Work in progress

by Sterling Meeuwen

Something I’m working on. Any feedback will be welcomed.

Its early morning and the birds are barely awake. Steve poured all of the coffee into his large mug and walked through the screen door, being careful not to let it slam behind him.  His dogs are with him on the front porch. Since he was little, being the first person to see the sun has been his simple pleasure. Growing up in a house with eight other people had led Steve to dislike noise; commotion set him back into corners. He wasn’t a coward, by most accounts, it was more like an un-easiness. The kind a dog gets before a big storm. He was forty now and being the first to see the start of Apollo’s journey, gave him the ability to make it through to the next sunrise.

As the sun broke over the mountain the two dogs looked first, at each other, then at Steve. She would be up soon. His ritualistic, morning peace could be held permanently, no more than the mountain could hold back the sun. He heard her coming down the stairs and his heart beat a little faster. Ever since they had met she had this effect on him. It was the not knowing if she was going to punch him in the gut or, kiss him on the lips, hooked him and kept him hooked for the last ten years.

He would finish his coffee and before she got up he would head out to walk the dogs. He would return while she was in the shower. He would make another pot of coffee before he headed out to work. She, no doubt would leave a note with instructions for the day. He would simply scribble, “I love you” on the paper and leave in place.

Blair flipped on the kitchen light and reached for the coffee pot. It was empty. This really bothered her. He knew she would want coffee, why would he only make enough for himself? She dumped the old grounds and started a fresh pot. She glanced out of the kitchen window and he was there. The sun had, by now, reached up to the dogs lying on the front steps. She knew that when the sun reached to the top of the steps he would walk the dogs.

She didn’t really care for him when she had first seen him. He just started showing up at parties and it bothered her that he would just sit there. None of her other friends thought it odd but, she couldn’t figure out why someone who seemed on edge around   people would sit in the middle of hundreds of them at one time. It bothered her even more that her friends would just tolerate it. Not a one of them ever questioned him about it. They were even inclined to seek out his advice. This sat wrong with her as well; the only time he engaged was in private yet, in the middle of the room.

She didn’t go to him for advice and because of this she felt left out of his world. He would sit alone and could only be approached as a guru. If you approached him any other way he would reject you. She was never looking for guidance, she was looking for companionship.  She needed him to do things not sit there. He would make the initial step by being present she would press what needed to be done.

For all of his selfish, simple minded and inconsiderate acts, she loved him.  His actions were simple his mind predictable. They saw eye to eye on most things without having to discuss them.  This had become they’re life and they had become quite settled in it. When Steve looked at the note she left. There were no daily instructions. It read, “Dinners with the Neighbors. Don’t Forget!” Don’t forget was underlined.