Dinner and a Glass

Jake and Molly sit across from each other.

Jake is wearing a suit. Black pants and jacket, but a bright blue tie. He had debated that morning wearing a black one, but he had felt like he was putting on a costume, being a g-man, an impartial observer. So he wore blue, it is the only other color tie he owns that isn’t meant to funny in some way.

Molly is wearing a dress. Black, with a pearl necklace. It’s a little bit shorter than she would have preferred. She’s not trying to be sexy. But she doesn’t own anything really formal in black, and shopping just wasn’t going to happen.

They haven’t said anything since they started eating. Now they are just staring at the empty paper wrappers. The yellow and green are too colorful. They don’t belong.

Jake gathers all the trash and stuffs it into the paper bag it came in and then goes to the kitchen to throw it out. His footsteps echo on the tile. Molly doesn’t say anything.

The trash can is already overflowing. Jake has to stuff the bag into the trash can to keep it from falling out. He leans against the counter and stares at the wall. The tile backsplash has swirls of gray mixed in with the blue ones. He hadn’t noticed before.

The trash bag clings to the sides of the can; Jake has to hold the can with his legs in order to pull it out. It’s so full that he has difficulty tying it off. He leaves through the back door rather than walk through the living room.

The sound of the door opening and closing breaks Molly out of her trance. She gets out two glasses from the bar. She grabs the closest bottle of wine and fills both glasses. The wine is red. She puts the glasses at the table–one for him, and one for her–and puts the bottle in between. She drinks quickly. By the time Jake returns she is half-way through her second glass.

He sits down, carefully avoiding looking at Molly. He doesn’t touch his glass. Molly is cold. She tucks her legs up under herself. Jake reaches out across the table but she ignores the gesture.

Molly drains the glass and pours another. Jake moves to behind her chair. He hugs her, chair and all. She stiffens slightly when he touches her, but he doesn’t let go. He buries his face in her hair. It soaks up his tears. Molly’s tears crawl down her cheeks to her chin, where they fall into her lap: the rain that should have come that day and didn’t.

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