March 21, 2019. Thursday.
The urgent drive to win Dylan’s heart flees me into Luster at around 9AM with breakfast in hand. She flinches away from the computer and pouts, displaying her somber and puffy-red eyes. I rest the takeout meal and the cup of coffee on the counter as I put her rugged face under a microscope. “What the hell happened to you?” I interrogate in a demanding air.
“You,” she mutters.
“What?” I snap.
“Just stay away from me, Ace,” she sobs. “I don’t want to get to know you anymore.”
“Excuse me? Does this have something to do with your screaming insecurities again?”
“Look, I still don’t know you, all right? But it’s easy to fall in love with you. It’s dangerous. It’s a total suicide for me. I can’t do this.”
“Stop brewing,” I yelp. “I got you pancakes and coffee. What did you do last night, anyway? Why do you look like you’ve been attacked by goblins?”
“I cried,” she mumbles.
“‘Cause I don’t wanna feel something for you. I don’t wanna go crazy. I don’t wanna murder myself.”
“Will you stop acting like some paranoid goat already? Is this why you didn’t buzz me in?”
“You made me cry, too.”
“You’re a lunatic.”
“What should I do to make you believe that I’m for real, Dylan? Tell me. ‘Cause I hate to see you brewing around, despising and questioning my guts while I walnut against your fears. What should I do?”
“Just stay away.”
“You know there is no way in hell that I’d do that,” I point out. “I have three things tanking up on my mind right now — get to know you, get closer to you, and get you to dance with me. Then you decide. Whether I’ve convinced you enough to share the dance floor with me — or I’d still scare you away. For now — don’t worry about losing me anytime of the day ‘cause it would never happen, anyway. Maybe not until I would have to fly back home. But it’s the least of our worries, really. ‘Cause I wouldn’t be this miserable pop-in walnut if you were just some boring, ordinary, bland potato. Clinched?”
“Claimed,” she agrees. “Have you had breakfast yet?”
“Yeah,” I reply. “I’ve had oatmeal and some apple slices.”
“Cool,” she says. “I have to do my groceries after work, though. My human impulses drilled on like a construction machine last night, so I did a lot of deep cleaning in my suite, and threw out all the rotten stuff from my fridge, too. And this was while I was thrilling out yowls over you. I thought it would work, but –”
“Dylan,” I say, holding her hand, “don’t ever hurt yourself like that again. You promise?”
“I don’t know, Ace,” she sighs.
“Just say it!”
“Okay okay! God!”
“Just say the words.”
“Clinched,” I yelp.
“Claimed,” she seconds.
“I’ll help you with grocery shopping later.”
“Don’t you have something rewarding to do?”
“Keep discriminating against my walnut, and I’d terrorize you more. So shut up.”
“This miracle is just blaring out of my panic siren, all right?”
“You waltzed in to work with an empty stomach, didn’t you?” I brush off her guff.
“Yeah,” she replies.
“Now go on and revitalize your day. Eat.”
“Thank you for breakfast.”
“Why are you taking a cart for?” Dylan protests. We have just whirled into a huge grocery store. “Put it back. I don’t need an entire store hoarding around my place. Just a basket is fine.”
I snatch a basket from the stack. “Okay. C’mon.”
“What are you doing?” she whines.
“I’m holding an empty basket,” I reply. “Now let’s fill it up.”
“It’s my groceries, Ace.”
“It’s ours now.”
“Since when did you make that alarming decision?”
“Since I thought of making you pasta. Do you like something spicy?”
“Wait wait wait wait wait — wait minute here!” she attacks on. “You’re telling me — ?”
“I’m going home with you,” I invite myself. “And I’ll make us pasta for dinner.”
She winces. “Ace –”
I wrap my arm around her shoulders. “Aw, come on, babe. Don’t rationalize your insecurities anymore. I’m sick of it. Let’s go.”
“I live in a squealing neighborhood,” she explains as we approach the isles. “And it’s not a cozy basement suite. I only have one tiny table and one tiny chair. I’m just in bed most of the time.”
