The Jacket

by Trenchcoat Tardigrade

It was the first cold front of the year and Brixton was putting on his black leather jacket. The year had been a hard one, with a demanding work schedule. He was grateful, but enough had become enough. He hadn’t gone out for a night of beers and music in many months. That night things were going to change. He was ready to see some new faces.

A slight thud against his hip caught his attention. He reached into the pocket and felt an assortment of coins and pieces of paper folded together. As with every year, he smiled at the idea that he must have forgotten about some cash the last time he wore the jacket. He pulled it out and flipped through $167 before stuffing the bills into his wallet. His grin broadened at the thought of his night getting better than he had planned.

Brixton checked himself in the mirror one last time and scurried out the door of his apartment. The night air held a chill and his car was across the lot. He scrunched down his neck, stuck his hands in his pockets, and stopped. He withdrew two unused movie tickets from his other pocket. They must have been forgotten one evening when the he and Julia decided to cut the night short for more personal quality time, as was common during the three years they had dated. He tossed the stubs to the wind and darted to his car.

He got in and started the engine, letting it purr for a moment to warm up. He felt for his phone to Bluetooth his “amped up” playlist and found his belt missing the leather case. He patted his pants and recently emptied jacket pockets with no luck. His hand snaked into the inside breast pocket of his jacket, and he froze in place. The memories flooded back. He remembered the restaurant manager telling him not to worry about the bill. He remembered buying the unused movie tickets on opening weekend. And as he pulled the small ring box out, he remember the look in her eyes when Julia said “no”.