A Spot In The Cold
A Short Story
Marie spotted Marvin sitting at a table in a suit, which was something completely new, and decided she’d hear him out. Maybe something had changed in him. Maybe he was better.
Marie took a seat at the table across from him.
“All right,” Marvin said, leaning forward. “I know when we were together it seemed that I was just a leach. That I was lazy and — ”
“That’s because you were,” Marie interjected.
Marvin nodded. “Yeah. You’re right. One hundred percent. When we got together I had all these ideas of what I was going to be and I was so confident in them that I think, for some strange reason, it made me complacent. There was no fear to drive me, no threatening thought of, ‘oh, shit this might not actually happen for you’. So I just relaxed. Figured I could play video games and it’ll just get done one day. That I’d end up getting some awesome idea, put a week or two of hard work in, then be a success. You understand?”
Marie gave no response.
“I was wrong. And I was embarrassed for being wrong, so much so that I was afraid to try and fail in front of you, so I did nothing.” Marvin wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. “So when you left I began to put in work. I began to work on myself in ways that I thought I never would have. I built something special Marie and I work for myself now.”
Marie’s eyes widened.
“I do. And I want us to get back together. I’m a better person now. I didn’t tell you much, but I know you can see — I know you can — that when you look at me something’s different.”
Marie nodded, wiping tears as they spilled from her eyes.
A moment of silence passed.
“So is that a yes?”
Another moment of silence. Marvin took a hold of her hand.
“Okay,” she said, laughing. “Yes. It’s a yes.”
“Thank God,” Marvin said, leaning back in his seat. “Because when I started recycling cans for myself rather than getting a job I needed a place that I could sleep instead of behind a dumpster. I — ”
But Marie had already made it halfway across the room to the exit. Marvin watched her go, then sighed. After a minute or two had passed he pulled out a sponge and a bottle of water from his backpack and began to wash himself in front of the employees and customers.