He sat in the booth, laptop open to a blank screen.
The cursor was blinking at him. His friend across the table stared at him.
"Yeah, I'm fine."
He wanted to ask her why she had asked, but he didn't feel like it. It would just start a conversation, and he would have to respond, and it was just too much. Not worth it.
She looked at him, and then looked back to her own screen, their discourse forgotten. He wasn't actually fine, of course. Even she had known that, but who wants to talk about that? It was easier to forget and move on.
"Do you like green tea?"
He didn't know why he said that. It had slipped from his mouth like a stray bullet from an accidentally pulled trigger. He expected similar consequences.
She didn't know why she lied. She actually didn't dislike green tea. Not her favorite, though. It made her mouth taste funny, almost like after eating a burned piece of chicken with no barbeque sauce. God, she wanted some jerky.
"Hey, I have to get going."
He watched her getting her things together, packing them carefully into her bag. That was it. He had blown it.
Her feet walked away while her heart looked back. What was done was done. The farewell bells had rung.
He didn't stay long. His tea was finished, and there was no reason to stay on the battlefield. He felt himself move on, a little crumb of his heart left behind on the table for the janitor to sweep into his waste basket later that night. The night overtook him as he stepped out, and the noose descended and tightened, his tears staining the rope.