Mar 7, 2013

End of Chapter 5, or Chapter 5, Part 3

After the last two chapters, I'm sure it's refreshing to have a shorter chapter. Chapter 5, part 3:


“No?” Jack rubbed his cheek, exasperated. Greta thought maybe she should say sorry for hitting him, but that would derail the whole conversation. She had to say this now or she would never say it. She’s read the books, she’s seen the movies. Something always happens to stop the person from saying “I love you.”

“No, I won’t be that girl,” Greta said to her palms. She remembered playing a game when she was younger. Her friends at recess would tell her future by the size and path of each wrinkle on her palm. Her future was always either marrying her crush and living in a big mansion or marrying the yucky boy and living in the haunted house on the corner. Her crush ended up dying of cancer. The yucky boy went to prison. The haunted house on the corner was inhabited by a hoarder who collected so many animals that when she died the animals ate her face off. Greta couldn’t remember why staring at her palm had been comforting. Futures suck.

“Who’s girl?”

Greta looked up at Jack. “I think I love you.”

“So what are you so afraid of?”

“I’m serious. I love you. I’m tired of tip toeing and…” Greta took a deep breath, “I want to be with you, Jack. It can’t just be me.”

“Greta, I don’t know what you want me to say.”

Jack averted his eyes, frowning. “I can steer you in the right direction…”

“It’s just…”

“Oh, okay. I’m starting to see I am that girl. It was all in my head. What an ass, I am. We’ll just forget this ever happened and go back to the way it was. Except that we both know that can’t ever happen so… Shit.” Greta turned away, cursing.

“No, Greta,” Jack pulled her by the arm. He placed his palm on her cheek. There it was again, that demanding presence. Greta wondered if it was just love that made her feel this way. If it was love that made her feel like he was greater than the earth. He was great, though. Before she loved him, he was great. So what was love then? It didn’t change who he was or who she was. “It’s just… It’s too inappropriate.”

That was too much. Greta could’ve taken a rejection but a vague pass off. If Jack didn’t want to be with her he should own up to it, not pass off the blame to something else. And he wasn’t even doing a good job of it. “Inappropriate? Are you my boss? No because even he would have the decency to look flattered before sending me to HR. Inappropriate? Fuck. I thought we were best friends, I thought I knew you, but maybe it is inappropriate. You’re the one with this apartment filled with beakers and what else would you call that stuff, I mean you would know right? I just know it by the stuff I see in horror movies. And oh my god, are you really going to act like we didn’t almost fuck because I was okay ignoring it too, until I realized wow I’m not a teen drama motif. If you’re not interested just say so.” This had transmogrified from a trite and true bearing of feelings to something horrific and inexplicable. Greta could spend all night with charts and time lines, yet the truth of this evening would still remain covered. If the night was an iceberg, the tip would be Jack’s apartment was a mad scientist’s lab. Greta had caught herself in a cat’s cradle and there was too much yarn in the ball to unravel it.

“It’s not that simple.”

“So vague. You sound like James Bond. Why are you choosing now of all times to play Mission Impossible?”

“Those are two different spies.”

“Jesus Christ… You know what, I take it back,” Greta said, waving her hands emphatically. “I take it back!”

“You can’t take something like that back.”

Greta turned and walked down the hall. Laughing bitterly she said, “Watch me.”


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