Joint account

It took a flute.
A long one, filled with wine.
The day was slow, the sun, not in the mood to please.

Her eyes looked down at the busy street, at the guy who sat at the crossing.
Is there a country without poor men? She thought to herself.
Maybe there is one, her mind spoke back, as she tasted the bottom of the glass.

Her boarding pass, downloaded and ready, spoke to her in strategic black letters.
As her glass clang loudly when she placed it on the side table, her mind wandered again.
Is there a country without poor men? She thought to herself again.

Even in the elevator, her mind would not rest. She dragged her suitcase out.
Out on the street, she turned, looked at the homeless guy.
He wore a dirty white T-shirt that said ‘Adidas’ with tattered, muddy brown pants.
She looked away.

As she waited for her Uber, her thoughts wandered, and then her heart swelled.
She carefully opened the outer-pocket of her suitcase and out popped a Kinley water bottle.
I must help the poor man out, she thought.
With fidgety steps, she walked towards him. Bottle in hand.
His face was sullen, eyes, reddened by the disease of loneliness. And, he stared, coolly in the distance.
“Here, some water,” she said. Whimpered, mostly.
Expressionless, he turned his eyes towards her. “I have two bottles. I don’t need another one,” he said, casually pointing to a corner where a Bisleri and another Kinley made home.
The voice rang, clearly in her head. Like a million voices at once.
“I don’t need another one.”

Just like the voice, her phone rang. It was her husband of five years.
“I am still waiting for you to sign the papers, I can’t keep chasing you,” he said.
It was their new joint bank account, just a formality she needed to complete.
“I don’t need another one.”
“Another what?” he screamed. “Another bank account,” she said, blankly, and switched her phone off.

That night, as she mulled over a flight not taken, she looked down at the busy street, lit like a carnival.
She did not need a forced bank account, nor did she need a love-less marriage.
Not another one.


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