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by Robert P. Bishop

I saw her eating dinner alone at a table with a single red rose in a slender black vase. I knew we would get married, buy a fine house, enjoy fantastic careers, and produce two children. We and our children would thrive, but I would grow tired of routine and demands made of me. My first affair would lead to multiple affairs, scar our marriage, disappoint our children and drive them to despair then to crime, and, in the end, to prison. My children would blame me for their failures. My affairs would give my wife grounds for divorce. She would take everything we had worked for, leaving me penniless and living in my car.

I looked at her and our eyes met. Then she smiled and looked away. I walked to her table, sat down and said, “Hi, I’m Patrick. We are going to have a wonderful life together.”

Robert P. Bishop, a former soldier and teacher, lives in Tucson, Arizona. His short fiction has appeared in The Literary Hatchet, The Umbrella Factory Magazine, CommuterLit, Lunate Fiction, Spelk, Fleas on the Dog, Corner Bar Magazine, and elsewhere.