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Fortune Cookie 

(Private Residence, University City)

It was a relief when the Chinese takeout arrived. Eating offers a great excuse for not having to speak to one another.

Ordinarily they were good at talking through disagreements, but this time they'd stumbled upon a snag. It wasn't that they didn't have anything to say, but what they had to say wasn't being communicated well. It was even getting hard to identify when the argument was under discussion and when it wasn't: It seemed to pop up out of nowhere, masquerade in different costumes, leave off only to pick up unbidden.

Though it had begun innocuously enough, by the time the food came they'd been reduced to sending nasty telepathic messages back and forth.

After finishing her chicken fried rice, she silently opened her fortune cookie. For a moment her eyes lingered on the inscription, then she handed it to him.

It read:

Communication is the lifeblood of all relationships.

His brain smiled.

Then he cracked his own cookie:

Communication is the lifeblood of all relationships.

"Oh, my God," he said. It was the first time either had spoken in a long time.

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October 13, 2021

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