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"it's beautiful tonight," he says, mostly just to fill the silence.
"mmhm," she replies, pretending to sip her coffee that has started to cool. she knows she will not drink it but he likes to think they have something in common and she cannot bring herself to disappoint him.
they walk for a while, waiting for the other to say something. neither of them do. she looks around as they pass the street shops that are closing for the night, looking as she does every day for a change to the window displays, a new sign or something to bring up in the conversation. she is disappointed, as she often is, to find the street looking much the same as it did the previous night.
they pass his favorite restaurant, and he points at the strands of lights strung above the tables outside, retelling a story about his first kiss that she has heard many times before. she chooses not to remind him.
they approach her house, and he asks, as he always does, if she would like to come over for a drink.
as always, she politely declines him.
"another time then?" he says, more out of routine than actual suggestion.
"another time," she echoes back.
inside her apartment, she watches from the window as he walks another block, getting smaller with each step, until he turns to enter his own identical apartment. she wonders for a moment if she should've said "yes" today.
she shrugs and decides that there is always tomorrow.
she throws her untouched cup of coffee in the trash, knowing she will not say "yes" tomorrow either.