Here

There’s no sound. No dogs barking, or, men rummaging through garbage dumpsters. Not any cars going up and down the street. Bars let out awhile ago and the drunks all stumbled home; singing songs they’d heard on the jukebox a couple of hours ago.

The fan blows silently. An American flag dances in the wind. He watches it; thumbtacked to the wall; it shakes and buckles. The stars and stripes wave back and forth. He’s reminded of a John Wayne movie, The Green Berets. He keeps looking at the flag.

Outside it is dark. There are no streetlights. There are no stars. Just the reflection of his lamp in the window. Light bounces off the glass. He notices this. Hears her voice calling out from down the hall.

Pete, she cries. Peter help me, blankets drop to the floor and she sits up. I need a glass of water, she says. Could you bring me a glass of water? he walks into the kitchen and fills a glass. And make it cold. Ice cold, he dumps out the water and let’s it run awhile. The water drips from the faucet when he turns it off.

Thank you, she takes the glass from him. He sits down next to her and feels her tight, round stomach. Her belly button is popping out. She hurriedly drinks down the glass of water.

I woke up and you were gone, she says. You were just gone. At first I thought you’d left me. Here, in the dark. Left me to go see some woman on the other side of town, she reaches over for her pack of cigarettes and lighter. Yep, I thought you’d left me, he shakes his head. What would it take for you to leave? she asks. He just looks at her and turns on the bedside lamp.

I’m not leaving, he says. ‘Sides, I got nowhere to go. Been with ya so long my options are limited, he smiles.

They both place their hands on her belly. Soon honey. Soon. They kiss and fall back into bed.

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