a conversation, provided with minimal context

With apologies to A____, who deserved and hopefully received better.

I got the feeling she was presenting me to him, which is odd because he wasn't her boyfriend--that was someone else. He'd introduced us. "He's walking me home," she announced. She told him we were both drunk off our asses. I grabbed my coat and left my bag behind.

We both knew that this was not about walking home. This was about the cool March air, and all the various places we could think of to put our lips. But we danced around the subject as we walked aimlessly. She accused me of being a cynic. "It wouldn't kill you to actually like something for once," she said, taunting me. She sat down on a tree stump.

"Are you saying I don't like anything? I like some things." I pretended to be affronted. It took some doing, because all I could think of was kissing her--but we'd been dancing around the subject for so long, taking the direct approach seemed unthinkable. Not that we were being subtle at this point. I could read everything in her eyes, her expression, her tone. I have no doubt I was just as much of an open book.

"Prove it." This was not a challenge, but a request, a plea: stop this dance.

"How am I supposed to prove that?" A flimsy pretense.

"You know how."

I did. Most of what followed didn't count as much of a conversation, but pretenses were dropped now. She told me she had a boyfriend, and I said I knew. "But you don't give a fuck," she told me, and I suppose I must have shaken my head. I had other things on my mind.

She invited me back to her place. We were against the hood of someone's car--God knows whose--and I hesitated. I made up some excuse about needing to get my bag, or maybe I just said we probably shouldn't. I finished walking her home, then hoped I could apologize without words. Then she was gone and I walked back to the party alone and waited in the wings like a ghost.

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