“Picnic style — okay?” I suggest.
“I guess,” she shrugs. “But Ace — it’s still embarrassing. I mean –”
“Three — two — one –” I warn her.
“What was the countdown for?”
“For you to shut up already.”
“I’m just scared to — fall in love — with you –”
“Don’t be. I’m not. I’m not scared to fall in love with you.”
“Goodness,” she yelps. “I gotta give you my parents’ contact info just in case I’d kill myself in the middle of this illusion.”
“It is NOT an illusion,” I affirm. “It’s me attacking you with my walnut crack even before the All of Lush confirmation. So I think I’d kill myself first if you wouldn’t give this a chance. If you wouldn’t give — us — a chance. Do you feel better now?”
“Not really,” she murmurs. “It’s just that –”
“Dylan,” I gasp, interrupting her, “is there any way for you to shut up and face the music? Be a little brave? Because I have no intention of playing around and messing with your heart. It would be a waste of time. For both of us. I’m here — with you — because my heart desires to be here. And for the first time in my life — I’m fearless. Like — walnut and baby carrot — kind of fearless. Would you be kind enough to believe that?”
She considers it. “Yeah. I guess that sounds convincing enough.”
I plant a smack on her head. “Hmm. Your hair smells great. What brand of shampoo do you use?”
“Just something random,” she pouts. “My memory doesn’t normally stick around for those things.”
“You’re a cutie,” I giggle. “So do you like something spicy?”
“What are you making, anyway?”
“Spicy prawn linguine pasta.”
“I’ve never heard of that before.”
“You’ll love it! You’re okay with seafoods, though?”
“It’s cool.” She smiles at me — the only beguiling smile that mesmerizes my spiralled breaths.
I am already falling in love.
Dylan’s neighborhood is contrary to her bazooka description. It may look sketchy along the main avenue, but trailing down to a row of middle-class houses piles me up without cringing needles pinning into my arteries. Not only do I feel comfortable, the high-spunk thought of living here harasses me in an instant. Uh-oh. I am such a presumptuous destiny bugger.
Dylan, dance with me now! Please! My lower abdomen already aches inside All of Lush lyrics and melody! Just do something — wild — goddammit!
We take a turn to the left and march through the separate entrance of a cushy house, then she leads me into her basement suite and turns the light on. I pause to check out a minimalist’s pad: a snug bed with a laptop resting on it, a short-legged side table, a small drawer — then — one tiny chair and one tiny table erecting with hyped humility on the dining area floor. It’s cream white and clean. With a garden scent lurking in the air.
“I’ve told you –” she shies away, “– it’s embarrassing –”
I grin. “Oh, baby. I love it.” I march into the kitchen and place the heavy grocery bags on the counter, as she watches me from the doorway — frozen in complete disbelief. “What’s wrong?” I yelp.
She closes the door behind her and joins me, then dunks the rest of the items next to my heaps. “The last time I invited someone over was almost three years ago, and it was while I was still in Alberta. We only dated for a few months, then she dumped me for a dude. She was bi. And that was the last time I was with someone. Now this is scaring me, like one of those contestants in a steak-eating tournament who happens to be vegan.”
“I’m here to disinfect bad luck,” I reply. “Deal with it, and just let it grind.”
A text message sounds off on her cell phone. “Ooh.” She checks it with a cold dash.
I start unloading the bags. “What’s up?”
“It’s my high-school best friend’s ex-girlfriend’s best friend,” she informs me. “She’s gonna be in town pretty soon. From Detroit.” A guilty dub sprinkles in her eyes. “They’re — setting us up.”
“Pardon me?” I shrill.
“We’ve been talking for a while,” she confesses. “Though I’ve already told her — I’m not interested — but she figured we should see each other first before I’d go for the total ditch. It’s kind of like — a psychogenic venture, so — we’ll see –.”
