This is an excerpt from (one of) the projects I will be working on during Nanowrimo this year. I like the dynamic between the characters a lot, and how angry the main character is. I have no idea, yet, what it is he’s angry about.
“I mean, you know, death.”
“What about it”, I ask in a monotone, staring into the depths of my lukewarm coffee, hoping against hope that she didn’t hear my prompt and deflates on her own.
She doesn’t. “You die. Your consciousness on this earth, at this time and place in this body, is gone. You’re dead.”
Uh uh. I get the idea.
“But what if the part of your spirit that makes you you, just gets reborn elsewhere? What if you’re you in some other body, at some other time? Except you don’t remember anything about being you before, and you have to start all over again? And again and again and again?”
I breathe out, make it long and loud, almost like a sigh. She might get the hint and drop it.
She doesn’t. “I don’t know what would be worse. To get to exist one time in all history of mankind, one time and that’s it? Or to have to exist over and over again in different bodies at different times and to never know it? Having to learn to walk and to read and to love and to grieve and dying, every time, without the knowledge of having done it ever before? Can you imagine?”
I lift my head from my coffee contemplation. She isn’t even looking at me, gazing out the window at the barely populated street on this grey fall afternoon. Did she even address me in particular? I opt for a noncommittal grunt.
She sighs, her eyes on pigeons hopping about, drinking from puddles in the pavement.
“What about you? How have you been?” she asks the window.
What about me? I’ve been fine. It’s been seven month twenty two days and I can’t be bothered to count the hours, and I’m fine. I’m over it.
“You don’t have to be over it”, she says, reading my mind like she used to. “It was a Thing. Nobody would look down on you or whatever, for needing more time.”
That sentence makes me…. unbelievably angry. And it’s not so much that I have now heard some version of it at least a thousand times, it’s not even specifically her delivering it. It’s the cold coffee in my cup, the fucking pigeons, the low-hanging clouds, that stupid scarf she always wears when it gets below heatwave temperatures. I hate it. I hate this conversation, I hate this coffee shop, I hate her, and myself. I don’t want to be here.
But she knows that.