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if you think i don’t miss you every day

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There are a lot of things they don’t say. Things that will probably never be said between them. Not now.

But this is nice, it’s comfortable. It’s nice to be staring back at her under the fluorescent lights of a diner, centuries later, after all the politics they had thrown themselves into had been put to bed, alleviated. Brushed aside for other, more important things.

There’s a part of her that’s gone. That attraction to him. A love like the humid, tender, insistent onset of spring. He had waited too long, waited for it to peter out. All this love for her, he didn’t know what to do with it now. He picked up what feelings she had discarded, and doesn’t blame her for anything. The fight had left him years before, and now he’s comforted by the regret he feels. Comforted by the strange feeling that holds him whenever he drives by the state she’s from.

He was distant after Gaza, and she left because of it.

They talk about the current climate. The weather, books they’ve read, current projects, what work they’re doing now. They never talk about the past. It seemed like hallowed ground somehow. So they talk about nothing instead. Josh takes it gratefully.

Donna has a family, now. Finally met someone back in Wisconsin, who cares for her. Kids, three of them, all looking so much like her. A handsome house, renovations. Josh can’t even hate the guy she’s married to, he’s so nice and unassuming and obviously absolutely besotted with Donna.

Josh lives in the same apartment he’s always been in, despite not needing to be near the White House anymore. No longer needing to be anywhere in particular. He’s never changed the locks, because he knows she still has the old key he gave her, years ago. He knows she won’t act on this, but it’s a comfort nonetheless. He knows that meeting him feels like an act of charity on her part, and she knows his entire week revolves around it, looking at her over coffee. Pretending that nothing’s changed, when they both know it has, it has, it has.

After they run out of words to say to each other, Donna leaves to pick the kids up from school.

Josh watches her go.