That’s not much of a plan (Dylan)

Just Remember to Breathe

That’s not much of a plan (Dylan)

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I walked back to my apartment in a fog. I was a damned fool.

I’ve never been much of one for waterworks, so there wasn’t much of that. Instead, I just felt dead inside. I’d give a lot to be able to break down and cry, which is what I suspected she was going to go do.

If you want me, you damn well have to convince me.

I didn’t have a clue how to go about doing that. Not a fucking clue. What I knew was what I’d been coming to realize in the last couple weeks, as we were going through her farcical self-defense training.  Did she think I didn’t know the university offered self-defense training for free?  This was about pulling us together. This was about her keeping an eye on me, about giving us an opportunity to come back together.  And maybe I … maybe I relished that safety a little bit. Maybe I took her for granted, and assumed that if I changed my stupid mind, she’d be waiting for me.

I was wrong.

Her face when she said it: she was firm, direct, and very clear. The answer was no. She wasn’t having me back. Not unless I made some changes.  But I didn’t know what kind of changes she was looking for.

When I walked back into my apartment, Sherman was sitting there, packing his bag, preparing to go home.  He looked up as I entered, and when I closed the door behind me he said, “Where’s Alex? She didn’t come back with you?”

I shook my head.

“Shit,” he said. “You didn’t ask her? If she’d take you back?”

I stood there, then nodded. “I did.”

“Oh. Oh crap,” he said. “She shot you down.”

I nodded, then told her what she’d said. He listened, carefully. Then he sat, considering, for what seemed like an eternity. I collapsed on the couch. Ron, my elusive roommate from the chemical engineering department, came out of his room then. He nodded to me, walked to the kitchen and grabbed a beer. Then he waved, and disappeared back into his room. That was my fucking life.

“Dude, you fucked up, bad. You know that, right?”

I sighed.  That was damned helpful. “Yeah. I know.”

“So… what are going to do?”

“Convince her,” I replied.

“How?”

“Not a fucking clue.”

He frowned.  “That’s not much of a plan.”

“Tell me what she said again.”

I went through it again. Commitment. Telling her how I felt, as if I knew the answer to that. Convince me.

He frowned, and then said, “Look, dude, I’ve got to get to the airport or I’ll miss my flight. But it seems to me like she gave you the plan already. She told you what you have to do. Now it’s up to you. Listen, I’ll call you next week. Keep me updated on the plans for the trial, all right?”

I nodded.  We clasped hands, and then he grabbed me in a bear hug and growled, then headed out the door.

I went back to my room and collapsed on the bed, staring at the picture of her I kept on my night stand.

This is first draft material from a new story I’m working on. You can find the  beginning and contents of the story, here. I love feedback, and would appreciate hearing any thoughts about the story. You can also check it out on Goodreads or Wattpad.

 

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