“If you’re ever out my way, stop by,” he said, knowing it was an empty invitation.
“I’ll sure do that,” she said, not meaning it at all.
But he waited. The days and nights closed in on him until his last breath slipped out between the moon and the howl of a coyote. “Life is too short,” he thought, as transparency overtook him. “Life is too…”
She remembered him between ticks of the tall clock in the hall. And then she forgot.