Equal parts sexy and annoying, he tapped away on his phone well through the appetizers, the latest iGadget more intriguing than the tried and true (albeit liver-spotted) fingers caressing his forearm.

“Honey, you’ll want to save your battery.”

The rest of the table talked around them, occasionally chiding the lad to join the “non-virtual” conversation.

“You know I can’t stop,” he said, shrugging steroidal shoulders to prove he was powerless. “Besides, Paul was on his.”

Sugar Bear leaned over to me, swooning, “Richie’s ADD, one of his charms.”

Not wanting to shade the intersection of this unlikely Venn diagram, nor mention the benefits of Adderall, I pocketed my cell, assuring the rest of the group I’d merely been trying to confirm tomorrow’s consultation, while mouthing “Happy hunting,” to His Textness, having recognized a certain app’s logo, which I was sure I’d logged out of hours ago, on his not-so-SmartPhone.

Halfway through the entrees, he excused himself.

“Will we see him again?” asked one the diners.

As I squelched a “not likely,” Sugar Bear explained, “Sooooo sweet. He always calls his mama this time of night.”

My vibrating pocket reminded me of tomorrow’s patient.

“Hunt’s over, Doc. Come get your dessert.”


The flight attendant announces seats upright and tray tables up as the plane takes a wide turn to the left, descending the through the clouds. The quaintest of Spanish villages, some 20 miles south of the airport comes into view. She can just make out the beachfront bar where they first sat, sipping Sangrias and gesturing at jets floating across the horizon. “Adios,” they’d giggle. “We’ll never see you again.”

Better times.

Ten more minutes till landing. The next announcement would be it is now safe to switch your cellphones back on.

All those years not knowing when he’d return, whose perfume would be on his neck, how long the next bruise would take to heal. All those times he sneered at her, saying she couldn’t make a decision, she would never follow through with anything, she could never survive on her own.

The sun is setting on her week away, ostensibly vacationing with her family, while actually putting into motion the vapor trail to her future.

She powers on her phone.

The past: Behind her.

The present: An SMS informing her, “There’s been a terrible accident.”

The future: Unknown except for one fact.

She would never see him again.