He never really understood it: why she left that evening.
In the late afternoon he’d briefly looked up from the growing array of forms — clients’ freshly delivered W-2s stacked in neat rows like the aisles of a hallmark store—and remarked upon the date. “My luck day” he mumbled, just perking the ears of his nearest cubicle neighbors. “Oh well. At least it’s Friday,” they responded.
When he cut out early at 4:30 and headed across the street to grab a Guinness, he didn’t mean to drink so much; but there was something in the air of the bar that evening: a lot of sighs and downturned eyes.
Stumbling out $30 lighter at 5:45 and noticing that familiar vagabond today hocking flowers he figured “Fuck it. What’s $10 more?”.
His eyes stumbled lazily over the options, they all seemed pretty interchangeable to him—dappled shades of yellow atop thorny yellow stems. He grabbed the ones with a bit more contrast, threw the old man a tenner, and shuffled around to the subway.
When he handed her the bouquet, she burst into tears immediately. “Alright.” he thought to himself a second, “score one for the big man. That should put up a few points against last night’s bullshit.” It was when the door slammed that he realized he was alone now. Down the hallway he heard some muffled sob like “after 18 months, he wants me to know we’re friends?!” followed by the clunk of the stairwell fire door and the ping of the arriving elevator a few moments later.
Confused, he crumpled into the couch and flipped on Sports Center. He sighed angrily—frustrated that football season was over and had ended so shitty two years in a row.