exchanging hostages

We were originally supposed to be going out with our friends--no particular occasion except that a few of us actually had tomorrow free, so we went out drinking at a bar not too far from her house. Then as the night wore on some of the others retired--not wanting to stay up too late, or the evening winding down, or whatever. Soon it was just three of us--all probably more drunk than is advisable. Once our friend had staggered off towards the bus stop, my ladylove wrapped her arms around my waist. "I love you so much," she said, quietly. A boy passing by glanced at us, and I felt uncomfortable knowing someone had heard.

"Do you love me?" she continued. I wondered why I was the subject of this interrogation. Had I done something wrong? Was I distant? Was I ignoring her? I remained silent. I wasn't going to play this game. We walked home in unsteady silence, only leaning on one another because we didn't trust ourselves to stand up on our own, and as she slept I stared at the ceiling. We would never talk about this. Everything I could have asked or said wasn't relevant anymore. Tomorrow we'd pretend nothing was wrong, but sometimes I'd feel uncomfortable when our eyes met and look away.

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