Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Never Special," Conversation, pt. 4, 436 words

"See me again," he says – no, commands, like someone with confidence. Like a real villain. His tone just takes it for granted that I'll want to obey him, to see him again. And, you know, I want to.

So I borrow a little of his confidence, say, "Alright," and smile just a little. "But out of the costumes, next time. I don't know about you, but I don't feel ready to put that back on just yet."

He seems genuinely surprised that I agreed, and manages to stammer out, "Oh, uh... Alright, then. Good. Very good. Very good indee—"

I reach out and take his hand and say, "You're babbling," stilling the impending tide of words. I shake my head. "I'm sorry. I don't really want to ditch you right now, but it's late, and even supergirls need their sleep. But I do want to see you again. Same time next week?"

"I, uh... Yes, I think I'd like that," he says, stumbling over his words. I'm still drawing on his confidence, I guess, and I wonder if I'm drawing too hard. He's so... earnest. That's the word, I think. He's so earnest about everything when he's not showing these flashes of something else. He has to force everything out, dedicate himself to every word even when he's tripping over them. Other people would laugh at it, I think, but I can't help but find it charming.

On an impulse, I grab a pen out of my little bag, the one I packed my costume into, and scribble my phone number down on a napkin. My name goes just below it. The ink bleeds out a little into the napkin, but the letters and numbers are still legible. I hand it to him and say, "Call me if something comes up. Otherwise, see you in a week. Good night."

I leave him to finish his pie, not really interested in my own anymore, and drop a five and one to cover my half of the bill and a tip. I can't resist the urge to pat his shoulder lightly, careful to keep my hand from lingering because I'm not sure I like him that much yet and I don't want to send the wrong message. But maybe I'm just overthinking it.

Then again, I don't care if I am overthinking it or not. I have a tendency to dwell on the good as well as the bad, and right now I feel so oddly light that I think I could fly even without my powers. I think something good for me happened tonight, really good.

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