Stay

“Hey Sally, how’s it going?”

“Good good. It’s been a month into my new job and really like it there. How are things with you Sloan?”

“You remember that apartment I’d mentioned, earlier? The one in Seattle?”

“Yeah, the one with the terrace”

“That’s the one. I’ve decided to take it. I’ve also booked my tickets. I’m leaving in two weeks” said Sloan with an awkward smile.

“Two weeks? Are you serious? Are you seriously serious?” exclaimed Sally.

“Yeah, I am. If you think about it, it’s not all that sudden. I told you I’d been thinking about this for a while.”

“That’s true but I didn’t know you were this serious about it.”

“Well, I was. I am. It’s time for me to move, you know that.”

“I knew you were unhappy here Sloan but I thought it was for other reasons. And I didn’t think they were such strong reasons that would make you leave so soon.”

“Listen Sally, I know what you’re hinting at and it’s not fair. It’s not even true. I’m not leaving because of him.”

“Have you even told him that you’re going?”

“Well, I’d mentioned to him that I was thinking about it..”

“Yes, but did you mention how serious you were?”

“Um, well, no, I thought it would be better not to say anything then. I wasn’t in the mood for his comments.”

“His comments are usually constructive Sloan.”

“Yeah well, they’re still annoying.” Sloan turned her face towards the window and sighed. “Look, I’m going to tell him soon. I’m meeting him tomorrow for coffee, I’ll tell him then.”

“How are things between you guys now, if I might ask?”

“The same way they’ve been for a long time now. We’re neither on this side of the fence nor the other. I watched that movie again you know, ‘He’s just not that into you’. According to that movie, we’re not in the middle, we’re just on the platonic side of the fence.”

“Stop taking advice from movies!”

“Fine, whatever. Things are still in a weird place. He seems to be trying harder now but I really can’t get myself to appreciate it. His concern seems forced, very procedural, if you know what I mean. I feel like we’re one of those divorced couples where the husband still asks the wife if she’s paid the bills and checks in on the dog once in a while just because he feels like society or something demands it. You know he’d rather be heading off to Vegas with his slutty secretary.”

“Whoa! Where did that come from? And who’s this secretary?”

“I don’t know Sally, I really don’t want to talk about it.”

“Alright, fine, just answer one last question if you please. Really, why haven’t you told him that you’re leaving yet? He should’ve been the first one to know but here you are telling me instead and pretending that it’s not a big deal. Are you afraid he’ll be mad at you?”

“Mad at me? No, that’s the last thing I’m afraid of. I’d actually really like it if he got mad at me. If he was mad at me, that would mean that he still cared. No, that’s not what I’m scared of, I’m afraid he won’t ask me to stay, Sally. I’m afraid that if I tell him I’m leaving, he won’t ask me stay.”

Sally reached out and held Sloan’s hand as she watched tears flow from her eyes while the evening light framed her beautiful face.

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