Richard has been missing for over a week now and I begin to worry. I’m not sure where he went. He usually leaves a note, but this time he’s just vanished. I’m wondering if he’s moved on to another young writer that needs him. I make my coffee, write my words, and look out the window to see if he’s walking down the road, but I don’t see him.

Sometimes Richard will go away for a long time to fish, but never without a word.

I find I can’t focus on writing without him here. I usually will ask him for his thoughts on this sentence or that character, even though his opinions are never really that helpful anyway. He’ll “hmm,” at my work, nod and then excuse himself to the kitchen for another cup of coffee. It’s when he says nothing at all; when I know my work is not good.

Spring is here, and when the weather is nice he spends more time away, so maybe he’s just on vacation. The winter has had him cooped up for too long, I tell myself. But I can’t help but wonder that maybe I just can’t see him anymore. Perhaps my adult years have finally overtaken my imagination and it’s all over.

I’m fraught with worry, as I pour yet another cup of coffee for myself. As I return from the kitchen I see Richard sitting in his favorite chair reading the news paper.

I stand there, mildly annoyed for a moment, tapping my foot. I glare at him until he feels me there and looks up.

“What?” he asks.

I put one hand on my hip and sip my coffee waiting for an answer.

He shrugs and returns to the paper.

“Richard!” I scold. “You’ve been gone for over a week! Where did you go?”

“Outside,” is all he says.

“For a week?”

“What does it matter?” he retorts. “I’m dead!”