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His voice took on a hard sound as he stared directly into her eyes for the first time in awhile. She looked away and took the lemon hanging off of the edge of her glass and squeezed it into her water. “I’m done with this whole mess. It’s depressing the hell outta me”, he said. “It’s depressing you!” she yelled. “Keep your fucking voice down”, he said. She slumped back in her chair and let out a deep sigh. She stuck her finger in her water and stirred it. The ice hitting the glass made a soft clatter. “Please stop that”, Dylan said. She kept stirring. She began to stir faster and faster as the water splashed up over the rim of her glass and sprayed the light purple tablecloth turning it to a dark and damp purple. Dylan brought his thumb and middle finger up his forehead, pressing into his temples, massaging them. He closed his eyes and mumbled. “What did you say?”Vanessa snapped. She stopped stirring the ice cubes and dried her finger off on her powder blue sundress. Dylan brought his hand from his forehead and put it down on the table and looked in Vanessa’s direction, only behind her. The roads were mostly empty, he noticed. An old, beat-up Cadillac, mud brown, had just fired through a yellow light. There seemed to be no difference as he was the only driver on the road. “Nothing”, he said. “No, no Dylan. You tell me what you said. Now.” “I didn’t say anything, Nessa, just drop it.” As he reached over to grab what remained of his drink, she stopped him. Her hand clutched his wrist the way a child’s hand would grab their mother’s before crossing the street. There was force in the gesture, but when she lessened her grip it felt intimate. “Please tell me, Dylan.” She stared into his eyes as he stared intently at her hand as it rested on his wrist. She had just gotten her nails painted, he thought. Hot pink, her favorite color. He cleared his throat. “I said that it wasn’t supposed to happen like this.” Vanessa removed her hand from his wrist and placed it neatly on her lap where her other hand waited. “What wasn’t?” “You know what,” he said. His voice rose slightly. He glanced up at her. Her eyes were focused down. “Love wasn’t supposed to be this hard,” he began. “I look at my parents, hell, even my grandparents. They’ve been married for twenty, fifty years and do you think they have


Centripetal Volume 12 Issue 1  

Volume 12 Issue 1--Fall 2010