The Veritas Arms
by Katherine Napier
She fell out of the taxi and into his arms, and he took control and held her tightly. She turned her face towards his, looked into his eyes as she had so many nights, and said, “Johnny, I love you. I do, I love you.” He didn’t respond as he guided her through the door and into the apartment building lobby.
She took just a few steps, then stopped abruptly and began to cry. “Oh, Johnny, what would I do without you?” She looked to him for comfort but only found impatience and quickly pulled herself back together. She wiped a stream of makeup from the trench of time it was running down and mumbled, “Maybe it’s just the wine. I love my wine…”
She turned her focus to the elevator doors and allowed herself to feel feminine in his masculine grasp as he took her there, leaning against him to steady herself while they waited for the car to come down. When the doors opened, she slipped the now familiar paper into his palm. She reached out for the elevator operators arm and he offered it to her, as the two coworkers nodded at each other. She leaned into him, looked into his eyes, and said, “Johnny, I love you. I do, I love you.” He didn’t respond and the elevator doors closed.
Paul slipped the $20 tip into the same pocket as always and crossed the lobby back to his station at the door.