When he came in the apartment smelt of the cat shit he’d forgotten to change all week. It was hot and stuffy in there, too. New York City was nothing like Buffalo in the winter. He didn’t even feel a chill. He took off his coat and set the pizza down on the kitchen table, flipped the light switch, but the super hadn’t been by to fix it yet.
“Great,” he said, searching around the dark place for the nearest switch. He could still smell the beer on his breath from the local joint he stopped at.
He found a light switch in the hallway then looked around the apartment. No trace of her. She hadn’t been home.
“Even better,” he said, heading toward the bedroom.
He turned the light on and changed out of his work clothes. He threw them on the bedroom floor. A pair of work dirtied jeans and a blue flannel shirt. He’d wear them tomorrow again for the same job. Then he found some sweats and an old Bills t-shirt, put them on, and went back into the darkened kitchen to grab a beer from the refrigerator. That’s when he found her note.
It was tact to the fridge door underneath a magnet they’d bought last summer in Boston. It was a picture of the Boston skyline, lit up, in front of a sky that was shading from orange to red to purple, and then into a rich midnight blue. He looked at the magnet a moment, grabbed the note, opened the fridge, and pulled out the last beer in there. Then he closed the fridge door, sat down at the kitchen table, opened the beer, and took a long pull. He put the note on top of the pizza box, and thought about what he’d have to do at work the next day to get the job done, while he drained half of the beer and his stomach growled.