And the Gates of Heaven Opened...

Debra Fran Baker

dfbaker@panix.com


"It's wet out there." Casey turned away from the office window, which was covered by sheets of water.

Danny paused as he hung up his soggy rain coat. "It is indeed wet out there."

"And yet you were out in the wet."

"I was."

"Without an umbrella."

"I had an umbrella."

"Then why are you dripping all over the carpet?"

"I'm dripping all over the carpet because I am wet."

"And there is no umbrella dripping along with you."

"Note that I said I *had* an umbrella. The tense is past because the umbrella is past." Danny took off his sweater, which was mostly dry, and rubbed his hair with it.

"You could have purchased another one. They sell disposables everywhere."

"I could have. However, the umbrella became past a mere two blocks from the building. I will purchase another when I leave tonight, provided it is still wet." He sat down in his chair and opened up his computer, trying not to shiver in the slightly chill air.

"Why were you out in the wet?"

"I had an appointment."

"An appointment?"

"Yes."

"I wasn't aware you had an appointment tonight."

"That would probably be because you aren't my secretary."

"You see Abby on Tuesdays. Today is Thursday. You saw your dentist two weeks ago and you got a clean bill of health and compliments on the state of your gums. Your next physical is in three months. It's nowhere near tax time, and no one is currently suing you."

"I stand corrected. *You* are my secretary."

"So where were my flowers on Secretary's day?"

"You want flowers?"

"We all want flowers. Where were you?"

"I had an appointment." Danny turned back to his half-written script.

Casey walked to the table and stood over him. "What appointment?"

"I was with Abby."

"You see Abby Tuesdays."

"I do."

"Today isn't Tuesday."

"No. Today is Thursday."

"If you see Abby Tuesdays and today is Thursday, why did you see Abby today?"

"I see her on Thursdays, too, if you must know."

"Since when?" Casey's voice was worried.

"Since...since last week. Since we resolved the whole buy out thing and I broke up with Rebecca for good and you said I could manage without you." Danny couldn't look at him.

He heard Casey move by his desk, shuffle papers, click keys slowly. "Why?"

"Why what?"

"Why...more?"

"She thinks I need it. She thinks...she thinks I have to face things."

"Things?"

"You."

"Me?"

"You. I need to face you." Each word felt like fire coming out. Coming out. That was a laugh.

"Face me? You won't look at me, but you have to face me."

"Yeah. I have to face you. And me. And jealousy."

"Jealousy?"

"Jealousy? What are you jealous about?" Jeremy popped in, carrying a clear plastic clip board.

"That you have that cool Lucite clipboard." Danny found that if he looked at Jeremy, he wouldn't have to look at Casey.

"$12.99 on sale at Staples. Also comes in cool iMacs colors. I'll pick one up for you. You'll have to pay me back, though."

"They come in blueberry?"

"They come in blueberry."

Casey cleared his throat. "And why are you here, Jeremy?"

"Because there are no baseball scores."

"Why aren't there baseball scores?