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The waitress placed a plate of steaming enchiladas, smothered in cheese and onions, with a side of guacamole salad in front of Brian. A sweet tea was just out of reach of his left hand. He muttered a quiet “thank you” and turned his head, gazing out the diner window to a point off in the distance.

”I love you,” he whispered.

”I love you more,” was her reply.

“I love you the most.”

“Well I’ll love you longer.”

“I’ll love you until I die.”

“I’ll love you even longer than that.”

It was an old bedroom game. The scene played out in his head as a figure began to emerge in the sunset.
“Better get these to go,” he thought, before deciding, “No. Fuck it. I’ve got time.”

Brian was half way through the plate; the waitress had refilled his glass of tea three times, when a patron deposited an absent minded quarter into the juke box. It was Robert Earl Keen, one of her favorites.

”The road goes on forever and the party never ends.”

Brian shook his head. Mr. Keen had no idea how right he was. He glanced out the window, studying the approaching figure. It was closer now. Brian could almost make out its features. He took the time to slowly enjoy what was left of his meal before sliding a $20 under the edge of the cleaned plate. By the time he unlocked the door to his old pick-up truck, he could clearly make out the details of the figure he had been watching.

The fetid corpse trudged closer and closer to the diner. Rotted flesh dangled from crackling bones, and the white gown it once wore was now a filthy rag.

“I’ll love you until I die.”

“I’ll love you even longer than that.”

Brian slid into his truck and closed the door. He wondered how far away he’d have to go this time, and how long it would take her to find him.

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