Expletive, Deleted

by Quin Browne and Thom Gabrukiewicz

“Hope is a four letter word,” she said in a tone of forced lightness. “So is fuck,” he said, harder than he needed to, and followed the profanity with a long pull of a sweaty bottle of beer. There was no reaction to the word, to the need behind it; instead, she wiped the counter before he put the bottle back down, in the hope he’d take his sadness somewhere – anywhere – else. He put the bottle down, then laid his palms flat against the wet coolness of the granite counter, arched his back, sighed, stretched his neck in low circles and laughed with the hiccup, like sobs. “Wary, worried, wishful,” she murmured to herself; “Hope is a four letter word,” she said as she leaned toward him, gripped his waist. “Fear, dread, determined,” he whispered as he turned and faced her; “Hope it is – when are you due?” he asked, hot tears giving shine to his cheeks.


Quin Browne and Thom Gabrukiewicz have done this sort of thing before.