He chain-smoked his Camels while he waited in the church parking lot. She came out and she was tall and brown, like always, and her face was peppered with freckles and intellect, and what could he do?

He was leaning against her car door trying to look like Something. She leaned against the door to the backseat and smiled wearily, crossed her arms, even lifted an invisible cigarette to her lips. A perfect parody.

And they looked at one another.

“You started smoking again? She say anything?”

“She doesn’t care”.

They had both moved closer to one another, two slow-moving barges on an impossibly gentle collision course. Leaning against the SUV, foreheads near touching now. Her eyes were closed, but she waited for nothing as he looked at her face. Her face was like this miracle or something, this thing that was there and bright and real and smooth, but you can’t touch it.

Her eyes opened. When she spoke it was with mercy.

“I won’t make this choice for you.”

Then she was gone, back inside, a vapor of almost.

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