The Briefcase

The street outside was busy. It was raining. There was a taxi parked near the sidewalk. A police officer paced the parking lot. The cafe was small and modern. It was also fairly empty. The boy and the girl sat at a round table by the window.

“I brought this for you,” said the boy. He put his briefcase on the table and looked at her. She looked out the window. The officer had his back to them. The boy leaned forward. “Aren’t you happy?”

“Yes. Of course I am.”

“Look at me.” The girl looked at him. He sighed and held her hand. She let go and rested it on the briefcase. “I’m sorry,” he said.

“It’s okay,” said the girl. “Forget it.” She started to open the briefcase. He stopped her.

“Wait. Not here.”

“Why not?”

“There are people here.”

“Not that many. It won’t make a difference.”

“Yes it will.” The boy glanced at the officer and back at her. The girl gave him a look and sighed. The boy looked out the window. The police officer held a pen and paper and talked to a man beside a truck. The girl peeked inside the case. It was there. She brought a hand to her mouth and closed the case. The boy shook his head and looked at her again. The girl looked down at her lap.

“It wasn’t right, you know.”

“What do you mean? You said that you wanted one.”

“I do. I mean, I did–”

“And now you have one.” The boy clasped his hands and placed them on the table.

“But this isn’t right.”

“What do you want me to do? Take it back? Return it? It will be just as dangerous as it was to start with.”

“I don’t know.”

“But you do know. All you have to do is tell me. Whatever you want, I’ll do it.” He took her hands in his and looked into her eyes. She shifted to move her hands, but the boy held them tight. “I...I don’t care about him,” the boy mumbled. The girl watched the police officer.

“I do.”

“But I don’t want you to. Care about this; care about me.”

“I don’t want it anymore! This isn’t what I need right now.” The girl got up to leave and shoved the briefcase into the boy’s hands. She left the building. The boy watched her leave. Just outside the window he could see the girl and the police officer. He smiled upon seeing her. She laughed at something he said and touched his arm.

The boy closed his eyes and pounded his fist on the table.

The End

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