Friday Fast Fiction: Loneliness

self-portrait - Copy - CopyDewey, 40, lived alone. For the past six months no one had been in his apartment. His morning mantra was “life is boring.”

He tried to connect with his co-workers at a large insurance company by arming himself with information from TV talk shows, but his efforts usually garnered nothing more than polite nods.

He spent hours in front of his bathroom mirror, wondering why he had no friends. Is it my comb-over? If only I had more hair.

Eventually it happened: two knocks on his apartment door on a late Saturday morning. He opened it, expecting someone selling something he didn’t want. He faced a pretty girl probably in her late teens. He assumed she was raising money for class trip.

“Are you Dewey Long?” she asked confidently.

“I am.”

“I think I’m your daughter.”

Dewey’s heart pounded. “I don’t believe that’s possible.”

Dewey heard giggling. Down the hallway he saw a man with a video camera disappear around the corner.

“Oh, this is a joke,” he said.

The girl ran away.

He went inside and sat down at the kitchen table with moist eyes until he heard two more knocks. He angrily made his way to the door.

“I saw everything,” said the woman. “Despicable kids.”

She looked familiar.

“I live down the hallway, my name’s Sharon.”

“Sharon, I’m Dewey like the decimal system.”

To Dewey’s surprise she smiled. He invited her in.

By evening’s end they discovered they were made for each other’s loneliness.

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