Sam called out, "Glen, what the hell are you doing here?"
"Hey, is that any way to greet a friend who's visiting you at work?"
"Yeah it is, when your friend works at the police station," Sam replied.
"Can you go for lunch?"
"Yeah, but why didn't you just call first?"
"Dunno," Glen replied to his cop friend.
Sam looked at his old high school buddy. He'd been up and down since his wife and daughter had been erased from the planet in a car wreck the year before. Lately, he'd been more up than down. But by the looks of things, Glen was back in Down City.
At the old downtown diner, they nursed their coffees and picked at their food.
Glen said, "Remember when Jane and I had money troubles when we first married?"
"Yeah," answered Sam. "Good thing you got all that overtime, huh?"
"The overtime wasn't what got us out of the hole."
Glen took a deep breath. "I spent two years dealing crank."
Sam suddenly found it hard to breathe. His best friend had been a methamphetamine dealer.
"Sam, are you with me?"
"Are you still with me?"
Sam groaned. "I feel like the whole world has tilted."
Glen looked beyond his cop friend, though the window at the life outside.
"It has," he offered. "Sam, that's not the worst of it."
"Jesus Glen, how could it be worse?"
Glen took several deep breaths. "Remember that biker who got stabbed to death in Lemon Cove six years ago?"
"I did it. I killed him. He was trying to rip me off, and I stabbed him through the heart."
Sam sat, saying nothing, wishing he'd wake up from the nightmare.
Later, the lieutenant walked into the holding room. "You have the right to remain silent," he began.
He scarcely heard the lieutenant. He wondered if he would spend the rest of his life in prison. He didn't care. His wife and daughter were gone, as was his motivation to continue living a lie.
He thought of how the biker stood for several moments before his collapse to the grimy storeroom floor. He thought of the days he'd have left, his life on the outside jettisoned, with nothing to hold him up but the sweet memories of days with his wife and daughter.
He wondered if the day would ever come when he'd cease to yearn for life with a rewind button.
Prompted by Thom G's Three Word Wednesday. Today's words are collapse, sweet, and yearn.