C: it’s my last day working here.
Brick looked uncharacteristically distressed, although it was still quite subtle. He spoke very quietly.
B: why is that?
C: I told you I was moving to Haut.
B: And you’re going now?
C: Not exactly, I… I actually don’t know if I’ll end up in Haut at all. I just need to go away for a while.
Brick nodded, but it was different than before. He wasn’t just trying to understand her words this time. He was thinking to himself. Finally he spoke, in that soft voice again.
B: Well, for now, I’ll have the chicken and waffles.
He continued looking at the menu for a while, although he’d already memorized it.
Claire could tell that she had spoiled the conversation, but wasn’t sure what there was to be done about it.
The next day, Brick returned, but there was only Seth. Brick wasn’t interested in talking to Seth. After a short time there, he walked home, slowly. Yes, her leaving affected him more than he realized. But that wasn’t the entire reason he felt odd, was it? Something was off. Claire had talked about moving to Haut, but it was always something that’ll happen in the future, something that she seemed quite happy about. This announcement seemed rather sudden.
When Brick got home, he opened his dresser drawer, pulled out an old photograph, looked at it for a moment, then put it away again.