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and he rubbed the calluses on his hands and avoided looking at Vanessa. “I asked you a question,” she said. Dylan looked up slowly. “What?” “I asked if you thought I would be fucking ok!” She shouted. She had pushed herself away from the table and stood up. “Huh?” “Calm down, Nessa. Jesus Christ, you’re causing a scene.” “We’re the only two people outside, Dylan! Just you and me! There isn’t any scene here, just a chicken shit coward named Dylan.” Dylan’s head lifted from his hands and he stood up. He was no longer embarrassed, he was only angry. “Shut up,” he said. His voice had grown hoarser than before. He could feel a knot forming in his throat. He swallowed it down hard and stood up. “What are ya gonna do about it, big tough guy? Break up with me again? You can’t… can’t accept me for who I am, the way I am, huh?” Dylan stood, frozen in the moment, unable to speak. “That’s what I figured,” she said, “You never were more than my walking mat anyway.” That’s when it happened. Dylan couldn’t even control his hand from swinging up across her face. It made a loud noise, like a heavy stone being dropped into a lake from a high dock. Her face changed so quickly and so radically that Dylan had to pinch himself to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. She looked as if she had turned into a ghost, a ghost with a faint red handprint on its left cheek. “I’m sorry,” he said. His voice was a pitch above a whisper. If the world hadn’t felt as if it had completely stopped she probably wouldn’t have been able to hear him. She didn’t respond, but only stood standing in the same spot with tears beginning to form in her eyes. Soon, he knew, they would be rolling down her cheeks in pairs and her forehead would turn into a sea of wrinkles. “Please, Nessa, I’m really sorry, let’s get outta here, ok?” She didn’t move. Their waitress opened the back door and poked her head through. “Everything alright out here?” “Yes,” Dylan said. “Are you sure? We heard yelling and I don’t want problems…” “I said we are fucking wonderful, dear.” he said. His rose his voice then lowered it like someone turning on a television and realizing that the volume is too loud. Her eyes widened and


Centripetal Volume 12 Issue 1  

Volume 12 Issue 1--Fall 2010