“Are you ever going to get around to telling my story?” Katie’s voice surprises me. She isn’t supposed to talk to me.
“Well, yeah, I’m…” I trail off, knowing there’s really nothing to put on the end of that.
“Yeah, you’re leaving us here staring at each other. We’ve been looking at each other through the screen door for how many years now?”
There’s no answer for that. Too many years. The story that won’t leave my head can’t seem to make it to my fingers. They stay on either side of the door and I try to excuse myself from it.
“Why won’t you write it?” she asks. I’m so surprised that she’s still talking – or even talking at all – I give her the truth.
Not being good enough, what the fuck else? But it’s more than that, it’s a fear of being actively bad. Of writing the next Twilight. Or Fifty Shades of What the Fuck is this Shit?
It’s fear of writing a love story.
No. Tell the truth. It’s fear of writing a fairy tale. That’s what it is, what all love stories are and who the hell thinks the world needs more fairy tales?
“Fuck the world, I need it.” I don’t dare contradict her. Or point out that she’s merely a figment. Since, you know, I’m no longer entirely sure she is.
“Please. No one has to read it except you. And you won’t ever use a mother hamster eating her babies as a descriptive during a sex scene, so just how bad can it be?”
She has a point there. A couple of them.
“I’m afraid you’ll break my heart, Katie.” It’s her turn to not answer. She could give a fuck about my heart when hers is stuck in time.
The silence spins out. We could stand here all day. It’s not like she has something better to do.
“Ok. Even if it’s so bad I have to burn it.”
I wait for more but that’s it. She’s gone back to her place in the foyer, just on the other side of the staircase. I go back to the dishes. When I’m done I get a cup of coffee and open Word. I hold the picture in the front of my mind, talisman and shield and sword, and follow the path to her front door.