“That’s it,” Jenny screamed. “I’m done!” She yanked her jacket from the coat-stand, knocking the whole array to the floor.

“Wait,” Henry said. His voice and hands trembled together. “Please. We can talk -”

“We’ve talked. We’ve done nothing but talk,” Jenny replied. Her hand froze on the doorknob, but she did not turn around. “You could fill books with all of our talking. But it doesn’t help. Because you. Just. Don’t. Listen.” She had to fumble to open the door. She felt like it removed some of the drama from her exit, so she made sure to slam the door extra hard on her way out.

Henry collapsed in her wake. He found the couch on the way down, but only barely. It was several minutes before he could form a coherent thought. The tears had just started coming when someone pounded at the door. He jumped up to answer it. He knew Jenny enough to know it couldn’t be her. But some part of him still hoped.

It wasn’t.

A policeman stood there instead, smartly dressed and kind-faced. “Mr. Collins?” he asked.

Henry nodded.

“I’m afraid we’ve been asked to bring you in for some questions. Can I assume you’ll cooperate?”

“Of course, officer. Anything you need.” Time to pay the piper, as they say.