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A ragged sigh made it past Samantha’s alcohol seeped lips. It echoed in the stillness of the room, saturated in the haunting moonlight that flooded in through the window lined wall. Rolling her head to one side to escape it, Samantha grimaced. Pity parties went best when the alcohol was limitless and the darkness was the only friend you could rely on. The moon, as beautiful as everyone wanted to make it seem, was nothing more than an unwanted guest.

Samantha stretched out her legs and took a swig from the bottle trapped in her hand. Was it her fourth? Third? She couldn’t be sure, and with the way she worked her way through the apartment while drinking the others, the evidence was nowhere in her immediate sight. Oh well, she thought, licking her lips to savor every last drop of the smooth liquid that burned its way down her throat.

When she saw her ex, she had weeks of a few choice things planned. She’d start with his tactless kindergarten version of a break-up, eventually get into his cowardice when it came to his family and friends, then top it off with how she gave his things to the homeless shelter, including the very expensive and very special stereo he saved up to buy. Yeah. That would have showed up. The problem was, none of the practiced lines that would have roasted him for all eternity came out.

Just remembering how the conversation went made her lift her head from the wall and softly bang it back against it with a low thud. How could she have been so stupid? He was going out of town. Everything she prepared was ready but then he said the word funeral and something in her wanted to comfort him more than she wanted to strip him bare of any and all happiness. So, without realizing it, she agreed to look after his place and watch their cat, Ms. Sassafras. As if to mock her, the reason she was sitting on the floor with her back against the wall, wallowing in the dark on a Friday night with nothing but pathetic break-up songs, alcohol, and a bow broken phone came out of her bedroom.

She never liked animals. Her ex knew that. He got them a cat anyway and, after months of glaring at the thing, Samantha grew fond of it. She even looked forward to seeing it sprawled out by the window. As she watched it rub against her foot, she wondered if it was the cat or the last tendrils of hope that made her agree to watching it. She didn’t hesitate to say yes when her ex asked her to watch what he now called “his” cat.

Maybe, she thought, setting the bottle aside to pick up the cat and cradle it against her chest, it was the soulless claim that made her say yes. It wasn’t like the cat liked him anyway. And she couldn’t rightfully blame the cat. It wasn’t her fault Samantha lost her nerve.

“I think it’s time we took a little vacation too. And maybe we won’t come back.” Nodding to herself, she drew in her legs to get up. Her butt barely made it off the floor before her strength gave out. “Tomorrow though, Ms. Sassafras. I’ll catnap you tomorrow.”

© Maura D., marsreine.wordpress.com, 2018
Prompt Source: tehuti‘s 100 Writing Prompts

It was unseasonably warm that spring.

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