I collect my cool. “Do you have a picture of her?” She browses through her phone and shows me a photo of a pretty girl who seems to be a part of our demographic age group. Now she is — she is — going to be my mortal enemy! Oh god. Now I understand the ferocious fear — of losing somebody you love — with all the crowning romance granted by the universe — anytime and any day! “What’s her name?”
“Sarah,” she replies.
“Sarah what?” I investigate.
“Her last name sounds a bit complicated to pronounce. Can’t remember.”
“So what’s not to like about her then? Her last name?”
“She talks about pigeons a lot,” she answers. “She devours pork. She hates Jazz. She always interrupts me when I’m bragging about my favorite songs and how I’d stand up for myself at work. And she has a string of desires for butch lesbians.”
“Well then — how come she’s into you all of a sudden?”
“Because a psychic advised her that she was destined to be with someone — like me — Someone like me — that she must settle for — kind of — thing. Then she told my high-school best friend about her clairvoyant trip, and they got me into the voodoo spin, so –”
“I don’t want you to see her,” I flare up.
“But – Ace –” she stammers, “– the girl seems serious about meeting me –”
“When is she coming?” I grunt.
“Friday next week.”
“How long is she in town for?”
“TWELVE DAYS??? IS SHE STAYING HERE WITH YOU??? RIGHT HERE??? AT YOUR PLACE???”
“Yeah.” She is about to burst into tears.
“I’m cancelling my flight then,” I simmer down.
“I’m sorry,” she gives in. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about this.”
“Clinch it up, Dylan,” I rouse on. “I’m hanging on to my All of Lush dance, and I am not handing you over to a girl, with a Gordian last name, who believes her psychic’s shuck and jive, then import herself into the country!”
“But Ace –” she begs, “– I just wanna be nice and accommodating, that’s all.”
“You tell her you’ve already met someone,” I insist. “You’ve found your All of Lush destiny, and you can’t junk it out of the way no matter what her psychic says!”
“I can’t tell her that,” she objects.
“Why not?” I convulse.
“BECAUSE SOMEONE LIKE YOU CAN NEVER BE MINE!!! SOMEONE LIKE YOU CAN ONLY BREATHE IN MY ILLUSION!!! SOMEONE LIKE YOU –!!!”
“Shut up!” I interrupt her, trembling. “I’m here to make pasta for YOU! For US! My heart took me here! NOT MY SKIN!” And I whimper like a pregnant cow, giving birth for the first time.
“Ace, I’m still scared,” she weeps along.
“I’m scared, too,” I reply. “That I’d lose you anytime — any day –”
“You have no right to steal off my fears,” she says.
“Like, you’re the only one here who was born with a heart!” I blurt out. “You’ve gotta get rid of Sarah. Right now. I mean it.”
“Ace, we’re still getting to know each other, for god’s sake. And I’m not being a smug here or anything, I’m just saying — I respect Sarah’s decision to meet me. The same way as I labor my way out of my screaming insecurities so I would finally have enough courage to face — our music.”
“Okay. But I want a formal introduction.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Me. Your All of Lush.”
“And — the walnut — is entitled to crack around wherever you go.”
“Ace!” she yelps.
I submerge back to my grocery task. “I’m all set, Dylan. I — am — all — set!”
Trancing on a picnic blanket as we chow down spicy prawn linguine pasta uncovers more truths in me: a simple and lovely life, only the right person tickles a heart in full bliss, and destiny chooses the perfect time to fall in love.
“I’m sorry if I’ve made you sprawl on the floor,” Dylan blenches. “You can have the table and the chair, though. Really. I can just –”
“Dylan,” I interrupt her, “I asked for us to do this. You’ve got nothing to apologize for. I love it. And I’ll do it over and over again. With you.”
She smiles. “The pasta is luscious. Thank you.”
“Anytime,” I reply.
“Don’t cancel your flight, Ace. We’ll buzz each other, anyways.”
“I don’t trust your buzz anymore. I’m staying ‘cause I’m a lunatic walnut. And I’ll make sure we’ll make it to the dance floor. Clinched. Done.”
“What has brought you into town?” she asks.
