The ride to the airport was easy and the surly TSA agent didn't say anything about his mismatched socks or the fact that he had no carry-on bag or luggage. His last-minute ticket made the buzzer go off when it went through the scanner. He realized it was the return ticket that would be used to fly back in a few hours.
. . .
The grill was warming up and the ballgame had taken an annoying turn after a bobbled ball in the outfield. He turned the radio down and went inside to get the chicken and zucchini she had prepped. A ribeye would have been more up his alley, but words like "healthy" and "cholesterol" had been floating around . . .
He put the last dinner plate in the dishwasher and looked around. It was too early for bed. He wasn't one for having a dessert unless he could drink it. Sticking his hand out the window to check the temperature he decided to go out for a nightcap. He pulled his worn green tweed jacket on and walked out the door.
A taxi . . .
He had been home for a week. The early afternoon drinks and cigarettes while watching the sun slowly set had made a profound impact. He had not even unpacked his suitcase yet. The contents still held the sweet, floral, spicy, and a touch fishy scent of Marseille.
Watching the sun reflect off the shiny buildings on Lake . . .
Extra innings meant that he was on edge. She had been asleep since the stretch. He usually loved West Coast away games but September baseball carries a different weight when you are only a few games ahead. The announcers yammered on about great plays from the start of the season and how players had either blossomed or shriveled . . .
He poured the last sip of wine for her and waltzed over to the small bar cart to see about a nightcap. Neither of them needed one, but the fireworks would be starting soon. They had been an unexpected surprise throughout the summer. An amenity he enjoyed far more than the gym he assumed was on the third or fourth floor.
. . .
As the front door to his apartment clicked shut he opened his eyes. A good stretch ticked the exercise box on his mental list of things to do that day. Today's paper was on the counter by a short note apologizing for eating the last yogurt. It was signed with a small heart.
Slipping on a worn pair of jeans and a . . .