From Short Story; Fortress


Robert sees her, considers walking by on the other side, he crosses over to her and sits.  A bronze statue of a student reading occupies the end of the bench beside Edith, she looks up.


“Hello” She is uncertain.


“I’ve thought about you.  How have you been?” He says.


“I thought about you.  I miss seeing you but I’m really good.” She says.


They look at the fall for a moment and say nothing.  “I haven’t felt right about … you know.” He adds.


Edith gives a crooked smile.  “No need. We talked about it.  I’m fine, are you seeing anyone?”


He shakes his head.  “You?” He asks.


She shrugs.  “I wouldn’t say seeing someone.  I’ve been out a few times here and there.”


He smiles at her.  “I heard about Remy Slatkin.”


She gives a chuckle.  “Remy? Not surprising.  He asked, no reason to say no I could think of.  Nothing special.” She says. “Anyhow?” She makes it a question.


He shrugs and studies a gust of wind stripping a tree of dead leaves.  He doesn’t look at her. “How did you know?” He asks.


She considers this.  “I didn’t at first. I didn’t know what it was.  A lot of guys look but you weren’t looking like they do. You looked for someone.”


The mall empties with the dropping temperature.  She isn’t warm enough. “Take my jacket.” He offers, she declines.  He looks at the mall again, the dark clouds, the skittering fall colors.  “Look, I’m …”


“Please don’t apologize again.”  She asks, he is silent for a while.


“Remy.”  He chuckles to himself.


“Remy.” She agrees, slings the backpack to her shoulder, gets up, says no more and walks on.


Did she take Slatkin to her room, he wonders.  Certainly not. Probably not.



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