Chin-chin

“Oh, if I were honest with myself, I might have gone about the whole thing a little differently,” I said, tearing through the shiny paper at the top of the champagne bottle.

Mark took the bottle from me and wrested the cork from the top; the curt pop struck the air sharply, but neither of us flinched. “Oh, you might have, I guess, but look where you wouldn’t have gone.”

I took the bottle back and filled our glasses. Mark took his usual seat at next to the window, I perched on the couch beside him, sipping the champagne absentmindedly. Mark shot me a look, like I’d forgotten to repeat some rote-learned grace, and reached his glass toward mine. I froze, the glass at my lips, and brought it down to meet his.

“Chin-chin,” we said together, sweetly.

“Where will you go, what will you do?” Mark asked.

“What is this, Casablanca?” I said.

Mark looked through the wide window, over the traffic lights blinking in the dark as cars made their way around Philadelphia’s City Hall. We sat level with William Penn’s statue at the top of the Hall. Mark gave him a jaunty salute. “Not hardly,” he said. “Sorry, Will.”

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