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Happiness

Anita leaves a lasting impression.

In the abandoned building, amid the rubble, Abraham disrobes. His pale skin glows in the sun, his dark chest hairs protrude, accentuated by the shocking milkiness of his torso. He holds his hands high, grinning. Maggie unpacks their meager picnic scrounged from a recent dumpster dive. She arranges the slices of stale fruit bread using a plastic bag as a plate. As Abraham proudly displays his junk she throws back her pretty head and laughs. The tinkling sound brightens the room.

“I stand before you as an unburdened man.”

“I can see that.”

“No, I mean particularly now I feel unburdened. You see...”

He falters. Her grin is at least ten years younger than she is.

“What I wanted to do with my life is long passed. I have no wish to aim and not necessarily succeed. Doesn't the seething masses of mediocrity make this collective attempt on a daily basis?”

Maggie cocks her head, thoughtfully.

“I think it depends entirely on your perspective. It's all about what you might have known. One man's hell could be another's measure of success. Like having a job, any job...”

“Philosophy be damned. I have resigned myself to the fact that I have all I need. We are losers but we lose together. I have You.”

“Oh thanks.”

“Perhaps I could have been more romantic?”

The expression on her face is a mixture of horror and amusement. Her grubby features are marred by years of barely scraping by.

“Meaning?”

“Meaning I know we have nothing.”

Maggie pops a stale morsel into her mouth and softens it with her tongue. He goes on.

“Less than nothing, Mon Amour. But I think we should marry, make our own reality and be done with this gritty world. I love you my dear, I'm not ashamed of it. We are both not winning right now and yet we can make a go of it. What do you think?”

Maggie grins again, her teeth showing. Her eyes sparkle and she opens her mouth to speak. Her last remark, be it a happy response or a protest, remains unspoken. A shot rings out. It pierces the air. Abraham looked aghast as she crumples, slowly, wrongly and falls to an unfortunate angle, subjugated by gravity the way only a lifeless body can be. There is no cry of pain. Her pretty eyes dim and she fades, appallingly quickly. Her lips purse, as though holding back a thought.

From the shadows a very beautiful woman in a black jacket and tight, black jeans steps forward. Her black hair falls past her shoulders. She lowers a pistol.

“Abraham, Honey, you can't expect your past to stay silent. Not even You can suddenly chose to go straight.”

He is shaking.

“That girl.” He stammers. “She was a bloody good woman.”

“Oh I don't doubt it.”

“Better than you'll ever be!” He is distraught.

Anita mouths the phrase with him as he speaks. It infuriates him.

“We would have remained nameless! Flown under the radar! I wouldn't have spoken of you or the others to anyone. Couldn't you have let her go?”

“No of course not. Don't be silly, Abe. Your silence wouldn't have lasted forever, not if you loved her. Now help me drag her into the dumpster.”

“No. I hope you hang for this!”

“Keep your voice down. Besides, corporal punishment is no longer legal, Abraham. Now lift and drag her with me.”

“Shove it up your evil arse.”

“Well I would now, wouldn't I? But you won't let me play anymore.”

“Anita, you are an insufferable woman.”

“Abraham I have spent years perfecting the art.”

“My mistake, I thought you were hiding under a rock, attempting to grow feelings.”

“Your wit is about as exciting as your choice in new lovers. I know what they say about getting jealous when your ex has someone new, we were taught as children to give our used toys to the less fortunate. I wish I knew why you haunt me so.”

“You must excuse me. I didn't realise that the rock you were hiding under taught you only how to be more of an evil bitch.”

“Rocks aren't teachers. Life is.”

“Why did you kill her?”

“Your new toy? I told you.”

“Yes but she is so sweet and honest."

“ Was, my dear.”

“ Fuck You.”

“Well you won't now, will you? Isn't that half my problem?”

“Not ever again Anita. Especially not now. What's the other half of your problem? Wait, let me guess; being a fully fledged psychopath?”

“Oh Abe, I wouldn't say fully fledged. I am, you'll be pleased to know, experiencing a twinge of regret."

“I should hope so. She was a very pretty young woman.”

“On account of the fact that now, I must ruin my new shirt hiding a body.”

“You're an Arsehole.”

“I am, aren't I? But she's still dead.”

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