Dave lay there, blanket up to his nose and legs curled to his torso. He stared at the wall with bloodshot eyes, or maybe he was staring at his mug. The family portrait was on the wall too. Maybe he was staring at that. Why would he stare at the picture now? Maybe a longing of a meaningful relationship. Why would he be staring at the mug? As far as Terry could tell, it was a normal mug. A murky white with fracture lines along the sides. What was in the mug? Hot Cocoa? Tea? Coffee? Or what if it wasn't something warm. Maybe it was just water or lemonade. Probably soda. Or empty. Why would he be looking at the mug then? Well, then how about the wall. Besides the family portrait, there wasn't anything on it. It was a blank wall. Maybe he's staring at it bec
-stop, you're not here to analyze what he's staring at, stop stalling. Terry looked back at his friend to re-notice the gloss-over on his friend's eyes. Terry took a deep breath. "You okay man?"
"What does it look like," said the creature under the covers.
"It looks like you've been living down here for a while."
Terry rolled his eyes. "Come on dude, don't be like that. Talk to me."
"Well, when has talking to Terry ever gone wrong?"
Dave's dead eyes glanced at Terry but it was enough for Terry to see just how this was eating at him. "What's there to tell?"
"Well, how do you feel?"
"Seriously?" Dave snapped. "Geez, I don't know, I lost my fucking girlfriend, that good enough?"
Terry let Dave calm down before starting again. "What do you miss about her?"
Dave's eyes glossed over again before returning. "I don't know. I miss holding her... I miss her smile."
"I miss her."
"What do you feel?"
Dave returned to his pensive state. He returned but with tears welling in his eyes. "I feel abandoned."
Now we're getting somewhere. Not exactly something to be happy about.
"How long have you felt this?"
"I don't know...this whole week...ever since she left."
"Then why this whole week? She's only been gone for the past few days."
Dave wiped his eyes on this blanket. "I don't know...I got this vibe from her...like she wasn't going to be around long. I felt desperate, like, I needed to find a way to keep her..."
Terry waited, letting Dave's own words sink into his own mind. "It's not the first time you felt that was it?"
"What do you mean," giving Terry a questioning look.
"I mean, it wasn't your first time feeling that, the desperate need to keep her, was it?"
"I mean...I guess so...I just figured that was what all guys felt for their girlfriends...a desperate need to keep her."
"Did you ever ask any one if that was normal?"
"Yeah...I asked her." Dave looked at Terry with suspicion. "Didn't you?"
"In a way...but not desperation. I felt sad when I thought I was losing Janet."
"Well, everyone feels things differently, don't they?"
"How do you know?"
"I asked a bunch of people."
"Well maybe you got lucky."
"Or maybe...I didn't"
Dave was sitting up now. The blanket spilling down from his shoulders to hi lap. In his eyes, what were once mirrors were now intense focus. "What do you mean?"
"Did she ever advise you to ask other people?"
"Did she even like it when you talked to other people?"
"What the hell does that have to do with anything?"
"How often did you feel desperate to hold on?"
"When did the feeling go away?"
"Terry, shut the fuck up."
"It was whenever you conceded to something she wanted."
"And not once did you win with her."
"I know what you're doing!"
"It was always her way."
"I said stop!"
"But did it help?"
"I said shut up!"
"I swear to god Terry!"
"She just came back and asked that you sacrifice more."
"Stop with your fucking mind games!"
"And for what?"
"I said shut up!"
"So you could hold on to her?"
"And let her ruin your life even more?"
Dave pounced punching Terry straight in the jaw. Terry fell to his knees. He stayed there until his vision cleared. He sat down facing Dave. His fists were clenched and a knuckle split. He was crying and breathing heavily but he looked straight into Terry's eyes. "I said, shut the fuck up."
Terry never broke contact. "No."
They remained in that stasis for what felt like an eternity, but eventually Dave walked back to his couch and curled up under his blanket. "I think you need to get the fuck out of my house."
Terry stood up. "How often did we talk while you were dating her."
"Obviously too much."
"No. We didn't talk at all. How many times did you come to school depressed because she wasn't happy again?"
"Wrong, every day. Why is it that the person that was supposed to make you the happiest end up making you feel the worst?"
"Because you didn't really like her, you wanted her approval. You wanted her to feel something for you. She knew that, and she abused it to all hell. Why do you think she didn't want you talking to me? because she knew I could see right through her. She turned you into her tool."
"I'm not a tool."
"Oh really? When was the last time you pulled a prank or did something stupid? I remember the old Dave would pull the craziest pranks. He would have left a rotten egg in a teacher's car or let pigs loose in the school. And now, after that bitch, he gives up and curls into a ball to die. If I was talking to the old Dave, the real Dave, he would have gotten a bunch of people to have a huge video tournament or break into a nature park past closing and have a bon fire that would last all night. Then, when the pot was split or the smores were done, he'd come to me, his best friend. But apparently he's gone and now I have to deal with this sad sack of shit. How about you grow a pair and realize that she was a bitch and you were her tool and she only saw you as her tool."
The stare down continued through this whole speech. Dave had gone from angry to hurt but, somewhere in there, or so Terry hopped, was realization.
"I think you need to get the fuck out of my house."
Terry didn't wait. He couldn't stay any longer even if he had to. He said everything that he needed to say and felt like shit. Well...almost everything. He stopped at the doorway and turned. "I'm your friend Dave...I'd never hurt you like this unless I knew it was true."
Dave's eyes gave away no emotion. No understanding, no rage, not even a glossy look, nothing.
"Fuck you," he said, before rolling over.