Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Exit Interview

"You're not really a doppelgänger though," I said, at length. "I mean no one could mistake you for me. You're blue."

"I am blue, it's true." He looked sadly at his lurid skin. "There's a red one too, you know. Have you seen him?"

"I've heard of him. I expect he'll be along."

He nodded. He ran his hand through his blue-tinged silver hair, and sighed. He was slumped there on the couch, almost horizontal. "So you're really sending me away."

I was trying to be patient with him, but he always was kind of a sad sack. Why women liked him so much, I couldn't say: I mostly found him irritating.

"Well, you know," I said, "there's really only resources for one of us."

"Only one of us. I suppose so." His eyes filled with tears. Oh, God. He was going to cry. "I gave you the best years of my life," he said.

"Oh, for Christ's sake," I snapped. "You mean you took the best years of your life. From me. When did you really ever give anything to anyone?"

He sighed again. "I meant to," he said, lugubriously. "Grant me that. I meant to."

"Well, you promised to, anyway. That's not quite the same thing."

He was stung and offended. "Hey, 'I told no lies, and all of the truth I could.' I mean, give me that, at least."

"You told a weird amount of truth, anyway. Just enough to make everyone uncomfortable." He looked so miserable that I softened a little. "Okay, look. I don't think we're going to agree on the honesty thing or the giving thing. But I do know the love was real. All too real. Let's just settle accounts with that."

"Love. That's the weird thing. But it's true, you know. It's all that's kept me going. And it kept you going too." He shot a shrewd, wicked look at me.

"I'm not denying it. And before you oh-so-innocently ask – no, I don't know how I'm going to live without you. That's just one of the things we'll have to find out, isn't it?"

Those long, pained silences of his. Those were something I wasn't going to miss at all.

"Isn't it?" I repeated. But the silence had gone flat. I looked up sharply. The couch was empty.

"Oh, Christ," I said, and burst into tears.

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