The Last Twenty

I felt the breeze cut though my jacket as easily as any blade might have, the chill wind whistling down the streets. People turned up their collars and huddled inside coats. I picked up my feet and walked down to the florists, picking up a bouquet of roses. The salesperson took my money with a smile that I returned even though I knew it was entirely false. I took the scant three dollars and a cent of change and went to her house.

I had planned say it in person, but I suppose I had always known I would lose courage at the doorstep. I wrote a note and tied it to the ribbon – she’d find it when she came back in an hour – and counted what was left. Two and thirty-six. That would have to do – the last bus left in thirty minutes.

♫ I straddled that Greyhound and rode into the Raleigh – and on across Caroline… ♫

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