“Work expansion,” I reply, looking away — uncomfortable much — Alex — the discreet engagement — letting my hair down — Argh! “Grand opening. I just had to cut a ribbon and kiss them all goodbye.”
“You can’t stick around Toronto longer, Ace. You’ve got life waiting for you in Vancouver, and your boss would freak out if –”
“She’ll be fine. I’ll take care of it.”
She sifts through my testy response. “Your sweet darlings at work,” she recalls. “I bet they’ve all been in love with you, huh?”
“I don’t know,” I shrug. “They just melt me away with their affectionate gestures, that’s all.”
“They’re all in love with you. They’re just terrified to drop it.”
“Maybe that’s just how they engage with me.”
“Any human in the entire universe can fall in love with you in a snap, Ace. You own all the beautiful and kind adjectives bouncing out of a dictionary, for god’s sake. You’re too — GORGEOUS IN EVERYTHING — which makes our lives too — PAINFUL — to bear! I don’t wanna end up in a suicidal pit, all right? I love my parents that much! Pardon me for bringing it up again, but it’s been deteriorating my gooey jello principles since you’ve thundered into my world for the first time.”
“Dylan, you’re scaring all the wild animals with your famous hippo pouts, your gooey jello principles are just slithering around, looking for a brand new home to gratify their truth, AND your parents would not appreciate it if you’d keep on kicking me to the curb, accusing me of not being genuine enough all because of the way I look. Now that’s some serious discrimination punch you’ve been jabbing around me.”
“Name one sensible mind who would believe that someone like you could like me,” she assaults on. “Anyone. From your walnut world. Name one, Ace. Then I’d probably feel better.”
A piece of prawn struggles its way down into my throat. “My –” I pause and sip my red wine. “– Um — my parents –”
“I knew it,” she mumbles, swiveling away.
“Dylan,” I beg, “can we please not talk about my world anymore?”
“It’s part of the whole package.”
“The whole package is RIGHT HERE, having spicy prawn linguine pasta with you, fighting her way around to get you to the dance floor, and no Sarah from Detroit could jump in and tug you away all because her psychic told her to.”
“I bet, your boss would also die for you,” she guesses. “Who wouldn’t? It’s so easy to fall in love with you, for crying out loud. Has she been in love with you, too?”
Oh, god. I would rather bask in a pool of cornflakes than axing a dark truth in front of my All of Lush true love wish. “She’s been — in love with me. Yes.”
“I knew it.” She sets her bowl down and sips her peppermint tea. “She’s stunning, fashionable, super rich, untouchable, and the elite society worships her. Am I right?”
“She’s one of those,” I gasp. “Yes.” I panic — “Dylan, STOP! JUST STOP! OKAY? I DON’T WANNA TALK ABOUT HER RIGHT NOW! PLEASE RESPECT THAT!”
“You’re angry ‘cause I’ve just caught your truth!” she grills on. “And how could you possibly not fall in love with a perfect woman who, not only owns all the glamorous corners blitzing across the country, but can also own — romance practically everywhere? Holy mother of god! You fell in love with her too, didn’t you?”
“You’re judging me,” I fire back. “I’ve got conceited and shallow morals just because I look like THIS! Fine, here’s the truth. Yes, she pursued me, like the queen of all bugs, we ended up making silly breakfast meals and running around parks to catch butterflies, I took a flu shot and got really sick instead that she dropped all her engagements just to be by my side until I got better, and that is how she got me! That is how she got my — fears.”
“Then what happened?” Her curiosity fuses up.
“I gave in,” I reply. “It happened fast. The first stage of our relationship was fine. I wasn’t happy, never ever happy, but it was more of a — safe curb — somehow. She proposed — and I had to say yes — out of complete terror. Then she became a vicious monster — and I had been meaning to play hooky from her — but I just couldn’t find the courage to — until — last night.”
“You broke off the engagement last night?” she hisses.
“Yeah, and she wouldn’t accept it!” I stir up. “But I don’t wanna be her goddamn puppet anymore, I can’t hurt my heart much longer, I want happiness to own me, and my true love wish is crying for justice!”
