10-Line Tuesday

January 27, 2015

collateral beauty **

When he comes to tell us about the junior who asked him to the spring formal
and we say "So what does your girlfriend think?" and his face
drops and he squirms in his seat and then unfolds from it entirely, bolting
to the kitchen in a small shame we didn't intend, and we stay for a minute
on the couch, trying to trace the damage to its origins before following him in,
then stand, explaining, apologizing, trying to coax the story out him and not
succeeding, and the conversation ends and he disappears and we return
to the living room feeling the sudden grief of his silence and I say "He's not
going to like us for the next few years" and she nods and tears up a little,
and we fall toward each other in the intimacy of the rejected, in love all over again.

** I stole this line from Lorrie Moore's short story "People Like That Are The Only People Here" from her collection Birds of America.