G's last line story
He scraped the top of the formica with a razor blade. She sat across from him, trying not to be excited. The laminate was colored with swirls of grey and blue, and if you looked hard enough, embedded with tiny gold sparkles. When he was younger he would get so absorbed looking for them his mother, in a grey housecoat and no sparkles, would continually nag him to eat his dinner. His imagination mining for wishes such gold could bring.
"Penny for your thoughts Charlie."
Her hair was the color of corn; she wore it down today. It was a special day. She leaned forward, smiling at him with bright, pink cheeks. Her arms stretched out across the table, hands clasped, potential energy leaking from her fingertips. He reached out to swipe some.
"For you," he said, "I might have to charge a quarter."
She laughed, and he was glad.
"I can afford it, you know."
"I know. This is an amazing opportunity for you."
"The chance of a lifetime," she added for fun, quoting his favorite movie. She was trying so hard to make this be normal. Normal would be her hair in a ponytail. Normal would be a pullover instead of that silk blouse she was wearing with two buttons opened. Normal would be a grey housecoat, not a pink trench and pumps that matched an overstuffed pocketbook.
The corner of the blade caught an edge, and he began to twist and dig at the groove undoubtedly left by someone carelessly cutting their peanut butter sandwich without a board under it. A perfectly manicured pink finger appeared pushing a coin.
"What gives Charles?"
What gives? Santa gives. Levies give. Lovers give. Mothers give---
"I was just thinking I've never seen you look so pretty."
"That's very sweet, thank you." The silence that followed was full, expanding by the second. It threatened to envelop him.
"You know, I did ask you to come to this thing with me."
"I know you did. I have no desire to attend some soiree full of suits and benefactors." What would he do? Talk about ground wires and voltage? Rave about the horsepower in the new Mustang GT? Bitch about how transit fares are going up again to the CEO?
She sighed. "Would you rather I not go?"
"Of course not," he told her. The chance of a lifetime. Up the ladder of success. A chance to be someone better.
A kiss on his cheek. Her trench coat smelled like moth balls, her breath like mint. "I'll see you soon baby," she whispered. "I just have to go fix some things, make them better."
The manicured finger stroked the back of his hand, leaving a burning trail.
"What are you doing with the razor Charlie?"
"I'm digging for gold."
She sat there a minute or two, then stood and walked around the table.
She kissed his cheek.
"See you later," she said, but what I heard was the damning finality of "goodbye".