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" I asked."Be quiet," he said, low, dire, and commanding."Ed, it's really late. Our plane leaves tomorrow morning."His expression is telling me to shut up, but I pressed on, hoping and praying we could approach this rationally, like the adults we had recently become."I'm tired, and you're upset, and we need sleep if we're going to get to the airport on time. Grades that could get you into any college in the region? So am I."You're the most blessed girl in the whole city. Yet, no matter how much you complained, how annoying and hopeless your attitude got, how violent you became, how much you mistreated me, your friends, and everyone else, I took all that negativity and didn't flinch, because I you. My head is a mess, trying to digest everything he's accused me of."I could forgive you if you gave me a single date and then decided I was worth discarding. A shiver ran through my body, and I found myself wishing I had more than a flimsy sundress to cover me."What are you doing here? If the world was so damn stingy, how do you still have two parents and a roof over your head? Over time I got to know you better- the good and bad, and let's not kid ourselves, there was a lot of bad. ""No, you're right," I said, not caring if I believed my own answer and only wanting to placate him."So there was nothing, no reason for you to turn me down. " I asked, on the verge of tears."You ask that like I don't know what happened three years ago."*heartbeat*My heretofore throbbing chest froze up completely. He picked fights with trainers who didn't want to battle him. He made an unrealistic expectation about his chances for wooing you and then built his life and emotional stability around that expectation. Even if you had accepted his love, I think something else would have happened. I think you're right.""I'm glad you rejected him." Morty brushed my hand, which was still laying on his leg."No touching," he reminded me. "I'm glad that I got the chance to be with you again. ""It means when you can fart," and Morty promptly let loose a toot, "and the other person laughs instead of complains."I let out a giggle."Trust means having the absolute knowledge that the other person will still love you, no matter what you do or what you say. " I put to him."Obviously not.""Not so obviously as you may think. They're acclimation.""Yes."I had purposefully strung out our physical romance over the course of many sessions, in incremental steps. His face was mashed against the ground."For that, I am truly ashamed. Please forgive me.""I forgive you," I said."You do? Forgive me of that, and I will forgive you for this.""You don't even need to ask for forgiveness. He made his way to one of the bedroom doors and opened it. For a guy who bullied me all the time, I sure seemed to hang out with him and his friends a lot. I got spit-balled in the face, he got a stomp on the foot. During graduation, we rushed the stage and all performed that stupid dance-song, while the teachers stood aghast. Until that very moment, the faculty never suspected me of being a trouble-maker. I guess, in a kind of combative game of one-upmanship, me and Morty dictated all the underground dealings of the school. And most of all, I missed the overgrown lamb and his funny antics and lovable personality. Morty knew, and yet he also knew what would happen to me at home if I ever ran afoul of the system. He loved me, at a point when I was still able to fall in love with men normally. Because if I have sex, and like it, then I'll want more, and it will become a distraction. Despite Warren's best efforts and Mother's interruption, I managed a really stellar record the past two weeks. But with me being the way I am, that sort of relationship would be impossible.""You're still lying.""Why do you keep saying that? " I said, not knowing if I really wanted to hear the rest."Warren got himself in trouble while he was hanging out in Olivine. " Morty asked, urging me to go on."Something that happened awhile ago.""Was it a guy? It was the whole process, from the beginning to the end. And I expect the same is true for you.""Correct.""Do you ever think we'll get to the point where we can share? ""When we trust each other.""What does it mean, to trust? " he asked."Trusting someone with your heart is harder than the common kind of trust we put into our everyday relationships.""That's true.""It requires something special to cement it.""You're getting at? " he said, expectantly."Do you really think I'm ready to take that kind of step? These sideshows aren't for the titillation, are they? I told you absolutely everything about that night, to the best of my memory, honestly. It was a luxury suite, with a lounge, kitchen, and two bedrooms. A king-sized bed beckoned within."If you want to know the answer to your question, have sex with me," Morty said. " I asked."We've reached the point, Jasmine, where we do or don't. He deposited himself into the beckoning couch."Wine? It was certainly an interesting, and exciting period, thanks to the miscreant who continually found new and interesting ways to pick on me. It was in such a dirty, off-handed manner that I completely ignored him. He told me it was from a small quarry Stone himself had excavated in the nearby mountains (I never found out if that was true). Leyton was shell-shocked because she spotted me leading the charge. Close to the sea, to feel the salt water lapping around my feet. But before you accuse me of being nosy, let me just say, I couldn’t help it. They chose to talk about a personal matter in a public place.
""No, that's-" He pounded down on the nightstand with his palm, silencing me. As if there was anything in your actions that ever made me believe you had the remotest inkling of interest. I caught my self with my hands, managing to retain a seated position while Ed stood over me."Am I ugly? At least, at the very least, I was given a way forward, to move on and enjoy life once again. He has also gotten a little more mature and considerate in his actions too, so that's good. Now that I've come to terms with my sexuality, and decided which half of the prudish/perverted divide to embrace (the perverts), I can take Morty's sexual idiosyncrasies and enjoy them, rather than become confused and disgusted by them. Yet, he doesn't understand that his substitute struck a chord so much deeper than the word "Love", a word bandied about so much by so many it's become meaningless. Even that should be taken care of by modern advances.
This isn’t going to be a post about Custer’s Last Stand, otherwise known as the Battle of 1876.