#17 Long Time Gone (400 words)

Inspired by: Long Time Gone

Ein Quin stood up as Sadie returned the table. She smiled at the sight of him getting up. They sat down together.

“Is everything okay?” Ein asked as he buttered another piece of bread. 

“Yeah, it’s fine. Just checking in at the hospital.” 

“Wow, Dr. Sadie… uh. Whoa, this is embarrassing. I don’t know your last name.”

“That’s fine, it’s embarrassing, pretend I don’t have one. 

“Your last name is embarrassing? Can I guess?”

“It’s so obvious.”

“It’s obvious,” Ein said as he thought. “Sadie Spady. Sadie Trump. Oh, I’ve got it. Sadie Hawkins!”

Sadie buried her head in her hands and nodded her head. 

“I was just kidding!” 

They both laughed. 

“Okay, enough about me. What’s your deal?” 

“My deal? I don’t really have a deal.”

“Where do you come from?” 

“I guess Pennsylvania. I lived there the longest. I was born in Maryland, though, but a bit West.”

“Oh, so you’re returning to your roots?”

“I don’t have any roots anywhere.” 

There was a brief pause in the conversation. 

“I guess I’ve been gone for a while and wanted a fresh start.”

“Do you think we’re the most boring people in the restaurant?” Sadie asked as she looked at the lively conversations happening around her. 

“You’re bored?” 

“No, it’s just, we’re so normal.”

“Normal? You’re a doctor.”

“And what are you a vagabond?” 

“Do you want to know what happened on my birthday?” 

Before Sadie could answer, their food arrived, and Ein changed the subject.

“How long have you been practicing medicine?” Ein asked as Sadie took a bite. 

She quickly chewed so she could answer without having a mouthful of food.

“I’ve been in my residency for four years.” 

“Are you almost done with it?” 

“Probably.” 

“Playing it close to the vest.”

Sadie smiled but said nothing. 

They ate their meal, chatting comfortably with the occasional lull. When the check came, they both reached for it.

“No, way. I owe you for lunch last time.” 

“I insist, I’m working now. I can afford it.” 

“I may think it’s cute you get up when I sit down, but I’ll die before I let you pay for me out of some gender normative formality.” 

Ein fought for a few more seconds but let go.

“That’s what I thought. Don’t worry, you can pay the tip.” 

Ein walked Sadie to her car. 

“Tell me about your birthday next time?”

“Deal.”

Published by einquin

Writing personal exploration flash fiction as well as building the foundations for a comic book universe.

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