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Keo sat in Zibetto, stirring a cup of green tea. The rain trickled down the windows, in the late evening. Cars and trucks rattled the glass in Midtown. The long summer afternoon had ended and given way to smooth, oily darkness, a violet sky.

Alli came through the door and bought a cappuccino. She sat down across from Keo, at the table.

“So, world traveler,” Alli said, “you’re finally back.”

“Touched down in JFK this morning,” Keo replied.

“Wow,” Alli said. She sipped the coffee and looked out the window, at the storm, “A lot has changed since high school.”

“I can imagine,” Keo said, raising her eyebrows, “I’ve been all over the world and yet I still come back here.”

“What made you come back?” Alli wondered.

“To help an old friend,” Keo said, looking into her tea, “An old girlfriend, actually. She’s folding up an old furniture business. I thought I would buy it off her hands.”

“That sounds really neat,” Alli said. A pair of croissants arrived on a blue dish.

“What about you?” Keo asked, “Are you still with Nealy?”

“No,” Alli smiled, “That was ages ago.”

“Really?” Keo exclaimed, eyes widening, “You two seemed very much in love.”

“The one thing I can say, is that I’m not in love with her anymore,” Alli said, “It’s been a couple of years. Nealy is gone.”

Keo sighed and looked down, “That’s too bad.”

“She went to Shanghai, and we never really connected after that,” Alli explained.

“Where is she now?”

“In San Francisco. Probably.” Alli said.

The taxis whizzed by, on damp streets, rolling to obscure destinations in the deepening night.



Lay Me Down – Sam Smith (Acoustic version)