A Spot In The Cold

A Short Story

J. Marshall

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.

“I do.”
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.

Oh well.”

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Jon on the River

Jon on the River

Home of my open journal. I will speak about growth and take you through the heaven and hell that makes up this process

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