by Wayne Scheer
Carol watched a solitary bird fly by her kitchen window. She turned to George, her husband for over forty years.
"Did you see that bird?"
"The bird that just flew by. It seemed so alone."
"Uh-huh," he mumbled, ruffling his newspaper, following a front page story to page six.
"Are you listening?"
"The bird was alone." He folded the paper in half and then in half again.
"You still read like you're on the subway. I guess old habits like blocking out everything and everyone when you read the paper don't end just because you're retired." Trying not to be annoyed, she added coffee to his cup, a drop of milk and a bit of sugar. He sipped it.
"If I flew away, like that bird out there, all you'd miss would be your morning coffee."
George put down the newspaper. "Not true." He took her hand and kissed it, inhaling deeply. "I'd miss the smell of the hand cream you use in the morning."
Carol wrinkled her brow. "What are you talking about? I never knew you noticed."
"Remember how I'd kiss you’re hand every morning when I left for work? It was so your smell would stay with me. It lasted for most of the commute."
Carol felt her eyes fill up.
"And the bird. It isn't alone. It's rushing back to its nest."
"Oh, that's so sweet."
"Now can I get back to the newspaper?"