There’s music in the background. Guy Clark is singing just off tune and full of emotion. I’m walking down the stairs of our rented home, with boot heels that make themselves heard on every stair, and a stare that could melt a cube of ice in two.
“Mildee, wait.” I hear coming from the top of the stairs.
I turn. “What?”
“You forgot your briefcase.” For a moment I think I did, till my eyes dart to my hand and I see it there.
“Robert-” but I don’t know what to say next.
“Not that one. The one where your heart lives.”
“You bastard.” I say, but the moment the words leave my mouth I know they’re not true.
He comes down the stairs, soft as a feather, but heard like a metronome in his socks.
He hugs me.
“Mildee you are, everything.”
“Then why are you such an ass sometimes?”
He takes a moment to compose himself.
“I lose sight of what I care about; but I’m looking at her right now.”
I wipe the tears from my eyes and hug him back.
“Robert, I want to leave this place. I want to travel, I want to go to Ecuador.”
“What’s in Ecuador?”
“Something that’s not this.” I kiss him and turn.
I walk out the door and hail a cab. It’s cold tonight, but the cold is getting better. I sit in the taxicab, looking out the window, seeing our city pass by me in an increasing blur.