Public Key (Lxxxiv)

I stared at the door. Suddenly my little room was very close, and I was very much alone.

The only word going through my head was fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. Fuck fuckity fuck fuck. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK oh son of a BITCH what-

Wait. Okay. Slow down. What’s going on.

FUCK!

Did I just-

No. Slower. Think it through.

This girl just invited me-

This girl liked me.

Wait. No. Yes. Yes, god dammit, she likes me.

But maybe-

Who gives a fuck! You like her, right?

Yes.

That was a quick answer.

Yes. Yes it was.

Do you l-

Shut up.

No. You have to-

No, no I jolly well don’t.

It’s put up or shut up time. Is she worth the risk?

I don’t know.

Well, shit, maybe if-

Fuck!

Man up! Pick one! Sit in the hut, or go after the girl. Live or don’t live, it’s your fucking choice.

Jesus fucking-

God dammit, PICK ONE!

God fucking dammit, I said out loud. Jumped up, threw open my door, and went after her.

I saw her shape against the darkness, maybe a hundred yards away. I thought of running to catch up with her, of trying desperately to maintain the illusion that I was still being cautious, still being sane. Then I found myself shouting:

Wait! Hannah!

She stopped, turned. And she just looked at me.

I strode quickly to catch up with her. She waited for me, watching as I moved towards her.

Every step I took, out into the world, made me want to turn on my heel and run. I had to fight not to look up into the sky for airplanes, glance into the darkness for police. Roadblocks? Airplanes?

I didn’t turn around.

I reached her, there, on the dark hillside.

Never mind, I said.

What?

Forget what I said. Let’s go see the country. You and me.

She cocked her head. Okay…

We’ll pick a direction and start walking. Far from the main roads, far from the cities and the camptowns. Far from anything you’d see from the road. Let’s see the country that doesn’t get seen.

She looked at me like she was skeptical as to my sanity. Wise woman that she is.

Slowly she nodded. Alright, she said. That sounds… good.

Then the excitement of the moment left me, and we were just two people on a hillside in the dark.

A different kind of excitement filled me. And weight – weight on my shoulders, weight in my chest, stress and tension, tiredness and apprehension. All these were overwhelmed by the knowledge that I’d just gotten her to say yes.

Tomorrow morning? she asked.

First thing in the morning. Just like you said.

She still looked unconvinced. But why-

I shook my head. Let’s just go.

No, she said. Tell me what changed your mind.

I didn’t have to think about that one very hard.

I realized I wanted to walk beside you, I said. And I realized that everything else can go fuck itself.

She stared at me for a very long time. The rising breeze sent her hair in shards back and forth. The moon turned her eyes into clear pools. She stared at me, and I will never forget her face, there and then.

Then: okay, she said. Waited a moment, turned, and walked away.

 

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~ by davekov on 13 March 2011.

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