You’re Welcome

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She sat and pressed her toes against each other, groaned and rubbed her eyes. He said he needed her awake. He would be here anytime now. There was no time for coffee. She knew he would get down directly to business. He never really was good with pleasing talk and business with him happened to be most discomforting.

Certainly, the sharp turn of a key in the lock, the agitated pulling it out as the door is already open and the muffled fumbling of folds of clothes and shoes. And then as a head emerges in view, a man in them.

“It’s been twenty one years since I got the key that door and never once has it been used to open it. Why?” She shrugged and said, nonchalantly, “I guess the door’s always open to you.” Then she looked at the neon-lit clock and added, “Even at one in the night.”

That was all the pleasantries he could manage. He kicked off his shoes and she didn’t flinch when one landed on the carpet. He fell into a sofa and she pretended not to see when a pillow got squashed under him. He chuckled and lit a cigarette and she only opened the window behind her. He stubbed it out on the table.

“It’s Whit. She’s dead.”

“She’s dead.”

“Yeah. Died an hour ago.”

“An hour ago.”

“Gone in her sleep.”

“In her sleep.”

“Yeah. Not a word. Wait, let me get that for you. Not a word.”

She looked on.

“I was going to ask if she left a will.”

“Not a word.”

“Not a word.”

He pulled out another cigarette, lit it and drew a long drawl.

“Goodbye then.”

“What you don’t have any questions for me?”

“No. Goodbye.”

He looked on.

“Fine. I suppose that’s what it is then. Goodbye.”

he got up, stubbed out the cigarette again, left both on the table, pulled on his shoes and walked towards the door.

“Wait. I have one question.”

He stopped and turned.

He stopped and turned.

“How long are you going to hold on that key? Because you’re no more welcome.”

And the neon-lit clock showed three minutes past one.


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