James Babbs

Sometimes Broken Things

The deer were out there gathered in the field again. I told Emily about them but she didn’t seem interested. “Deer are always out there,” she said. “So what? Who fucking cares?”

“Oh,” I said. “Sorry.” I turned away from the window and went into the kitchen. I pulled another beer from the fridge and took a long drink.

“Did you hear anything from Sandra?” I asked as I came back into the living room.

Emily didn’t look up from her phone. “No,” she said. “I think she’s avoiding me.”

I sat down on the couch and took another drink from my beer. The beer was good and cold going down my throat. I heard Emily laughing about something on her phone but she didn’t say anything. I pulled out my phone and checked my emails. I didn’t have anything important so I deleted the new messages before finishing the rest of my beer. I went and got me another one and Emily kept playing on her phone. I was going to ask her something else but decided against it. Instead, I looked up the name of an actress I used to watch on an old TV show because I wanted to know what had happened to her and if she was still around.

“Hey,” Emily said, startling me after sitting for so long in the silence. “What was the name of that place we went to last week?”

“Hmm. You mean the place where we ate?”

“No. Shit. That antique place.”

“Oh,” I said. “Um, emporium something. Uh, Captain Bill’s Emporium.”

“Yes,” said Emily. “I got that lamp that doesn’t work.”

“Yeah,” I said. I took one more drink and emptied the bottle. “We could probably take it somewhere and get it fixed.”

“Maybe,” she said.

I got up and headed to the kitchen for another beer. I stopped next to Emily’s chair and looked at her.

“What are you doing?” She said.

I leaned toward her trying to keep my balance, holding the empty bottle in my hand. I kissed Emily and she laughed.

“You goofball,” she said.

I went into the kitchen and tossed the empty in the trash. The bottle hit against the other ones that were already in there and the sound it made seemed louder than it should have been. I opened the fridge and found one last beer sitting there on the shelf. I looked over at Emily and saw she was on her phone again. I reached for the bottle and slowly pulled it from the fridge before shutting the door and watching the light go out.

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