Have and Have Not

Have and Have Not (March 2020, Week 3 Day 3)

Sighs communicate more than one thinks, and Francis sighed a lot. He used them instead of words, without awareness, whenever possible. Words, to Francis, were dangerous. They sounded innocent enough in his head but when he let them out he seemed to find himself in trouble. Or discomfort. Or in love.

On Tuesdays, Francis volunteered at a homeless shelter in the center of town. Every week he would close out of all the programs he used to make money for people who had plenty so he could leave work early to give food to people who had none. It didn’t right the scales but it felt like the right thing to do. He’d been going from work to Waldmen House every Tuesday for three years. He was their longest standing volunteer and he had said maybe two dozen words in the space. Some words were used over and again, like “hello” and “more.” It wasn’t unusual for a shift to go by with him only having used those two words, plus “goodbye.”


Mitchell tripped as he scrambled to get his briefcase packed. The room was a tornado of clothes, books, dog toys, and toiletries. His briefcase stood out as the only thing in the room with order beyond Mitchel himself.

“Mitchie, relax!” Sandra twisted herself around in the bed to face him without emerging from under the covers. “You’re not the one who needs to do the impressing today.”

Mitchell signed as he flopped down into a chair only to pop back up again. “Shit. How do you put up with all this stuff?” He waved a one-eared mouse toy at her.

Sandra shrugged. “I look before I sit?” She ducked as the mouse toy whizzed over her head. “Ok, ok – it will be spotless in here by the time you get back.”

“Spotless? How about ‘less chaotic’ as a start?”

Sandra stuck her tongue out as she lowered the comforter down to give him a flash of her breasts.

Mitchell smiled and dove into bed with her while she giggled. The two of them lost themselves in each other until Mitchell’s watch pulled his attention away.

“Sorry. No time.”

“No fun for you, anyway – I don’t have anywhere to be today.” Sandra sat up and let the blankest pool around her waist. “Go. Be impressive. I’ll be here when you get back.”

Mitchell kissed the top of her head, reached for his briefcase, and lurched towards the door. “I thought they were the ones who have to impress me. Your tune changed quickly.”

“You’re the boss there, as of today. You’ll impress them by being impressed by them.” She smiled and left the room.

Mitchell shook his head as he pulled the door closed behind him. He used the trip into the city to rehearse what he’d say to everyone at his first staff meeting. He had it down to thirty minutes by the time he got to the train.


Francis fidgeted at the back of the conference room.

One thought on “Have and Have Not”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *