I wouldn’t want to be Veronica but sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I had some of the things she let go. Years ago Veronica managed a perfume and soap store. Whenever we would get together for lunch I’d hear about her day and her employees: the stock boy who came in late, the assistant manager and her drug problem. Veronica had her hands full dealing with her. Veronica is my friend but she used to go through men like a seasonal allergy sufferer goes through tissues. That changed after she met Kyle. Veronica and Kyle were a good couple mainly because Kyle has the ability to draw people out. Every time I talked to him I found myself telling him things I hadn’t intended to tell anyone.

The first time I ran into Veronica's ex-boyfriend Kyle was the day I met Veronica’s former boss coming back from the bank. I left Holly's store with a bag of discontinued items. Back at my store Kyle broke my bar of lavender soap over the edge of the stainless steel countertop. Periodically I would see Kyle in the hall but neither of us said anything to the other person. Three weeks after the soap breaking incident Kyle stopped by my store to aplogize. Once again I found myself telling him things I didn't want to share. Both of us had new scars. Kyle’s finger was still bandaged but I had heard from his roommate how the bone had gone through the skin when someone they were playing basketball with stepped on Kyle’s hand.

Not long after that Kyle’s roommate asked if I wanted to watch a movie. We picked up Chinese on the way over to his apartment. Something in Kyle's bathroom smelled really good. It smelt familiar. Why couldn’t I place it? I pulled the shower curtain back. Then it hit me. Kyle’s bathroom smelled like Veronica. Half a bar of lavender soap sat up on Kyle's shelf. The edges of my bar were smooth, worn down with use. The bar in Kyle’s shower had a rough uneven edge. I gathered my things together and made my excuses to Kyle’s roommate. The other day I saw a hawk sitting on top of a sign when I was driving home. Apart from the ragged bar of lavender soap, it was one of the loneliest things I had ever seen.

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