Thursday, March 17, 2005

"Somehow I think I smell the whiff of a scheme"

Saturday, March 5, 2005, 9:30pm
Steve's house

I have to be very careful.

I can't push her too hard, especially since she told me she needs time. I have to let her know that I am worthy of her, while giving her the time she needs to process what is going on.

In the past, I never really had relationship trouble, because whenever there was even the slightest problem, I hauled ass. This is going to be hard; it's an area in which I have basically no experience.

I dial her number. I know I'm going to get her answering machine. I'll just say a quick goodnight and hang up. That will let her know I am thinking of her, and that I lived up to my word.




"What are you doing home?"

"I live here."

"No! I thought you were studying."

"We decided to break for the night. We weren't getting anywhere together and sometimes it helps if we split up."

"Ahh. Well, I guess I'll let you get back to it."

"Can I ask you a question?"

"What's that?"

"What did you mean when you said you were only gonna apologize once? What was that about?"

"That was about me only wanting to apologize once."


"I didn't want to get into a rut where I'm apologizing every five minutes for the same mistake."

"Why do you think you're gonna apologize every five minutes?"

"It's just that some guys get into that endless loop where they start... grovelling."

"So what's that got to do with you?"

"I don't want to do that."

"So if you don't want to do it, don't. Why mention it to me?"

Ah, fuck. I am in the crosshairs now. I am never going to talk my way out of this; I'll be dogmeat by the time she's through with me.


"I mean, really, Steve. I started thinking about that yesterday, and it made me very angry. Don't you think that was pretty arrogant of you?" she asks, her voice rising.

"No, I don't find honesty very arrogant."

"You know what I mean. If you don't want to apologize more than once, don't do it. The only reason you would say something like that to me is out of arrogance. Like you think I'm going to try to take advantage of it or something."

"You're reading into it, Steph."

"Of COURSE I'm reading into it! Why wouldn't I?"

"It's not that big a deal. It's just that some guys-"

"YOU'RE not 'some guys'! 'Some guys' have nothing to do with you. So why say it?"

"Steph, you've already thought about this ten times more than I ever did."


Like I said. Dogmeat.

"You made your point, Steph."

There's a long silence. The quiet makes me realize how loud the argument had just gotten.

"I'm sorry I yelled," she says softly.

"But you're only saying it once, right?"

She chuckles softly. "Shut up."

"Well, I just wanted to say goodnight. What are you doing tomorrow?"

"Studying all friggin' day. We have so many cases for Monday and we're not nearly ready."

"That's tough."

"I have to be there at 7:30 in the morning."


"I think I'm gonna come home for lunch so I can do some laundry and go shopping."


"Yeah. There's nothing to eat around here. And nothing clean to wear, so..."

"Just remember what Sinbad said."

"What's that?"

"Make two piles: 'Dirty' and 'funky'. And 'dirty' you can wear again." We laugh.

"So what're you doing tomorrow? Working I guess?"

"Oh yeah. Budget revisions galore. Tonight too."

"Well, don't work too hard."

"You too!" I say, earnestly.

"Call me tomorrow night on my cell."

"Same time?"


"Ok.... have a good night, Steph."

"You too babe."