“So cute… but don’t come home with another dog!” he joked as Emma walked into the store. She had just shown him a picture of her dog Henry, all done up for the holidays, wearing a festive Christmas sweater.

Henry sat unimpressed in front of Emma’s tree, forced to pose for her entertainment.

He had laughed at the silly picture of the dog, but he sat in the car thinking about how he is similar to Henry, treated like a child, being forced to submit to Emma’s every want or need, or else face the lecture as to how bad a boyfriend he is to her. He sat in the car in front of the store, waiting for Emma to be done her Christmas shopping with his money. The light snow begins to coat the car, turning it a sparkling white.

The sun began to creep below the horizon early in the afternoon when Celine showed up. She parked her car behind his and noticed the license plate number and sports team sticker in the window matched the person she had met a few weeks ago. Delighted to see him again, she got out to see if he is indeed in the car. She wiped the snowflakes sticking to the window and peered inside. He was on his phone, with the seat leaned back and head propped up with his sweatshirt. He didn’t notice Celine, so she skipped around the car, opened the passenger door, and flung herself into the seat. He jumped at the sudden intrusion and then recognized the smiling face looking down at him. His palms began to sweat as he put his phone down. Quickly, he looked at the door of the store to see if Emma was on her way out.

“You can’t be here”, he said to her, his eyes darted around the parking lot.

“What’s the matter, don’t you remember me?” Celine responded, her smile faded and confusion began to creep across her face.

“Of course I remember, just leave, I will text you later” he pleaded, as he reached across the car and opened the door for her to try to get her to leave.

“Why are you being like this?” she said sternly, not making any effort to move.

The store doors opened and Emma came out carrying many oversized bags full of clothes and other various gifts. She stumbled over to the car and looked up long enough to see Celine in the passenger seat. She dropped her bags before the tears started to flow down her cheeks.