Over the dinning table at John Clarkson’s house, there sat Sean, John, and John’s wife, Shirley. It has become a ritual for the Clarkson to have Sean for dinner at lease once a month since they got married. Sean has known John for almost his entire life. Sometimes he got confused between liking him because he likes him or because they happen to know each other too well.
“We haven’t seen Helen for a long time” remarked Shirley while he pour more wine into Sean’s glass.
“Yeah, she has been very busy. I don’t see her much either lately. It’s tax season, you know. The only time accountants are busy are during tax season” replied Sean.
John and Shirley gave a polite smile.
The dinning room got silent for a moment. For Sean, it means thinking time. He observed the dinning room that he’s been used to so much that he started to hate it. The fake black rose that is placed in one side of the corner next to the sink. The beautiful crack on the wall that seems to be a perfect decoration for the missing cupboard door. The abandoned gas tank below the shiny new electric stove. The silent look of John and Shirley. Suddenly, a baby cry broke the silent. Shirley got up and walked toward the source of the noise, leaving her half finished pasta, her husband and Sean for themselves.
“What happened to your fancy trip to Mars?” asked John as Shirley disappeared into one of the bedrooms.
“No news yet” answered Sean.
“That’s a great news. How long has it been? three months, or four?”
“They’d probably rejected your application”
Sean was silent, a little annoyed. Shirley came back with her one year old son, Jack. “Look, uncle Sean is here. Say hi, uncle Sean”.
Jack looked as if still shocked from his awakening and stared at Sean while he smiled at him.
Time passed and the day was getting late. Sean is glad that he was finally on his own again. A vast emptiness filled him as he walked home that evening. He tried to force a smile while enjoying the evening breeze but the feeling of the emptiness was intense. He wanted to cry but he couldn’t. He needed something strong. He needed to release this sudden pain that he’s feeling. He suddenly smiled as he knew what he wanted. His apartment was just a few blocks from John’s so he started to run.
When he reached home, he take off his clothes, showered, put on a boxer short and turned on his computer. He needed something new, something he’d never seen before. It suddenly seems for him that all the sad stories had been heard. This made his feeling worse. “Watched. Watched. Watched. Looks horrible. arghh” as he continued browsing pointlessly into the night.