December 5th

(To read this story from the beginning, click here.)

We arrive as two puddles: my coat dripping, her eyes downcast. She shakes herself dry; I stand still, stiff as a tree. We walk through the hall of The Loft, a petite indoor mall, towards the bookstore. I enter and scan the store for calendars.

“Can I help you?” the clerk asks.

“Just browsing,” I mumble, and begin my slow cycle around the store. It’s a tiny store, and there is no sign of the calendars.

“Um…” I begin, “Do you still have those advent calendars?”

“The ones from Germany? We sold out at the beginning of November.”

“Oh.” Of course.

I step outside. Klink proceeds to slink in figure-eights around my ankles.

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