“And she wouldn’t accept it, which means, you’re still engaged, and she could turn up anytime to harass you or do something vicious to make your life a complete living hell. Never mind what she would do to me if she ever found out –”
“I’ve already told her about you.”
“Dylan, you don’t understand. It’s not just about you and All of Lush, okay? I’ve gotta let my hair down now, get real, and be truly happy. It’s about time to respect myself.”
“You’re really good at making me feel so bad.”
“Can I sleep over?”
“NO!” she yelps. “I’m calling a cab to take you back to your hotel, and I’ll come with you just to make sure you get there safe.”
A menacing thought streams in. “Fine.”
“Why are you smiling like that?” she hashes.
“Like what?” I play dumb.
“Like, you’re about to smash 9-foot cake all over me.”
“I’m just relieved that we’ve had the talk, that’s all. Sarah from Detroit. My boss. It’s so real, and it makes me smile.”
The cab pulls up in front of the hotel, and Dylan drafts out some bills from her wallet in an instant. “Don’t you dare do that again,” I clue in. “Here you go, sir.” Cash payment is the way to go to whip out my walnut streak.
“Hang on,” the taxi driver says. “I think I’m short on some bills here for change. You got cards, by any chance?”
“That’s okay,” I reply. “Don’t worry about it. It’s your lucky night.”
“Thank you!” he cheers. “Thank you so much! Have a good night, ladies!”
“You too, sir,” I respond, then turn to Dylan, who ducks away with a pout. “C’mon.”
“I’m going back home,” she mumbles.
“Have a drink with me for a bit,” I insist. “C’mon.”
“Ace –” Her lips throb.
“What are you so scared about?” I say. “Just a drink. Nothing’s gonna happen. We’re not like that. C’mon.”
“This is the 9-foot cake, isn’t it?” she suspects.
“Oh, Dylan,” I giggle. “You’re the only one who wakes up my bones and spins them around until they crack open.” I hold her hand. “C’mon. Let’s go.”
We slide out of the cab. “Oh my goodness, Ace.” She takes a glimpse of the grand entrance. “I’ve never been to a 5-star hotel before.”
“Well, this isn’t life, babe,” I reply. “It’s just some absurd lifestyle that people like me must wake up from.” I drag her inside, wrapping my hand around her waist. Her clean and refreshing scent lunges into my lower abdomen. Goddammit!
“Do you like this kind of lifestyle, though?” she asks. Such pure innocence! Argh!
“Sometimes,” I answer. “But I don’t know — I just don’t find any — authenticity sparkling out of it 99% of the time, though. It’s like some dummy game that you’ve got to figure out which one deserves a genuine smile or a momentous minute of your life.” We take the elevator and exchange looks. “Nothing’s gonna happen, Dylan,” I laugh. “Don’t be a nervous wreck.”
“You’ve just been making me do things that I haven’t done before,” she rats on.
“That would be my pledge, too.”
“Ace, let’s not do anything funny, okay? I’m telling you, I love my parents so much.”
“It’s just a drink. It wouldn’t turn us into sexual mongers. Our heads are still attached to our necks. And we’re not like that. Do you trust me?”
We step out of the elevator and tour down the hallway. “Have you ever heard of a drabble?” I ask.
“I’d do it sometimes,” she replies. “But I always end up in a frustrated crunch, with my name slammed on it as dimwit.”
I click my hotel room door open with the card key, and we enter. She pauses and schemes her eyes around the deluxe suite — dumbfounded. I shut the door and plop my purse on the side table, then stand in front of her. “We’re gonna play drabbles,” I say.
She stares at me, immobilized. “Ace, I don’t like this feeling.”
I dismiss her apprehension. “What would you like to drink?” I dart towards the fridge. “Is coffee liqueur okay? Cooler? Beer? There’s also wine, if you want. Or — iced tea? Pop?”
“I feel like — I’m about to puke,” she totters.
