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Vicariously

“Much better you than I,” Maynard mumbled as he forced his canvas jacket on, which is now speckled with blood and dirt. He hoped he could have gotten out faster, though he was satisfied with the operation he had just completed. He flexed his legs and stood up, noticing that his leather loafers had a deep gash running the length of his foot. Just to be safe, he grabbed his foot and tenderly tore the loafer off to reveal what he immediately dreaded: a simple plum-colored Streak. “Part of the job, I suppose...” he said as he put the shoe back on. I had better be more careful next time, too many of those marks would prove to be the demise of my business. Like nothing happened, he grabbed the brass handle of the door leading outside, and slammed the door shut, causing a sign that read “Mayn Made Signs,” to flutter like a butterfly. Joe watches his ride cautiously drive up to the front of the sign shop. He then slipped into the black leather seat.

“It’s about time, you know I don’t like being outside.” Maynard said as he buckled his seat belt.

“Hey! It’s for your own good.” bolted Bailey as she put the silver sedan in drive.

“Well, if it’s any consolation to you, today was quite productive.” Maynard remarked while he twirled his washer necklace.

“I’m not in the mood for talking about your operations, Mayn. And to be quite honest, I should have a vested interest in your work, but I...I am, scared. Scared for you Maynard.”

“Bailey, you know for a fact I take all of the required precautions, and then some. Plus, I haven’t had a Streak in weeks.” Knowing that he had just received a significant one.

“It’s not that, Mayn! It’s the psychological effects that your operations are doing to you! Every day you work is just a bit longer than the previous day, and soon it will totally consume you!”

“Let me be crystal clear about this, Bailey.” Maynard came back to his senses, “When I am finished with the current assignment, I can assure you that I will be, WE will be taking an extended vacation. AND, I might also consider quitting the field altogether. But you must understand that what I am currently working on is groundbreaking, no, it might even be a major discovery. However, I can’t be sure until I am in the office once more to crunch numbers and … well,” His words start forming together, “I need to go into the subject again.” I’m so damn close to the end, it’s almost too complicated for ONE man to complete. Right then, Maynard realized the key to his latest assignment is literally sitting right next to him. “Babe, I'll put it quite blunt, I need your help. I know that you have done said actions before, and you know the correct ways of doing it. The task would get infinitely easier. And safer. But I just --,”

“Hun, We need to talk about this tomorrow when you haven’t just completed fourteen straight hours of taxing work. Please let’s just get inside and get some sleep.” Bailey sounded just as tired as Maynard did.

So, like every other night, Bailey parked the car far enough in their garage to close the door on it. A star in the moonlit sky caught both of their attention. They walked to the edge of the garage and stared at the sky.

“You know, we can go there you know. We can be stars someday. In a big cauldron full of stars and galaxies and nebulas.”

“Nebulae,” Bailey said gently, she turned to face Maynard, who was right next to her. “I haven’t said this in a long time, but I love you. I have always loved you. But sometimes, sometimes I am so scared for you, I lose the warm and fuzzy feeling that your name gives me. And I feel so bad that I lose that feeling, because I guess... I took it for granted. But you know what, I should be able to take it for granted! Because your only vow that you promised to me was that you would always be there for me, even if I couldn’t return the favor.” Bailey headed towards the door to their ranch-style house.

“Bailey, one of the many things that I love about you is that you still love me. After all of the trials and tribulations I put you through, I can always count on you. You want to know another reason I love you? It’s the fact that I have the most beautiful woman in the world, right here next to a slob for a man. And the best part of it all is that you don’t care what mess I’ve created this time, you help me get through it.” Maynard said following Bailey.

“Ugghh! Maynard you are always so mushy!” Bailey rolled her eyes, “But that’s why I’m still here, too. Because I could have said the same thing about you, except the slob part of course.”

“But more importantly, we are here now. We have an empty house, and we have all the time in the world.” He said as he did one of the waltz moves he tries to sprinkle in on his daily life.

“Hah! Even if you did wash up, I’m so tired that I would be asleep before you got out of the shower!” Bailey giggled.

Maynard’s smile was from ear to ear, “At least I tried, right!”

“Whatever, I’m going to bed, you can join me whenever. Don’t stay up too late, Mayn. Oh and there are some leftovers in the fridge. Knock yourself out. Well, don’t knock yourself out, well you know what I mean!”

“Babe?”

“What?”

“I love you.”

“I love you too, Mayn.”





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