“What’s up?” Jerry asked as he sat down at the table across from David. “You sounded anxious on the phone.”
David took a big drink of his beer and stared at the table top as he collected his thoughts. Two empty beer steins sat on the table beside him. Around him, bar patrons laughed and chatted, and David wished he could stop worrying and join them.
“Denise has been acting weird lately,” David finally said.
“I don’t know. She’s kind of evasive, I guess. She cancels dates suddenly. And she seems distracted sometimes when we’re talking. And I’ve overheard her on some odd phone calls. When I ask her about them, she just gives vague answers or changes the topic. I wish I knew what was going on. Things are usually so black and white with her. She’s always been like an open book. There’s nothing gray about her. So it’s not like her to be so mysterious.”
Jerry started to answer, but David cut him off. “I know what you’re going to say, Jerry, and I promise you that’s not it. She’d never do that. We’re totally committed to each other.”
Jerry started to say something, but David again cut him off. “You know what I need to do, Jerry?” He leaned back in his seat and rubbed his templed. “I need to use my little gray cells to try to figure out what’s going on with her.” He started to hum to himself as he continued to rub his temples.
Jerry watched him for a moment and slowly shook his head. He debated whether or not to tell David. He’d made a promise to keep it a secret, but he’d had no idea Denise’s plan would affect David like this. And though it’d only be for one more day, he wasn’t sure if David could take it any more if he didn’t tell him. After a moment, he decided.
With a sigh, Jerry placed a newspaper on the table in front of David. “Hey, Poirot,” he said. “The answer’s right here in black and white.”
David sat up and blinked. “Huh?” he mumbled. “Where?”
Jerry pointed to the newspaper. “Right here. See?”
David stared at the newspaper in confusion. “I don’t see it.”
Jerry shook his head and pointed again. “Here. See the date?”
“Yeah. So? What about it?”
Jerry rolled his eyes and wondered how an Agatha Christie fan could be so dense. “It’s today’s date. What’s tomorrow?”
David blinked his eyes as he thought about it. When he finally figured it out, his jaw dropped. “You mean…”
Jerry nodded. “Right. She’s been planning a surprise birthday party for you, you dope.”
This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “black, gray and white”: