Greeted Like a King

If there’s no dog, she’s gone, Alton thought to himself as he slid his key into the doorknob and prepared to be greeted like a king. Nothing. No paws scratched his thighs. No tongue licked his kneecaps. He had lost his job, his marriage was over and now his dog was gone. His life had become a country song.

And he hated country music.

If he hadn’t known better, he would have thought he’d been robbed. Everything that wasn’t tied down was gone – with few exceptions. She left the plasma TV and his Macbook, a subtle jab. These items had always stood between them. Why shouldn’t they now?

She had packed in a hurry. At least that’s the impression she wanted to leave. There were several half-full boxes across the apartment. He was surprised he could be optimistic at this point.

His life was half-empty.

Alton opened the refrigerator. Beer, ketchup, mustard, rum and expired milk. He was a bachelor again. He couldn’t decide if he was heartbroken or free. He curled into a ball and fell asleep on the kitchen floor.

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