‘I don’t want to gamble on your future,’ Larry says. His brow is crinkled; his best effort at earnest intent.
I avert my gaze and cover my mouth with my hand to stifle my grin. Drawing breath, I turn my eyes back to meet his.
‘It’s fine, Larry. I think we agree on this.’ I don’t want Larry to feel bad. ‘We’ve stagnated for some time now.’
We’ve been seeing each other for two months. Hilarious the things you say to protect another’s feelings.
‘But, Grace,’ Larry continues. ‘I can feel your deep attachment to me. Trust me, you’re not the first. But ours is the kind of love that will destroy us both if we let it go on.’ His eyes glisten with unshed tears.
Is he serious? Larry is quite pedestrian, but believes he’s on the edge, dangerous. I’ve never met someone more blind to their sense of self.
‘Larry, honestly,’ I say. ‘I’ll be fine. We are on the same page here. We need to end this now.’
Otherwise, I might be tempted to end your life.
‘I want to make sure you’re going to be alright,’ Larry says as he stands.
Have I got through to him? Is he leaving?
‘It’s all good.’
‘No. I can tell you’re close to tears, Grace.’
I’m not. I’m trying to spare his feelings. I’m trying not to laugh at the absurdity of him.
‘Larry, please.’ I’m losing patience now.
‘Grace, I’m going to leave now.’
‘But,’ Larry continues. Again. ‘I’ll check in on you from time to time.’ His hand reaches under my chin to lift my face upwards. I don’t want to look at him. I’ll either burst into laughter or give him my killer left uppercut.
‘Look at me, Grace,’ he says.
‘Larry!’ I’ve lost patience. ‘Just get out!’
His eyes widen, like a startled deer. He scampers out the front door.
And I hope that’s the last I ever see of him.