October 29, 2015

In Which Rina Finds It Stuck

July 6, 1195

"My God. If I have to see one more hypochondriac who confuses a nosebleed with consumption, I've half a mind to tell him he's dying out of sheer spite." Severin shut the door and took a few steps in, but stopped when Rina failed to respond. "What's wrong? You usually stifle a snicker when I joke about malpractice."

"Oh, nothing. It's stupid." And to think--she'd thought she'd moved on! She had, really. She had a business she enjoyed, a loving husband, more friends than she'd ever dared hope for. She was happy... really.

But just because she was happy didn't mean she couldn't hurt sometimes.

"You're sure?"

"I'm sure. Just... ran into one of my old housemates at the bank today." And it was the only bank in the kingdom, as things stood now. There would be old acquaintance after old acquaintance. And there would always be the same old chitchat. "Asked how many children we had."

She didn't need to look at her husband to see him tugging at his sleeve, scowling at the floor, trying to figure out which former housemate she was talking about. She wouldn't tell him. It didn't matter.

"Rather personal a question."

"Maybe." Rina sighed. "Not an uncommon one, though. And it's not the first time I've been asked at the bank either. It just... it stuck, today."

"I hope it doesn't stick often." He sat down behind her and offered what must have been meant as a reassuring squeeze of the hand.

For whatever reason, she didn't feel it. "It does sometimes. I don't know why, though. I mean, I have a good life. I'm not unfulfilled."

"I don't think unfulfilled people have the monopoly on feelings. A good present doesn't make a lousy past any better. And part of friendly chitchat is minding your own damn business. The people in my waiting room talk, but they never ask each other why they're there."

"That's because no one wants to hear about pubic lice. They want to hear about babies."

"See, that's the problem with the world. Most children encounter a baby before they witness childbirth." Severin bit his lip. "Well, that and the prying. And the not letting people live their own lives."

"You're cute when you try to cheer me up." He was--and she appreciated it. But, it hadn't worked. "Can we talk about your day now? I think I just need to think about something else--even if it's pubic lice."


1 comment:

Van said...

Bah. Last midterm tomorrow. Seeing as the first four were arranged from least to most stressful (with the three on the latter end much more closely clustered together), I'm not expecting any miracles.

God, life is such a pain in the ass sometimes.