In which our Hero returns home to find Anise
He came home to find Anise sleeping on the sofa with Igor curled in her stomach. Igor’s naked pink head popped up for a second and stared at him bug-eyed before flopping back down.
He went into the kitchen to make a bowl of cereal and took it out on the fire escape. His fire escape didn’t look out on much. There was a small granite courtyard that sat between four other buildings. It didn’t seem to have any purpose. There wasn’t any place in it to sit or tables to work at. Separate companies managed the four buildings, so people never passed through the courtyard for work. The whole space seemed to exist only to put people if a fire ever happened.
“Mind if I join?” Anise said opening the window.
He moved over and she sat beside him. She’d put her clothes back on: the black button up and black pants she wore to work as a barista. The top two buttons of her shirt, though, were left undone, and her shirt was only half tucked in. She lit a cigarette.
“Sorry,” she said.
“Falling asleep on your couch. I had quite a day.”
They sat there watching the last bits of sunlight throw faint shadows on the courtyard.
“Aren’t you going to ask me why my day sucked?”
“Oh. What happened?”
“Eh, I don’t want to talk about it.”
She smiled and they both continued sitting there: he eating his bowl of cereal, she smoking her cigarette.
Salvatore, the man downstairs, came out on his fire escape and began singing some Italian song. It was something that had a light, upbeat melody, but without an instrument to accompany, Salvatore’s old, raspy voice filled the music with a quiet emptiness.
“My downstairs neighbor likes to sing. I don’t exactly know why.”
“That’s ok. It’s kinda nice.”
He grabbed her hand. She gave him a disapproving smile, but didn’t pull away.
Image Source: Hands Movie via Public Domain Review