Watching the River Flow

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“Hey, how you doing?” she asked flopping heavily onto the broken recliner next to his unstuffed overstuffed lounger. She pulled an old greasy, afghan off the ground and over her shoulders, the night fire long dead.

“I’m alright”, he said, breath puffing frostily before his face, then gone. He seemed to pause, as if to say more. She waited for him to continue as he stared out at the river. It wasn’t a blank stare; more a pointed, searching stare as if what he wanted to say could be plucked from the thick green water. Not finding anything, he crumpled further back into the worn cushions, deflated by the effort.

“I’m alright”, he repeated with a resigned sigh.

She reached out to take the hand which he wouldn’t extend and followed his gaze out to the river.

“Me too”, she said.

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