Madeline opened her mail box and took out the mail without looking at it. She climbed wearily up the stairs to the second floor apartment she shared with Jed, a graduate student at the nearby university.

She opened the door. “Honey, I’m home early. You won’t believe what a day I had today.” She walked into the kitchen and opened the freezer. “I’m having a whiskey, you want one?”

She took two glasses from the cupboard and jangled ice cubes into them, then poured a healthy slug into each. “They gave that promotion to old Monaghan’s niece, can you believe it? So I quit. I gave him a piece of my mind as I was leaving, too.”

She added water from the tap to the glasses and then walked into the living room. “Here you go,” she said, but it was to an empty room. “Oh, good, you’re hard at work.” She walked into the second bedroom where Jed was supposed to be writing his dissertation, but it was empty as well.

Still holding the whiskeys, Madeline went to the bathroom door, which was partly closed. She knocked on the door. “Jed? Honey? Are you in there?” There was no reply, and Madeline pushed the door open to find it empty.

Madeline caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and set the glasses on the bathroom counter. She opened the bathroom cabinet and his shaving kit was not on the shelf. “Jed?” she said, but this time it was mostly to herself.

She went back into the office and for the first time noticed that his laptop was missing from the desktop. So was the printer he’d bought for it. In the bedroom she found he had emptied his clothes from the bottom of the chest of drawers.

Jed was gone. Madeline went back into the living room, stopping by the bathroom to pick up the drinks.

“Well good riddance,” she said. “He was a leech anyway. Three years working on that thesis, never got a job outside of the university. Just a leech.” She took a long hit off the whiskey in her glass.

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Created by KKris. Last Modification: Saturday 06 of March, 2004 08:53:27 EST by KKris.