Change

“Keep the change,” he said, turning away from the cashier.

“You always say that,” his friend said as they walked away as the cashier put the coins into the tip jar and said, “Thank you, sir, your order will be right up.”

“Habit.” The other shrugged. “I don’t want change.”

“But it adds up.”

He was about to reply when his friend said, “Hey.”

As he turned, his friend flipped a silver coin at him. He caught it without thinking, mostly as protection to keep it from hitting his face. Within a second, he raised the coin and looked at it. Seeing it was a nineteen seventy-eight quarter, he said, “Fu — ”

Then he was gone.

Puzzled, his friend blinked at the empty space. He’d lost the thread on what he’d been doing. He’d  had a quarter and he’d been thinking…something…

Rubbing his head, he tried to remember. There’d been something there, but where that something had been, it seemed like there was now a hole.

Sighing, he told himself, it’ll come back to him. He was getting old and forgetful, like his parents. Turning, he hunted for a table, sure that he’d forgotten something important, growing less certain that it would ever come back.

 

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