short short story

Falling out with love

“It’s a weird sensation,” she said all of a sudden, as she tried to get comfortable – her back squirming and squealing slightly on the leather couch.

“What is?” he asked, in his theatrically psychiatric voice.

“Well.  Ever since we’ve begun to talk again, both of us we’ve gone and fallen out with love.”

“How do you mean?”  His voice expressed real interest.

“I dunno.  I mean I’m not sure about him, he never was one for love in the round – but certainly in my case it’s pretty much something I no longer think about.  We’re becoming like sister and brother, if you know what I mean.”

“Hmm.  Go on.”  He was clearly paying attention now, in ways he often obviously would not.

“As I said, it’s really strange.  I just don’t miss it.  It’s as if, after struggling so hard and long to get what I thought I needed, really after all this time there seems no point in struggling any more.  Almost like a kind of trance I’ve fallen into.  Almost as if Zen was my motorbike.”

He smiled.  He frequently did.  She had a turn of phrase that quite regularly made him think he should be paying her.

“So do you feel there’s any downside to this … peace?” he asked.

“Well.”  She thought for a moment.  “I guess so.  I mean I used to have tons of ideas in my head, and wanted to conquer the world and be someone different.”

“And now?”

“No ideas, any more.  They just don’t flow.  So no desire to conquer either.  And being different?  We’re all different and then again none of us are: and since all of us are, or not, I guess that makes us all the same, right?”

He smiled again.  “I suppose yes, you’re right.  So what now?  What do you plan to do?”

“Nothing.  Be sister to his brother, and wait for life to muddle through.  What do you suggest?”

The buzzer buzzed gently.

He paused for a few moments; waved his hand slightly.  She was already up from the couch.  She knew what the buzzer meant.

“Here’s the bill,” he said gently.  “You can pay on the way out today … the machine’s been sorted.”


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