Fiction: Quitting Time (614 words)

06 Jan

Colin and Mara sat across the room from each other. Literally, on opposite sides of the room, with as much space and big pieces of furniture as they could manage. They were going to have this conversation.  They had to have this conversation.  They had to have this conversation in its entirety without dissolving into having sex half way through and not coming to any official decisions about the whole thing.

“We have to talk to Andy,” Colin started the conversation again, for what felt like the hundredth time.

“I don’t want you to give up the team for me.”  Mara repeated.

“I’m not giving up the team for you.  I’m giving up the team for us.  I’m giving up the team everything that we’re going to be in the future.”  Colin finished.

This was usually the time when the conversation part ended, and there was pushing past whatever they put in the way and closing of the space between them.  But they both stood their ground this time. They had to have this conversation.  It was going to change their lives.

“Here’s the long and the short of it, Mara.   You’re pregnant.  You are carrying my baby.  Was it unexpected? Yes. But I wouldn’t change the world for it, and I want to be involved in your life, and this child’s life, for as long as I am still alive.   I can’t keep risking my life every night, running around like an idiot on this–granted, very good mission that you and your brother started–but now you are more important than that.  You, our child, there is nothing more important than that.   You can’t not tell your brother you’re pregnant.  And he’s going to immediately know that I am the father. Because let’s face it, we are utterly pathetic when it comes to each other and it wouldn’t be anyone else.  Even if I didn’t quit the team, do you really think that Andy would let me do the things I’m doing now?  Do you genuinely think that he would let me do anything that risky? Don’t you think I’m going to volunteer to do more admin work and try to stay off missions as much as I possibly can? I’m quitting one way or another, Mar.  It’s all just a question of degrees.  Your brother and the rest of the team will be so much safer if I sign off altogether, free up my spot, let them get some fresh blood in there for them, a fourth who can really be dedicated to the work they are doing. So, I say again.  We need to talk to Andy.”

Mara had never known Colin to go on a rant like that.  In their friendship, in their relationship, and in there awkward post relationship on and off again thing, Mara had always been the one to talk more, to ramble on, to use anything she could think of to defend her point. Colin usually just stated his opinion and let someone else worry about the details or nuances of the whole thing.  But, she was also willing to bet that there was nothing in his life this far that he felt as strongly as he felt about this.

“Okay,” Mara smiled, a bubble of hope and a dream of a future swelling up in her chest.  “Okay, we’ll talk to Andy.   We’ll figure this out.  We’ll make the whole thing work.”   She took a step towards him.  “Conversation over, right?  We can stop this forced separation now, right?”

“God, yes.” Colin moved towards her faster than she’d ever seen him move before, “Let’s never have forced separation again, okay?”

She kissed him fiercely in response.

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Posted by on January 6, 2016 in Stories


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