Dissolved

      Francisca 204B

—Which, frankly, is bullshit considering how blind we—not just you; I’m including myself in this—are to the failures of those we love. There’s no way you can just say that. You can’t. You can’t just absolve him of all blame because he buys you things and makes it clear that you’re his in public. You can’t let him get away with shit like this. But first you’ve gotta acknowledge that it’s there. He’s not being fair. Every time he sneaks behind your back and goes out with her, he’s not being fair. Every time he
—He doesn’t sneak. He tells me and I say sure.
—But don’t you see how fucked that is? He asks you. He looks you in the eyes and asks for the slow dissolution of your relationship. And, right now, you’re saying yes. You’re letting him go, and it’s not completely his fault. Until you say something, this one’s on you. And you’ve gotta say something. You can’t just let him get away with shit like this.

            Nicholi 213A

— I think it’s over…I don’t know.
— Do you think she knows that?
— …I think she knows something’s up. I’ve been hanging out with Bethany a lot this past week. We kissed. I don’t feel bad about it.
— Why do you think that is?
— Why I don’t feel bad? Shit, I don’t know. Because I don’t care anymore? I want to, but I just can’t make myself feel bad about the death of something that should have died months ago.
— How many times have you kissed?
— Who? Bethany? Maybe 4. It’s been pretty innocent.
— Do you think Francisca would say that?
— Are you serious? No.
— Well, what would she say then?
— I don’t know….she might want to end it. But I’m not sure she could bring herself to do that. I don’t know…

The counselor inched her way through Francisca and Nicholi as she made her exit down the stairs. Who was that, she said. —A friend. Oh, so you’ve got two now, she said. He asked her what she was getting at. (He thought of the bar, which was closing in an hour.) I think we need to talk, she said. A man, her friend, came out of 204B and made eyes with Francisca. The couple dissolved as he passed through. Nicholi smiled, all teeth. —Looks like I’m not the only one with friends. Will you stop, she asked. We need to talk. Now. Nicholi looked at his watch. 55 minutes. —Yeah, that’s fine. But let’s make it quick.

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