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Stalking the Average Man


relationship dry of comfort, and the pressure of maintaining even cordial contact with me will
soon force you to run. You need to know that you‘ve got nowhere to go that won‘t become the
same old circumstance, and I‘m afraid of what you might do when you discover this. |
Lowering the coat, I huffed and said, -Me bleed you dry? I've told you all I know about
screenwriting, and I‘ve been your guinea pig long enough to know you can finish it on your own
if I can! | Defiantly, -Shit, that's what this is about… you're trying to break our deal and scoop
the whole grant! |
Gawking with wounded surprise, the underlying truth of what I was doing melted through
Bonnie‘s face; my smugness withered with the sharing of another intimate moment. I felt like
throwing up. With pursed lips, Bonnie stepped down to our final engagement distance of a single
tread and riser; I unblinking awaited the parting shot I deserved. At least it would all be over.
Confusing me to the marrow, Bonnie placed her hands on my shoulders for balance, and
leaning forward kissed me gently on the forehead. Pushing away lightly, she said, -You can
accept whatever the night may bring in the same way that I've accepted who you are without
conditions, or you can call the evening off... to consider what I've just said, of course. |
-Let's go, | I said, with as much dignity as I could fake.
-Done! | she joked.
Mechanically, I walked down the stairs to the landing where I realized I had to choose
between opening the door and holding open her coat. Handing her the garment, I said, -Fool me
once. |
-Once? | she chortled, stepping into the cool evening air.
Chapter 39
The End of the Beginning
On the way to the restaurant, I told Bonnie that I cared for her just the way she was ; she said
she cared for me beyond words, literally. Nevertheless, it was a subdued drive for me, the meal
but a diversion from the awkwardness I continued to feel over my betrayal as we compared the
challenges and rewards of having cats or dogs as pets.
It was not until we were looking over the dessert cart, with our server hovering, that Bonnie
turned her attention to personal matters. Even then, it was as a whimsical refrain that she said,
-Your experiences with me should have opened your mind to Intent's propositions by now. |
-That all of this real—I‘m a student, you‘re a teacher, and Spirit is… whatever? |
-Do you really think I could have made up those channels—that I knew things you hadn‘t
told me about, that I somehow caused you to have visions and to know things? |
Somberly, I said, -Even if it‘s all true, I think my path was too intense: I'm not up for any
more adventures, except maybe that raspberry thingy looks like a coronary threat. | I nodded at
Evelyn.
"That's understandable, | Bonnie said, pointing at a lemon tart topped with a strawberry hat
seated in meringue. -Seeing everything you came here to see came at a high price. |
Prudently, Evelyn served us without comment, withdrew a step, and wheeled the cart away.
-Months ago, | Bonnie said focusing on my plate, -Kha- lib told me that your quest was
personally expensive, but I didn't fully appreciate that until tonight on the stairs. | Taking a small
bite, she said, -Umm, | pointing her fork at my plate.
-It's not that I don't want to believe you, especially since I‘ve had more strange stuff happen
than I‘ve told you about, | I spoke the most honest words I had probably said since… a long time.
-But I can‘t get past the idea that you‘re manufacturing a Universe to suit your story, and maybe
 
 
 
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