After the meeting John walked up to Michelle, the rain turning to ice again. The twigs on nearby trees looked like toy animals completely encased; trapped in clear plastic cubes. As a child he’d imagined the entire world melting, the ice and all the animals coming to life.
“My name is John. I’m an alcoholic,” he said.
“You don’t need to say that outside.” She looked at the ground from the top of the stairs.
“I didn’t mean to say that but I wanted you to know I liked what you said in there about vitamins. How one made you feel good and soon you were taking ten a day. I thought it was funny.”
“It’s what we do.”
“I’d like to know what brand of vitamins.”
She side-stepped down the brick stairs of the church.
“Be careful out there,” he said.
“Yes, I know.”
“If you fall, don’t worry, I’ll pick you up. I’ll probably laugh, though.”
“I would too. I always laugh at someone who falls on their face. My name is Michelle.”
“I know. I heard it inside.”
“Well, see you next week.”
They walked to their cars, navigating places where they could see down to the blacktop. John looked for animals in a tree, instead saw a twig ricochet to the ground.
Timothy Gager is the author of eight books of poetry and fiction. Over 250 pieces of his work have been published on-line or in print. He lives on www.timothygager.com