***Stream of consciousness writing.... based on a couple of things I had written as an insertion to the story--- very curious for some input on what people think this is*** And that was how it started. A casual flick of her hair, followed by a tuck of that hair behind her ear, a casual glance away, unwilling to meet my eyes. I tried to regain her eyes, to get them back on me but it was clear what I had said had ruined our moment, all lost in the glaze of the comment she had made. The truth had been revealed and although it had shaken me, I still kept falling back into that pesky trait I had to make sure she was okay. Even though I certainly wasn't. What had she brought upon me, so much so that now I was questioning myself even though she had dropped the bomb on me. She had told me the truth, something I had suspected, perhaps more subconsciously than consciously. But here we were, and I was looking more the fool than she. "So, um, yeah," she said less than eloquently. "You okay? I will have to go and do that thing." I leaned back in my chair, the plastic of it like a school's chair: cold, impassive, uncomfortable. I leaned hard, almost wishing for it to break and fall back and spill of the back. Perhaps some pain, discomfort or pure lack of aesthetics might break the moment and return things through catastrophe back to where we were. "Do you have to go do that thing?" I asked her. "Really? Right now? Can't we just take a moment..." "No, not really. Vance. I need to go do this. It is something I have to do. It's important. I get paid. I don't want to be late." "It's not like it's work. You can be a few minutes late." "It is work. It's a job. It's a gig." "How is that right? A gig? Really? Come on. Can't we just go back 15 minutes, 30 minutes ago. Maybe... maybe I don't even need to know what this is. Maybe you should have lied to me. There is something to be said for being blind..." "I can't lie to you. I shouldn't lie to you. It is unfair. To you. To me. To us." I push back from the table between us, our closeness stifling, and I regretted adding more distance physically than the distance she had created already. She leans in closer and I feel a pinge of something I had not felt until 10 minutes ago. There was something reprehensible now, something foul, a queeziness in my stomach I felt would always be there. I had this need to run away, to push until my legs or lungs gave out and collapsing into a muddle is quivering muscles and gasps. With pure concern for me in her eyes, she says, "Vance... I have to go, but I need to know you aren't going to... I don't know... I know you. Are you going to do something stupid?" She cocks her head like a beagle might. "Are you going to do something stupid?" "No. Yes. I don't know." "Like go running until you collapse. Legs cramps, or stomach cramps and then left shivering out in a field unable to make until the stitch in your side subsides." Now she had hit on something. Weakness. Or the actual perception of it. I stood up, pushing the table in front of me, pushed into her. She slightly teeters on her chair as my own chair falls back. " Screw you!" I say. "Just like you to turn this around on me. JUst like you to use this to twist things to your favor." I was stunned by my own reaction, like I was acting out of body. Like I was saying things I had thought before and never acted on, shared how I felt before without saying anything--- finally being truthful about unexplained thoughts I had had--- "SCrew you," I said unoriginally again. "What gives you the right to do this to me." "I am not doing this to you. This has nothing to do with you." She regretted that, I realized and in my state of my mind, because of the betrayal, because of the bomb she had dropped, I smelled blood and I wanted nothing but to take advantage--- because I was clearly losing the fight otherwise. All i fair in love and war, or so they say. I never knew what that meant, but I sure decided to take advantage. I said, loud enough for all to hear, as if that would make her feel more guilty, and make myself feel some sort of vindication, which was not quite how it would play out. "This has nothing to do with me--- ever? Did it?" "It doesn't work like that--- I can't explain it to you--- I really have to go." I pointed to the door, all eyes completely on us. I also suspected (and later learned) that some people were YouTubing the event for posterity. In all of my glory, I said. "Go then! Go do that thing. I am gone. We are done. And hope to god that someone forgives you for what you have gone and done tonight."


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