On the table sat a bowl of sugar cubes. In it, she saw the first time she kissed a girl and the last time she let a boy break her heart.
She felt her fishnets snag on the siding as she tried to sneak out of her bedroom window.
She heard Mazzy Star through a cuddly pile of friends giggling at a velvet unicorn painting under the black light.
She smelled cheap pot and expensive, pastel-colored French cigarettes.
She asked him what it made him think about. And, when he said “Coffee?” she decided it was time to break up.
He couldn’t make sense of his dreams. He could only remember random, disconnected moments. Like that one part when he’d slid down an abandoned water park slide wearing a classy business suit. Or the other where he asked strangers if they’d seen his robot.
None of that mattered right now.
What mattered was that he start his morning ritual and acknowledge the creature sitting outside the bedroom door.
Jake swung his legs over the side of his bed, leaned forward and reluctantly made eye contact with Maddox. He resented inheriting this ancient, ugly beast and worried he might be invincible.
By the time they’d finished their salads, they’d already run through every small talk topic possible. Unless you counted the last sourdough bread slice on the table, there was nothing happening between them.
The restaurant was decent. The bartender poured heavy and the jazz trio helped fill the empty air.
The date, however, had way fewer perks.
He waited for her to say something.
She did, but not with words.
Instead, her sentence came in the form of a raised eyebrow, a Professional Princess smile and—as the punctuation mark—an acrylic nail clinking impatiently against her empty wine glass.