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An Awful Undertaking 


I couldn’t be sympathetic in this.

                “I don’t want to, and I can’t believe I have to rush home in traffic to go to a damn church.”

Then why are you going? I want to ask. Why are you still doing any of this? I want to yell that. But I sigh and stroke my chin instead. I look at the mirror outside the window, then at the road zooming underneath us. I fidget in my seat and try to look anywhere but at the steering wheel. Anywhere but her hands. Anywhere but her finger, with its fly-sized, tumorou,s rock banded around it. Always my eyes return to it.

                I had heard every doubt, fear, apprehension and uncertainty. And I had listened and feigned interest.   School and work was one thing; those I can empathize with. But as she sat there, whining about her troublesome engagement to the passionless rich kid, my ears were closed and my heart was cold. The pretense of apathy was the most I could do for this girl, the girl that I love. Then why did you say yes? I mouth the words. Every day I mouth those words, hoping to scream them at her, as though giving them to her were some great imperative. But I can never manage to utter them.

                I take a deep breath, and mess with my cellphone. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see her frowning at me. The words sink back into my bowels again.

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Kelil Stephanos

April 2010

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