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Steady On

Should I go, she thinks, and tucks the bottle down between them on the bed. They have been drinking on and off for the better part of the day. She's not sure what time it is. Rich is sleeping, snoring gently, and she gets up and walks over to the chair where he has laid his pants. She removes his wallet and phone from the back pocket. He has $42 and some change. She takes $20. His phone says he's missed 2 calls and has unread email. She taps the screen - it doesn't ask for a password - but then puts it back before reading anything.

Rather than get dressed, she throws on her long overcoat, intending to head over to the convenience store just across the street from the hotel. She turns the light off on her way out, but then flips it back on before closing the door behind her.

The convenience store is empty, save for the man behind the counter who eyes her suspiciously when she walks in. She meets his gaze and points to the coolers without knowing why she does so. He keeps his eyes on her as she walks. She grabs some juices and then plunks them down on the counter. He rings them up wordlessly. She produces the $20 bill she took from Rich and hands it to the man. She waits with her palm out for the change. "Thank you," she says to the man. "I'm going to go home now."

Story by:

Cara-Aimee Long

15 January 2013