"What if goldfish were, like, aliens. You know? And, like, their goldfish bowls were environmental units?"
Larry nodded approvingly at his own observations.
George frowned and turned back to the window. The night looked cold and threatening. He peered unseeing through the reflection of his eyes. Shiela's train had been due over three hours ago. He should have gone to meet her. He thought about it, struggled over how it would make him look to her.
"Maybe she caught another train?" suggested Larry, as if reading his thoughts.
"Maybe someone kidnapped her or something. Maybe, like, she was walking along the road and you know, like some dude in black jumped out and grabbed her. Maybe she was like, like..."
"Shut up," said George. "You talk too much."
"You," retorted Larry.
George sighed, thinking that it might be a good idea to send Larry out. Sheila hated him. If she showed up, his presence would block any chance they might have at reconciliation.
Larry stuck a hand into the goldfish bowl, chasing the fish around with a finger as he made a low rumbling sound.
George's voice startled him. Jerking back, Larry snagged the edge of the bowl. It fell and crashed onto the linoleoum. Goldfish flopped about.
"Oh my God," whispered Larry. He ran to the sink and grabbed a glass, quickly half-filling it with water. Rushing back, he squatted and retrieved the two fish. With damp eyes, he watched them to make sure they were unharmed.
"I'm so sorry. God, George. I'm so sorry. You know? I'm sorry. I'll clean it up. I'm sorry."
George looked at the clock again. If she was going to come, she would have been here by now. She at least would have called. He turned to Larry; his friend's eyes were anxious. "It's okay, we'll clean it up. We'll get a new bowl tomorrow."
"Yeah, a new bowl." Larry seemed relieved. "I'm sorry about Sheila, man. Maybe you could call her."
"No, man. She knows my number."
"Damn right," said Larry. He chuckled and set the glass of goldfish on the table.