“Dylan, will you stop it, please? My god. Just take a seat and relax.”
“I’m in a 5-star hotel room with the most beautiful woman I have ever seen — and met in my godawful life! How am I supposed to relax my muscles here? This is my major catastrophe, Ace! So I am sorry for smashing myself into the escape route, like right now!”
“We’re gonna have a drink and play drabbles. That’s what we’re gonna do. Stop acting like, we’re about to roll in bed together and ruin each other’s lives. That is not why I dragged you in here. We may have those — urges and impulses cramming around our lower abdomens for each other –” When can I hold you and make you mine? “ — but we are not like that at all, Dylan. And you know it.”
“We are — romantic,” she stammers. “We have All of Lush playing all the way from our innocence. We’re getting to know each other. We’re learning each other’s dance steps. I know. I’m sorry.”
Dear true love wish: I should have found her a long time ago. Why did you have to make me suffer first? Oh, and yet — this is even more challenging — in the name of — losing each other — anytime and any day. “Iced tea?” I offer, smiling.
She throws herself into the sofa chair. “Yes, please.” I grab a can and pop it open, then hand it to her. “Thanks,” she says. “So what’s this drabble thing, anyway?”
“The theme is — a beautiful moment that we wish to happen in the future — being with each other,” I explain, pouring a glass of red wine. “I’m keeping yours. You’re keeping mine. And we’d only read it by the time either one of us — under some wicked circumstances — would have to say goodbye — for good.”
“Goodness, Ace,” she shimmies. “You’re making me feel so bad again.”
“This is not to make each other feel bad, Dylan,” I justify. “This would motivate us to get to the dance floor. Clinched?”
“Claimed,” she yelps.
A drabble. A story in one hundred words. Well, there is nothing fictional about what I’m scribbling across this 5-star hotel stationery — as the universe contrives with my heart. For I will make sure — in honor of our All of Lush dance — nothing will get in the way between me and her. Nothing. Not Sarah with a Gordian last name. Not Toronto. Not Vancouver. NOT EVEN THE VICIOUS MONSTER!!!
Dylan is delved into the writing duty as if she has to defend a dissertation in a room full of academic committee. It amuses my reveries to catch glimpses of her pouting away and brooding over a wish. Though there are occasions when she draws a whimsical smile on her face while poking her forehead with the pen. In this moment alone, happiness owns me. I can only hope that she feels the same way, too. My true love wish. Her castle in the air dance with a princess. Our dreams and wishes have already come true. Only my world and her world are in the way. Along with fears — of losing each other — anytime and any day.
I fold my drabble and seal it up in a small envelope, then jot down ‘For my one and only LUSH, Dylan’! I turn to her, and she’s also done at once. We look at each other and rise from our seats, then meet halfway across the room and stand face to face. We exchange envelopes and read the addressed inked words.
She wrote: For my one and only LUSH, Ace!
She is dead-shocked that she limps back into the sofa chair. As for me –?
Dear true love wish: I cannot contain myself anymore, but I am in tears of joy, and I want to kiss her — RIGHT NOW! But I know — oh, god — I know that it would terrify her to death! How dare you, Dylan! How dare you!
“Okay, now –” she pants, “– this is scary! Like people are already preparing for my funeral!”
I finish my red wine in one big gulp. “I have an idea!”
“I don’t wanna go for your ideas anymore, Ace,” she dissolves into tears. “Okay! Okay! There it is! Love signs have been whooping us around! But we can’t change our lives for each other — just like that — all because of the song, the childhood dreams and wishes, the drabbles, and everything else that might scare the hell out of us later on, then we would end up hating the universe and the metaphysical blooms, with a load of regrets for plummeting ourselves into a romantic jungle that would not even guarantee us a happy future together!”
I scud towards her and kneel down. “Listen to me, Dylan.”
“NO!” she snaps.
“Listen to me, goddammit!” I yell at her, and she calms down. “Would you — be kind enough — to accept me for who I am? A walnut? A baby carrot? The one who lets her hair down ‘cause it’s the only thing she’s got that never lies?”
