The Last Breakup

The jukebox played a final note and stilled. Carly got up to put in another quarter and punched the buttons angrily. Rocket was being a jerk again. 

She returned to their table and stared at his collar. The left corner was flipped up in a way that betrayed his laundry method: leave them in the basket until wearing them again. Carly hated that about him. She didn’t know why they were still dating. It wasn’t like she hadn’t tried to break up with him sixteen times this month already. At least. 

Rocket loudly chewed his cheese fries, oblivious to the daggers being glared at his shirt collar. 

The waitress stopped at their table. “Anything else I can get for y’all? Kitchen’s closing in a few.”

Rocket was lost in his vacant thoughts, but Carly shook her head, meeting the waitress’s gaze. 

“Alrighty, here’s your check then,” she said, tearing the top sheet off her pad. 

Carly slid it from the edge of the table and flipped it over. She pulled her wallet out and dropped some bills on top. 

“I’m done, Rocket. You’re locked from the inside, and I can’t open you up. You have to do it yourself.” 

She stood up and left. 

Rocket was down to the crumbs at the bottom of his basket. He watched the waitress retrieve the money from the corner of his eye and mumbled, “keep it.” She gave him a look that he never saw, and kept it. 

The cook had to shoo him from the table, and once outside, Rocket jammed his hands in his coat pockets and started to whistle God Bless America. No one else was around to object.