At 21, end

You’re 21-years-old, stained with wine, and you mouth the only word you can remember: Ruth.

David, you don’t talk to me much anymore. Is everything all right?

I’m fine. I’ve been busy. Things are different now, you know. Dad… and then Grandpa… and now you leaving next. Nothing to talk about.

Sir? We’ll be landing soon.”

Dude, you drifted off on me there. I thought you passed out or something. It’s been a long haul.”

I’m fine,” I said. “I’ve been busy.”

Collie stared hard at me, and then laughed. “Busy man. Buckle up, dude, we’re almost there.”

We shook hands at the United Airlines ticket counter. I never knew his real name.

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