“How’s she?”

“Her usual self. She wants to visit. I have explained that I am a busy person. I would not have the time for all the attention she’d need”

“When will you not be busy?”

“I plan to take a vacation later this year”

“Really? You have not mentioned that. You want to go on vacation without me? Perfect, just perfect!”

“It’s nothing fancy Miss, just a few weeks off work”

“Boooorrring. We should take a proper vacation. A tour of Europe perhaps. I have never been to Paris. Unbelievable yeah? I know. But I have never. Everyone says it’s ridiculous. Have you been to France?”

“Nope”, Gregg laughed before adding, “And no one thinks it’s ridiculous. They think it’s amazing that I have even been out of the country in the first place. We live on earth, you are alien”

“I have not apologies for my silver spoon, thank you very much”

“More like diamond spoon and golden bib”

“Anyways, we’re going to Europe in the summer and for running your mouth like this, you’re paying!”

“Hold your horse Keysa, vacation to Europe was not in my plan”

“Well it is now. If we don’t go, I’ll tell my father to fire your punk head.”

Such chemistry, Gregg was thinking. He should take her home to his mother. Mom will see her warmth, her sincere glow of kindness, her good intentions, and then her foreign accent will not matter. Her social class will not matter either. Mom will see them flow, she’ll see the way they spoke the truth to each other with fear of hurt. This was love.

“We’ll leave dad’s guests to him. Let’s focus on mine” Keysa was saying. Gregg opened a notepad and started to take notes.

“Everyone at Cyragon for starters” he said.

“Gregg, it’s a party not a festival.”

“A festival is just a big party”

“This is a small party”

“Your father does not throw small parties”

“I should have asked someone else to help with this, you are impossible”

“Alright Miss, let’s get serious. Who are you inviting in Cyragon?”

“You know I don’t have a date yet”

This was his chance to say it to her. To tell her of her blindness. How could she not see, he would ask, that he was always her date?

“I’m your date Keysa.”

“Awww, how cute!” Keysa said and pulled his cheek.

Gregg slapped her hand off his face in irritation. He poured his pain into the slap. It was heavy and came with the swish sound of colliding flesh. Keysa was shocked by it. She held the hand against her chest and stared at Gregg.

“I’m sorry.” Gregg said.

It was clear to both of them that the slap was not about the party; it came from a deep place.

It was pity that came to Keysa for Gregg. He was uncomfortable with a woman’s touch. She had noticed this before at different times, how he would rather not give a hug, how he slipped her hands off his shoulder, how he never sat too close go her.

It was fear that came to Gregg.

He just hit a woman.

…the story continues

Live by Design



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