from Wild Thoughts: A Floral Guide to Feeling by Garrett Huon

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The lights are off when she steps into the apartment, but she doesn’t hesitate as she walks past the mudroom. The apartment hasn’t been this empty since she first moved in. There are no more pictures on the wall or books on the coffee table. The little trinkets she bought are gone too. All of it had been packed away weeks ago.

When she steps into the dining room, she is greeted by a set table complete with two lit candles and a vase full of miscellaneous red and pink and white flowers.

Thomas is standing there in a dark green button down with the paisley tie she bought him wrapped around his neck. He’s nervous. She can tell by the way his hands grab onto his sleeves, how he can’t seem to look right at her.

“Thank you for coming, Kira.” He shuffles on his feet for a second. “Oh, I made eggplant parmesan since it’s your favorite.”

It’s easy to see how eager he is to make this work. To have her back here. She doesn’t move or say anything as he brings out two full plates. Nor when he pours wine for the both of them.  Kira adjusts the long braids that have fallen over her shoulder and waits.

It’s only when he’s sat down himself that Thomas realizes she hasn’t reacted to any of his invitations. She hasn’t fallen back into their routine.  The sigh he lets out gives away his frustration. The nerves that occupied his body are obviously gone, and what’s left is the arrogance that drove her away.

“What do you want me to say?” he asks. “That I’m sorry? I’m sorry. I really am.”

She lifts her chin. He’s whining now, baiting her into a fight, but she won’t fall for it. The apology is half-assed, more angry than remorseful, and at this point she doesn’t want it.

“Give me a break, Kira. You moved out, completely cut me out. Don’t you at least owe me an explanation?”

Shaking her head, she pulls out a jewelry case from her purse. It’s long and rectangular with a velvet surface. A gift after four years together. She sets it on the table and walks away.