She wipes away her tears with the back of her hand and stares down at me. “Ace,” she mutters, as her lips teeter, “it’s easy to fall in love with you, okay? And I’m afraid I’m already falling in love, and it hurts me. Because I’m terrified that I’d lose you anytime and any day. It makes me sick to my stomach, and this greatest fear rushes around my blood streams. Besides, there is no way that I could ever get someone like you to love me for real. No way. I would have to visit all the churches around the world first before such miracle could ever happen.”
I hold her hand and give in to my heartaches. “Dylan,” I weep, looking up at her, “I introduced myself as a walnut because I just wanted you to look at me. Before that, you attacked my heart with pouts and a lot of eye-rolling. I already knew I had to be with you. Even before All of Lush danced in. Despite the defensive shield that you put on when I dropped off my stupid clothes, I could feel your true heart and pure joy for life. Even your innocent dreams and wishes. That’s why I did what I was meant to do. That’s why I never left you alone. That’s why we’re here now. And I believe — it’s not really about how long we’ve known each other. It’s about how you’ve cracked my walnut in an instant, and how you’ve switched on your diva alarms upon catching a piece out of all my truths — So — would you be kind enough to accept me — for who I am?”
“I don’t know, Ace,” she sighs. “There’s Toronto. There’s Vancouver. Your reputation. Your glamorous life. Your career. Your engagement. Your boss –”
I thud away and nab the bottle of red wine, then take a sip. “I’m only asking you one question, and you’re enumerating all my crap instead.”
“Because it’s too much for my SCREAMING INSECURITIES, all right??? IT’S TOO MUCH!!!”
“Then it’s not my goddamn problem anymore, Dylan, ‘cause I’m right here, and I’m willing to give this a chance!”
“How exactly are you gonna give this a chance? How? Moving here? Turning your back on everything that excites your world? That makes you a complete freaking lunatic if you would do that!”
“You really think of me as a shallow, lunatic chick, huh? That’s just what I am. A shallow, lunatic chick. Nothing else. All because of the world that you see through my clothes, how I walk, and this 5-star hotel room. Never mind me letting my hair down. Never mind me being a walnut and baby carrot. That’s just how you see me, Dylan. A shallow, lunatic chick. You slap all your screaming insecurities and your fears in my face all the time. Maybe I should slap mine in yours as well. I’m insecure because I can never be happy — People fall in love with me because of my looks and my sensitivity — and I don’t have something meaningful in my life except for my parents. My fears? Wondering about what it would feel like to be loved by somebody who makes my heart tingle. Wondering about the dance. Wondering about being with you — So I’m sorry if that makes me a shallow, lunatic chick! I can never be enough. I will never be enough for you.”
“I’m sorry,” she mumbles, contemplating. “I’ll try really hard here.”
“So are you gonna listen to my idea or what?” I hound her.
She gets up and steps closer. “Okay. What is it?”
“I’ll fly back home on Tuesday,” I say, “to take care of everything. Get Alex out of the way, talk to my parents, make the sweet darlings understand, and sort other things out. Once it’s all clear, I’m back here by the end of the month, then you and I can give us a chance — The chance to claim our childhood dreams and wishes. And while I’m away, you must work through your screaming insecurities and fears. Oh, and — get rid of the Detroit girl — ASAP! Clinched?”
“What if you wouldn’t make it by the end of the month?” she worries.
“Then –” I sigh, “– something — vicious must have come up and –”
“And then I would have to read your drabble,” she sobs.
I caress her face. “Dylan, please, don’t say that. I’ll make sure to get to you, okay? Is that clinched yet?”
“Claimed,” she mumbles.
I lock her in my arms, and she welcomes it with a pulsating squeeze. I smile at happiness and kiss her on the cheek, then she responds with her invigorating lips glowing on my right visage.
Dear true love wish: Bring me back to her by the end of the month! Or even – SOONER! NO MATTER WHAT!
Please please please please please!