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And so he said, in a way that seemed entirely innocent and a little too light-hearted, that if she wanted to, she could always break it up. But, she retorted, you can’t break up something that isn’t there.

I want to be asked, she said plaintively, but in that typical I’ll-just-quietly-accept-it-along-with-all-this-shit wry smile. 

And it felt rather difficult, “rather” being the understatement of the week. He had never asked, before, he said. That happens when you avoid asking difficult questions.

He tries to explain it. Makes a mess of it. The question could either be rhetorical, and the answer entirely un-magical and rather boring. Or if it were a no, it could give rise to a then-what-the-fuck-are-we-doing self-examination. Reassuringly, she gives up a little of herself, she will say yes, she smiles to herself. She enjoys seeing him squirm.

And he asked, would you like to go steady. To which the instant response was a guffaw.

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