte?”

“I’m not thirsty.”

“You aren’t cold?”

“I’m used to it.”

She smiled weakly.  He sat down next to her on the bench.  They waited in silence as a minute or so passed.  Alec broke it.

“So guess what Nick did today.”


“Guess what Nick did,” he pushed.

“My day was fine, thanks.”

“Come on, guess.”


“Come on.”


“Fine.  He dropped the sign again.”

“The sign?”

“Yeah, the ‘No Talking On Phones Here’ sign.”

“Oh, sure.  Sure.”

“Guy’s on his phone, Nick walks up to him, doesn’t say anything, and just, boom, plants it right next to him.  Guy didn’t know what to do.”

“Huh,” she says, looking away.

“Except get off the phone.  It was pretty funny.”

“I guess.  It’s pretty rude.”

“He’s crazy.”

“He’s something.”

“Weird dude.”

“What were you doing?” she asked.

“When he dropped the sign?”

“No, after work.  What took you so long?”

Alec fell back further against the bench and spread out his arms.  “I told you, I got caught up.  There were some things I had to take care of.”

“What things?”

“Things.  Stuff.  A couple errands.”

“Like what?”

“Ahh, you know.  Toothpaste.  I dropped off a couple of shirts.  Stuff.”

“I was waiting here,” she stated.

“Yeah, I know.  I said I’m sorry.”

“It’s just…”

“Just what?”  Alec looked at Sam.  She stared at the ground.  Despite the crowds on the Common, quiet surrounded them.  They sat.  Alec flipped up the hood on his sweatshirt.  “Come on, it’s freezing.  Let’s go.”



“You could have called,” she said.

“I was on the T!”

“When you left.”

“Well, I didn’t.”

“Yeah.”  She didn’t look at him, hadn’t for a while.  He leaned forward to try to get into her line of sight.

“Look, if I had used the phone, Nick might have come out of nowhere with the sign.  I couldn’t risk it.”

Despite her best efforts, she smiled.  “You’re a jerk.”

“I know.  Let’s go to New World.”

“Call next time?”

“Of course.”


“Come on, it’s cold.” Alec stood up and took two steps towards the coffee shop.  Samantha looked at his outstretched hand.  She blinked, then reached out to take it.


One response to “A Line Avoided

  1. Pingback: (5 x 500) x 500 = (7 x 500) | thom dunn

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