carly’s story: danny’s dinner with carly

This story started here.

Danny knew it would be wrong to try to take Carly to anyplace fancy. Trying to turn this simple dinner into a big event would only drive her away, or freeze her up. And, in any case, he didn't have that much money. So, they went to the small, grimy diner where they had eaten many of their meals when they'd been together.

He didn't bother to tell her to order whatever she wanted, he knew what she'd get. The Burger Special was the best deal: a big burger, fries, lettuce, tomato and a couple of onion rings for under three dollars. So, she ordered that, without even looking at the menu, and he ordered the same thing. He also ordered a soda, but she didn't, apparently thinking to fill her stomach while having the least impact on his finances. He could certainly have afforded to buy her a soda, but he didn't say anything.

Danny was sure that Carly still cared about him, but something had convinced her that she should stay away from him. Maybe something in her past. She had stopped speaking about her past fairly early in the relationship, when she'd realized that she couldn't lie about it well enough to fool him. He'd never mentioned this, sure that at some point they would pass some boundary of trust and it would all come pouring out, the revelations all the more meaningful for being given freely.

Danny was sure that Carly felt nothing but contempt for him. There was obviously no trust, no affection, no friendship. She needed food now, as she had needed shelter when they'd first met. That was all it was, and he'd better get used to the idea and stop making himself miserable.

Danny remembered hearing something about the ability to believe in two mutually exclusive ideas at the same time. It was either the sign of a sophisticated intelligence, or it was a symptom of psychosis. He was trying to remember which when the food arrived.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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