“I’ve been thinking,” Martin said, spreading low-fat margarine over his toasted bagel. “We should get married.”
Charlie lowered his newspaper, looked at Martin over the top of his reading glasses. “What?”
“You heard me.”
“No.” Charlie went back to reading his paper.
“No, you didn’t hear me or no, you don’t want to get married?” Martin asked, grimacing as he bit into his bagel. It wasn’t the same without cream cheese and jam.
Charlie’s head popped over the paper again. “What’s the matter with you?”
“Nothing, I want to get married.” Martin said, setting his bagel down and picking up his coffee.
Charlie flapped the newspaper pages, but he didn’t look up. “No, you don’t.”
Martin snorted. “You mean you don’t.”
“Don’t tell me what I mean, you know I hate that.”
“Why? You tell me what I think.” Martin popped the last piece of bagel into his mouth and dusted toast crumbs off his fingers.
Charlie folded his newspaper, pushed away from the table. Thirty years with Martin had taught him when to retreat. “I’m off to the gym.”
“I don’t know why you bother going. It’s not like you actually work out,” Martin said, getting up to slot his breakfast plate into the dishwasher.
“Should have thought that was obvious,” Charlie said, rounding the kitchen table, and pinning Martin to the counter. “I go to get away from you.”
Laughter spilling into Martin’s face, he slipped Charlie’s reading glasses off, and set them on the counter. “Get out of here, moron.”
At the kitchen door, Charlie turned back, raised an eyebrow at Martin. “You bought rings, didn’t you?”
“Thought you were leaving?” Martin asked, pouring himself a second cup of coffee.
Martin sipped his coffee, heard the hangers clang in the hall closet as Charlie got his jacket.
“No reception,” Charlie called down the hallway to the kitchen, closing the front door behind him.
Ever the romantic, his Charlie.