"He moved out..." said Charlie, sitting down opposite Marc in Monty's Deli.

"What?" gasped Marc.

"He moved out..." repeated Charlie. "It’s over. He’s gone."

"Wait, what?" said Marcus. "What are you talking about? What happened?"

"Well, I guess it’s brewing for a while..." shrugged Charlie.

"Did you have a fight?" asked Marc.

"No, nothing like that..." said Charlie. "We’ve really just been drifting apart."

"How long have you been together?" asked Marc. "It's been a while now, right?"

"Just over four years..." confirmed Charlie.

"A gay lifetime..." smiled Marc.

"I know, right?" laughed Charlie. "I would have got less time if I’d murdered him!"

"Where has he moved to?" asked Marc.

"He’s staying with friends..." replied Charlie. "Somewhere near Bermondsey, I think."

"Wow! I’m shocked!" said Marc. "Are you okay?"

"I am actually..." nodded Charlie. "I feel weirdly calm about it all."

"Personal question?" said Marc. "How are you going to pay the rent on your flat?"

"That is a very good point..." nodded Charlie. "I haven’t really got an answer for that just yet. I’m hoping that this job at Sweatbox will help cover that gap."

"Any update on when that’s going to start?" asked Marc.

"Not really..." admitted Charlie. "I'm going there tomorrow for a couple of hours to do some cleaning, but the sooner the better, as far as my rent is concerned."

"What are you doing tonight?" asked Marc. "Do you want to come over? We can hang out or get drunk or something?"

"Thanks, but I think I’ll be okay..." smiled Charlie. "I’m just going to have a bit of quiet time at home by myself."

"By quiet time with yourself, you mean that you’re spending the night alone with a bottle of vodka?" suggested Marc.

"You don’t know me..." smiled Charlie.

"Alright, but that offer is always on the table..." said Marc. "Even if later tonight, if the vodka isn’t doing the trick, just come over. Any time."

"Thanks. I appreciate it..." said Charlie. "Let’s talk about something else. How’s things with Stephen Yao?"

"You don’t want to hear about Stephen!" laughed Marc. "Especially not today. Not on today. We should order. It’s busy."

"This place is always busy on a Saturday..." observed Charlie.

"I’d quite like to come here for a Friday night dinner..." suggested Marc.

"But you’re not Jewish?" said Charlie.

"Does that matter?" asked Marc.

"I guess not..." conceded Charlie. "Do you like Jewish food?"

"I like bagels..." shrugged Marc.

"Are you worried that your hair is thinning?" grinned Charlie. "I guess a skull cap would be a great way to conceal your problem areas."

"Fuck off..." grumbled Marc. "Fuck all the way off."

man wearing brown fitted jeans and sneakers standing on road at daytime
Photo by Banter Snaps / Unsplash

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