Deb and I are both wearing old jeans and blue jackets. She says hi was she takes seat next to me. I didn’t even know this place existed she says. It’s nice she says, looking around the room.
Yes I say, I had a show here. the scones are good. Want some. I offer her mine.
She ignores my scone and takes a sip of the tea she brought.
I reach down and retie my sneaker. She checks her phone. I blow my nose. O take a piece of gum and offer her some. She shakes her head No. I get up and pour water for myself from the glass carafe on the sideboard. Deb watches me as I drink it.
Do yo have an agenda? I ask
No, she says.
I do I say
And? she says
I tell her that i love her, and that I’ve tried but I can’t be in business with her. That I’ve been doing things the way Mom and Dad did things for years, and I want to keep it that way. I don’t want a new insurance company that I don’t trust, or a new rental agent that charges more. Then I tell her that I don’t want to even be part of the business any more.
Her eyes are narrow. And what am I supposed to do? What?
OK a questions. I can answer a question I think. I begin slowly….You could buy me out I suggest. She turns away.
I say we can work it out. We can figure out what will work for both of us, whatever we want. It’s just us now. She is still looking away. I reach for her shoulder but she shrugs off my hand.
I put my head i my hands and look down at the floor. She smacks me on the shoulder.
I look up. I’ll never buy you out. Do your hear me you asshole. Never. It will never, ever happen.
But I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m finished I say
But I don’t care what you want Lauren. I don’t give a shit what you want.
She stand up, buttons her blue jacket, and walks away.