One paragraph story... July 17 (late) edition

She sat on her old side of the bed. The side of the bed she had slept on when they were together, but they weren’t together anymore. The break had been mostly amicable; she need to go back to a boyfriend from her past. She had needed to see it that relationship through to the end, see if the connection was still there. Peter still loved her, and he loved her more because she accepted his invitation to sit beside him while he opened the nine unread letters his father had sent to him. Three months of letters Peter had never opened while his father was alive. Nine unopened letters reminding him that he was not as thoughtful, and caring as he liked to believe. His father was dead over a year now and on his father’s birthday Peter decided it was time to open up the wounds. But he could not do it alone, and was not going to ask his buddies to come hang out with him while he inevitably broke into tears. The call to her was short; although they had broken up forty-seven days before, she barely let him finish his request before she answered yes. She came straight over and after a polite hug she sat on the bed and opened a book, never saying a word. The sun through the orange curtains caught the dust motes and swirled them through the sunday breeze, as Peter made it through the first letter fine. The fifth letter caused him to blink excessively as he pushed back the tears. And when he finished the ninth he could barely see, and hadn't noticed her soft fingers entwined in his. She inched closer to him, kissed his cheek, and Peter weeped with a fury. For the loss of his father, for not speaking to his mother as often as he had, and finally for not being someone great enough that this woman would forget all other men before him. He felt weak, small; tired. Before the November sun disappeared he had fallen asleep and the woman he loved had left. They would never talk to each other again and Peter loved her for that as well.

James C.