Untitled: 17/08/2017

He let out a laugh, of sorts. Short. Pointed. Fake. He didn’t dare hold Her gaze: He wanted neither to intimidate nor to parade His own weakness before Her. Looking down and to the side, far beyond the wooden floor, His gaze had fixed upon. He thought for a moment and then shrugged. He turned, almost as if to leave, before turning His focus back to Her. She seemed nonplussed by His unintentional theatrics.
“Can I…” He began with a laugh. An honest one this time. “I was about to ask you if I could ask you a question, which in itself would have been a waste of a perfectly good question…” She waited for Him to continue, Her ambivalence implied with a shake of Her head. “How much do think I weigh?”
She shrugged with a slight pout. “I don’t know.” She replied. “I can never really tell on other people…”
“Twelve and a half stone,” He answered His own rhetoric. “I’m actually a little overweight ATM…” He continued, placing a hand on His not especially large belly and giving it a shake. “…but that comes and goes with my mood, and the seasons, and the alignment of the stars… In my defence, my shit is usually a touch more together…” He looked to Her Friend for confirmation, who winced, and gave a non-committal shrug.
“Well, you look alright to me…” She reassured, meaning what She said.
“Well, thank you.” He acknowledged. “Another question… and please don’t feel as if you have to answer this because you don’t if you don’t want to, but, hypothetically: what do you think I would look like if I weighed nine stone?”
“Oh I will love to be that skinny…” she asserted. He laughed once more, overcome by distrust.
“Most girls your height would! But were talking about me, now, remember?” He grew more lively, drawing lines with his hands to guide the attention back onto himself. “Focus!” He yelled with a passion bordering on mania. Her Friend said nothing, hoping against hope that His brakes would pump in enough time to avoid this unenviable train-wreck. Concerned, She chose Her next words more carefully…
“Not that good, I don’t think… That seems… a bit much for your frame…”
“You don’t know the half of it!” he spat, waving his arms so furiously as to spill a little bit of his drink. “Easy!” he said with a wink, wiping the escaped contents of his glass from his arm onto a trouser leg. “Nearly!”
In unison in that moment, both She and Her Friend envied the spilt liquor, free from His attention and of His grasp. He sensed their discomfort and composed himself, with a sigh: “It was… a bit much. Far more than I would ever wish on anyone…” His gaze fell back through the floor as He stood there stunned for a moment, by the cold wave of memories which threatened to submerge him. “But now I’m back to twelve stone again!” He said with a grin. A real one this time. “Twelve and a half, as it so happens!” He flicked out his free hand, bringing his thumb and his index finger together with a crisp, snap!
“Waaaaaayyyy!” Her Friend cheered, raising her own glass, so very grateful for the outlet with which to vent her relief. He clinked His own glass against it and then turned His gaze back to Hers, His thin, fake smile betrayed by the inelegant truth in His eyes, His nose and His cheeks.
“I found my way back…” he half-whispered. He flicked two fingers back and forth, miming unsteady legs on a treacherous path. “… most of the way at least…” he conceded. She nodded. Out sympathy. Out of empathy. She nodded.

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