Charles Hayes, a multiple Pushcart Prize Nominee, is an American who lives part time in the Philippines and part time in Seattle with his wife. A product of the Appalachian Mountains, his writing has appeared in Ky Story’s Anthology Collection, Wilderness House Literary Review, The Fable Online, Unbroken Journal, CC&D Magazine, Random Sample Review, The Zodiac Review, eFiction Magazine, Saturday Night Reader, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Scarlet Leaf Publishing House, Burning Word Journal, eFiction India, and others.
“Time for you to go,” she said. Yet slipping on my clothes and walking out the door, I turn to see her sleep.
Sitting on the curb coming down, swept like the chip bag that tumbles by, I bump the earth, my seesaw stacked. A news bundle drops across the way, its echo bouncing off the canyons of my turf. Like a little rat on the run, a quarter from my pocket falls, and spins for the grate. Fleet of foot, I mash it down.
With just enough to get some joe, I shuffle to the coffee stand. “Same as usual, handsome?” the barista girl inquires. Nodding, I dump my change and sniff the steam. The girl smiles and slides my coffee near. “How’s your gal?” she asks. Blankly I meet her eyes. “The one you strolled arm and arm with last eve,” she says. Scalding my lips with a first sip, “Busy,” I reply.