The note, the note, my kingdom for a note…
“There was a note, Clayton. How did you miss it?”
“Talent. Or my spectacular bad luck, take your pick,” he told her, shaking his head. He definitely didn’t remember seeing a note. He would have seen it and read it. He hadn’t gotten a note. No note at all.
“Right. Maybe you should go home and find it.”
“Or you could just tell me what it said.”
“That would be too easy,” she said with a teasing smile, getting to her feet again. He shook his head. She couldn’t just leave like that. It didn’t work that way. He picked up the coat and pulled it on as he hurried after her.
“Don’t you think it’s about time that I had something go easy for a change?” he asked as he caught up to her.
“What about your promotion?”
“I don’t know about that. My boss is weird. I can’t figure out why he hasn’t fired me yet or why he promoted me or even how I got the job in the first place. It’s not easy. It’s… worrisome. I can’t see why I am considered a valuable employee. I’m not that good a worker. Sometimes I think they might know what I can do.”
“But they never ask you about that or anything? Of course, they’re a clandestine organization and they might not ask, I suppose. You never know but you might be reading a conspiracy into this when there isn’t one.”
She shrugged and started to walk in the opposite direction. He caught her arm, and she looked at him. “What, Clayton?”
“What did the note say?”
“Read it yourself.”
She pulled her arm free and got in her car. He sighed and began his long walk home.
Clay opened his door and walked inside, shutting the door behind him. He needed to find the note already. All during his walk, the content of that letter had bothered him. He couldn’t figure out what she would have put in it. She was unpredictable at best and he didn’t know her well enough for that. He couldn’t believe that she’d given him her father’s coat. That was something special, and she didn’t really like him that much. Not enough to give him this.
He went over to the couch and looked underneath it. Nothing. He picked up the cushion and looked under each of them in turn. Still nothing. He sighed. He went into the kitchen, checked the counter and the floor, He was either completely blind, or it just didn’t exist. April had insisted that it did. He didn’t think she was lying—no, he knew that she wasn’t.
He went back into his bedroom, shaking his head as he sat down. Something crinkled underneath him. He frowned and reached under him to get it. The note.
I know this morning when I woke up, I immediately started to tell myself that last night had been a dream or a drunk delusion. I was convinced of that, right up until the moment that I walked out of the bedroom, ready to go clean up and head to class. There you were, curled up on the couch, looking about five years old. I thought it was impossible, again, that it wasn’t you, but then you changed again. No more doubts.
You can do what you said, and I shouldn’t have doubted you. I’m sorry.
You were still covered in puke and the wrong age, so I still won’t kiss you goodbye, but I left you a note.
I’ll see you at the diner, and I have something for you, okay?
Her name was signed in an illegible scrawl, and he smiled a little. He touched the coat for a second. That was nice of her. He was grateful.
He heard a knock on the door and rose to answer it. “April.”
“I left something out of my note,” she began, and he frowned. “This.”
And she kissed him.