“You forgot to put your glasses back on Clark.”
“We don’t have time for this,” Jack said as he walked through the door. He made his way to the kitchen and turned on the sink, washing his hands. There was a soft meowing. Jack looked down. “Hi, Gumbo.” Gumbo jumped up to greet Jack and in the process knocked Greta’s pills to the floor. A rainbow display of small ovals and circles scattered across the tile.
Jack dried his hands, his face veiled with emotion. “We don’t need to leave the city. Not yet, at least.”
“You just made a whole big speech thing about how important it was to leave. You convinced me, now you’re not convinced? I’m not convinced.” Jack dried his hands quietly, rubbing the cotton between his hands.
Greta picked up the pills. “Is it these? Don’t need ‘em. This guy, however…” Greta picked up Gumbo off the floor and held him in her arms. Still drying his hand with a careful cadence, Jack scoffed at Greta’s brazen statement.
“I don’t! Well maybe I did but now that the world is ending I can think of other things to occupy my time.”
“Right,” Jack said, unconvinced.
“How do I explain this…. Oh, but we don’t have time for this!”
Jack threw the towel to the floor. “Then make time, dammit!”
Greta nodded thoughtfully. “So there is time… For some things, anyway.” Jack scowled and Greta smiled, “Okay, it’s like this. Yes, I rely on the pills in this world. They give me a certain strength and stability in a world that demands a certain kind of strength and stability. But our world is ending and I won’t need to be able to make small talk, or go to not mandatory mandatory parties, or show up on time. I was tired in our world and there was a tree to lean on, it would have been foolish to keep standing.”
“You’ve been leaning for so I worry you forgot how to stand.”
“I don’t know if I’ll ever convince you, we see things so differently. You’ll just have to trust that I don’t need these pills. I don’t need trees to lean on. I’m made to feel I do because of the world I live in, but that’s quickly going to shit. So maybe I can stop taking my pills (not like I have a choice either way) because I’m really only taking them to survive in this world; the once that’s crumbly and almost cataclysmic.”
“I love you in any type of world Greta, but that isn’t strength.”
“That’s why I take pills. The way the world used to work I was a constant wrench in the cogs,” Greta sighed. “How is it not strength to survive?”