July’s Patient

i had never seen that shirt on you before.
that must have shown because
a small smile seated itself on
your face.
“it’s good to see you,” you say
as you pour half and half into
your steaming hot black coffee.
I nod, half-acknowledging you.
“when is your flight again?” i ask.
the space grows quiet,
save the incessant
clink
clink
clink
from your spoon tapping the
rim of the porcelain cup.
You take half of a deep breath
and say,”Yeah, I leave at nine a.m
tomorrow morning.”
I tug on my bottom lip with my teeth.
I realize how tense my forehead
has become as I let it loose.
“I’ll be back though, come November.
I’m not supposed to stay long…”
your voice melts with the random
colors inside of me.
i study the blue tile on the table.
the convoluted designs make
me feel a little more comfortable.
the clinking stops.
“Sam, are you listening to me?”
i look at you.
“November?” I ask.
“Yeah, I mean, you know unless
more business comes up.”
I cock my head to the left.
“You know how it is, Sam. Its busy now
with the whole company expansion.
They need me. You get it, right?
I’m a huge part of this expansion.”
“I get it.”
i tried to count the tiles again.
that didn’t work.
a small tear trickles down my cheek
and makes a puddle on the corner
of my lips.
“Jesus…”
you drop your spoon.
you purse your lips and
crinkle your nose a little.
you’re waiting for me to say something,
but i sit there quietly as you
glance at your white-watch.
“shit, i have to go now Sam,
i’m real sorry but, shit, i’m going to
miss the goddamn bus.”
I say, “I know,” and i hold my breath,
i try to swallow whatever is
about to come up.
“I’ll uh, call you tomorrow morning.
you can say bye to me then if
you want, over coffee or–”
“Bye, James.”
there’s a very long pause.
you stand up and take one
more swig of your coffee.
you set the cup down
on the table.
clink
clink
clink
“Yeah, bye Sam.”
you throw your coat over your shoulder
and walk away.
i watch you blend into the distance
until you become a blurry patch.
i collect the spoon and
place it cozily in my purse.
i walk away.

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