A buzz in his pocket, “I’m watching a movie in bed, what about you?” Lin responded.
Almost slipping on the ice, Perfect! She’s home! “I’m on my way to your place so we can talk and have some coffee.” Should I take out the ‘some coffee’ part? If I leave it she’ll think we are just going to hang out. If I don’t she may know something’s up. He sends, “I’m on my way to your place so we can talk.”
Ten steps later, “Ok see you soon!” Three-quarters of the trek there, Indeed you will, sooner than you think.
“I’m here” he sends from the locked door of her building.
His phone still in hand, “Oh wow! That was quick. I’m coming down to have a cigarette,” Lin replies. Miles leans against the wall, snow drifts in the breeze. Silence, a woman walks up, they nod at each other, she goes in, he follows, she jogs up the stairs. He leans against the wall, silence, peering into the void.
“Hey!” Lin says startling Miles with a hug and a kiss. “You got here quick,” as she pushes through the door.
“Yeah, I was in the neighborhood,” he says making eye contact with the icy steps ahead of him.
“You had a meeting?”
“Kinda,” he says finding his footing on the snow-covered sidewalk.
“Kool, you want to come in, and have some coffee?” Lin asks lighting her cigarette.
“Yeah, sure… How’s your day going?” Miles says unsure if he would actually have coffee.
“Ehh, no work today so I didn’t do much. What about you?” she says reaching for his hand.
Pulling his hand away to block the wind for his flame, exhaling he says, “Mine, has been fine. I’ve just been working, made lunch, uh yeah. Decent day so far,” he says before inhaling again.
“So what was your meeting about?”
“Uh, work, not important,” he rushed. Changing pace, “I,, I… This isn’t easy to say, I slept with someone else this weekend… And, I think we should break up. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for this to happen.”
Lin takes a drag, processing what she just heard, exhales, inhales, she begins to gently sway. “You didn’t mean for what to happen?”
Trying to sound sincere, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for this to happen. I. I’m, sorry,” he said. Why didn’t I think of something better to say while I was walking here?
Laughing to choke back tears, “You’re sorry?” she asks catching the one drop that escaped.
Taking a drag, he exhales before adding, “I don’t know what else to say… I’ve never been good at this. The whole ending a relationship thing.”
“What did you do usually? Get them to break up with you?” Lin asks still grasping that this is actually happening.
“Kinda,” he quietly nods. Is she going to blow up at me or no? I can’t tell. She probably won’t ask me up for coffee now. Which, I should get out of here. This is really awkward; like calling your teacher mom in high school. I feel bad she didn’t see this coming.
They smoke in silence. Lin heads to the ash cup and Miles follows. As Lin passes him, Miles drops his butt in the cup, she asks, “Do you want to come in for coffee?”
Fuuuck! I don’t want to go in there, “Do you want me to come in for some coffee?” Think of an excuse, “I’ve got another meeting in 45 minutes.” Really?!? 45 minutes? “So, I, uh, can come in for 10 minutes.” Decent enough save.
Lin nods and leads the way. Up the stairs, they climb. Is this the same door as last time? Wait, wasn’t she on the next floor up? They walk into the apartment and begin to peel off their winter armor, It looks the same. I guess I’m just misremembering. Eh, fewer stairs is always good.
An automatic air freshener spooks Miles as they walk toward her room. Lin laughs a little, “Scared-y cat.”
Lin’s mascara is ruined by the time they reach her door. As his feet cross the threshold she wraps her arms around him and sobs into his shoulder. Quickly composing herself, “What’s her name?”
Pulling back a little, “Val, Valentina Marquez.”
Separating and gesturing toward the futon she asks, “How long ago did you meet?”
“We met about three weeks ago.”
Lin sighs, “Sit, sit, I’ll go get the coffee.”
Miles sits as she leaves, This is so weird. What is she going to ask? I. Why did she invite me up this tree? The shaky shake room is. Why,, why,, hap. He drifts back into the couch.