After a year in the desert, the polished airport linoleum shimmered like a haunting mirage of still water.
Alex hefted the olive bag on his shoulder and stepped onto the escalator, gliding down toward the gaggles of excited families and friends waiting below. He watched another Lieutenant drop his pack and rush into the arms of a squealing brunette, her rosy Santa hat falling away in the passionate embrace.
Alex fingered the ring in his pocket, the one Jen had mailed back to him with her regrets.
With a sigh, he walked past the strangers and got in a cab.
“I work numbers during the day and spill sentences in the wee hours of the night. Words that sit in the soul only go sour, and writing is the cheapest therapy there is.” – the writer