Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pre-emptive

"I don't fancy you anymore."
"I'm sorry? What?"
"I don't fancy you. I don't mean to sound cruel; I can't think of a gentler way to say it."
"OK. Uhh... Do I know you?"
"Oh, sorry. I'm Ellen."
"Right. Nice to meet you, Ellen. Dave."
"No, let's not shake hands. It's best that we keep things... not physical. Although, God knows it's not about that. I'm sure the sex would have been incredible."
"What?!"
"The sex. It probably would have been intense. Amazing. Really, really amazing."
"Really, really?"
"Really."
"Ellen?"
"Yes, Dave?"
"Can I ask you something?"
"Of course, darling. I've always tried to be honest with you."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about us, David -- you and me. I'm talking about what we are, what we need. And right now I think we need time apart. We need to go our separate ways."
"Huh?"
"It's time for us to follow our separate paths, Dave."
"Wait. Are you breaking up with me?"
"Ah, if you must be so crass -- yes. Dave, I'm breaking up with you."
"But we're not in a relationship."
"I know, I'm breaking up with you pre-emptively."
"Pre-emptively?"
"Yes. I saw you and I thought: 'Oh, there's something about him. Maybe.' You know? But relationships are so fragile, so complicated, so much work."
"So, you've decided to go straight to the break-up?"
"Yes."
"That's kind of unfair."
"How so?"
"I don't know. I mean, I don't even get a chance? Why are you breaking up with me? What did I do?"
"Dave, I don't want to get into who did what and who said what. I don't want to have a cloud of blame hanging over us. But I will say this: It's impossible for me to be with you when all I'm doing is thinking about her."
"Her?"
"Your wife, Dave! My God, maybe you can forget about her, but I can't!"
"How do you know I'm married?"
"The wedding ring."
"Oh. Very observant, Ellen."
"I'm much smarter than you've ever given me credit for."
"Hey, don't be like that."
"Don't tell me how to feel."
"But, Ellen, surely it must be something more than that. I mean, if it's only about Lisa..."
"Lisa?"
"My wife. Her name is Lisa."
"Oh. Right. Poor Lisa. It breaks my heart to think of her."
"Yeah. Anyway, if it were only about Lisa, you wouldn't have chosen me to break up with. You would have taken your coffee and sat over there. But you sat down here and you're breaking up with me. There's something more here. Are you afraid of what might have happened?"
"Don't try to think for me, Dave. And it doesn't matter. You are married."
"If I wasn't?"
"I... I don't know. We're so different, Dave. Maybe in another place... in some other time... I don't know. Why are you making this so hard?"
"You're the one breaking up with me, Ellen."
"Oh, that's right. Turn it back on me. It's what you always do."
"What do you mean, what I always do? You don't even know who I am."
"Exactly, Dave. Exactly. I don't know who you are. Not anymore. And you don't know me. How could we carry on a lie like that? And poor Lisa!"
"Ellen?"
"Yes, David?"
"You're insane."
"Let's not get into name-calling, Dave. Please. Let's not end things in anger. I want to remember the happy times. Please don't be angry, Dave. Please."
"I'm not angry."
"You say that. You make it seem like you're not. You've always been so good at that. But I can't be that way; I can't bottle up my feelings. I can't lock away my heart. It's no way to live. I only hope, Dave, that someday you'll find happiness. It won't be easy, I know. But maybe someday, you'll be able to move on. Maybe, someday, you'll find the someone who's right for you."
"Yeah. Well. I'll do my best."
"So strong, Dave. My big strong man; you never let yourself cry. Farewell, Dave."
"Back at ya, Ellen."
"Goodbye, Dave. Oh, uhm, just one thing. Can I get your phone number? I want to call you at 2 a.m., crying. Also, I'm going to add you as a Facebook friend so that I can add snarky insults to every one of your status messages..."

3 comments:

Tiffany ♥ said...

yeah. i love this.

erin said...

Ha! How very clever. A very good piece.

mary said...

Very good indeed!