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 Fragment #28 - I'm boiling inside

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MessageSujet: Fragment #28 - I'm boiling inside   05.01.09 12:19

Monday, June 16th 2008
in Glasgow

Today, Steve is off. So, we decided to meet somewhere in town for a drink. I'm walking down Bucchanan Street, and then turn left on West George St, to get to Waxy's O'Connors. I really like that pub: it's like a little maze underground, hidden from the city. Steve should be there, at the back, where the musicians play. Going up and down the stairs to reach the back of the pub, I think about Steve and me. We haven't said a word about his confession, a few weeks ago. And his "guest" didn't come at the dinner. From time to time, we sleep in my bed, when I feel too lonely or just when we feel like it. I don't really know how to describe our relationship. Sometimes, I think it has reached a fragile balance, which a word could destroy. I think it's because of that that we don't talk. I mean, we do talk, but not about important things. The thing is, I'm too scared and I don't know what to do. I don't even know if I like him in the "love" way. I'm not sure I trust him... No, not that I trust him, because, that, I do, but that I trust myself enough to go in that direction. With him. And, maybe he doesn't love me anymore...
Last corner. I step into the room, and look around. I see Steve, sitting sideways to me, and talking to a woman who is sitting right beside him. At that moment, he lays across to tell her something and almost touches her cheek. I blush and walk straight to them.
"Hi, sorry, I'm late." I kiss Steve on the cheek, close to his lips, closer that I never dared before.
"Oh, hi, Charlie."
I stretch my hand out to the woman.
"Hi, I'm Charlie."
She smiles and shakes my hand.
"Hi, I'm Mary."
I sit down, in front of them.
"So... Did you already order?"
"We were about to. Mary, what can I get you?"
I look at the woman: if she doesn't drink alcohol, she won't last long with Steve.
"Hmm, can I have... a Bloody Mary, please?"
"Sure, Charlie?"
"A pint. Guiness draught cold."
"Ok..."
Steve leaves, and I'm sitting here with a woman who...
"So, Charlie ... Steve told me you're a journalist?"
"Er, yes, that's right. And yourself?"
"Oh, I'm like Steve. That's how we met: on night shifts."
Shit. Colleagues. I can't fight there...
"And you, how do you know him?"
"We met at uni. And now we live together."
"Sorry, Mary... They can't do Bloody Marys anymore; they don't have any tomato juice left." I hate that little smile he has got on his face when he talks to her.
"Oh, no bother. I'll have a glass of whisky, no ice. Thank you.”
She then turns to me, and, when Steve is gone, says, almost whispering:
“Steve told me for your… aggression. He is traumatized by the experience and it took him some time to finally come and see me. But I’m happy he did it. If I could help you as well…”
That’s it. I hate her. Who does she think she is, to come and tell me how to deal with my problems? I attach a smile on my face and play the idiot for the rest of the evening.



When, at last, we come back home, I can’t take it anymore and I burst out.
“So, Mister Secret, how long have you been seeing Miss Perfect?”
“What are you talking about Charlie? I’m not with Mary.”
“Oh? Silly me! I thought that with all the whispers, the long looks, and the uncountable “thank you, Stevie”, you had at least some sport…”
“Charlie, you’re drunk, you don’t know what you’re saying.”
“Oh, no! I know exactly what I’m saying. Come on, Steve, I thought I was your friend. At least, you could admit that you want her.”
“Charlie, you are my friend. And no, I do not want her.”
How can he stay so calm, when I’m boiling inside?
“Then, why, Steve?”
I can hear my voice reaching the high pitch. I don’t recognize it. I don’t recognize myself. I can feel tears coming up, but I don’t want to cry.
“Why what, Charlie?”
“Oh you know perfectly what I’m talking about, so don’t take me for a fool.”
“You’re mistaken, I have no idea.”
“I don’t believe you.”
Go away, tears, I don’t want to cry. Not now, not in front of him.
“Well, you should. Why what, Charlie?”
Finally, I yell my resentment.
“Why did you talk to her and not to me?”
Silence. Steve eventually gets up from the chair in which he was sitting. He starts one step towards me, and then turns around and walks to the door.
“Because I needed to get over my fear. And to do so, I needed to talk to someone from the outside.”
Silence. I’m still boiling, but I feel the tension changing.
“Don’t wait up. I need to walk. Good night, Charlie.”
And he’s gone.
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