Here’s Your Receipt

I wonder how long it will take to pass, he thought.  Uh, it truly is an awful feeling.

Then he said to the man next to him, “You know what the worst thing about it was?”

The man looked up from his book and said, “What’s that?”

“The fact that I saw it all coming from the moment we met.”

“You saw what coming?” the man asked, purely out of courtesy rather than curiosity.

“This feeling.  This regret.  I knew I’d feel this way.”

“So why’d you let it happen?”

Oh, so you think this was the result of a choice, he thought, as if I had one in the matter.

“All right,” he said, “What should I have done? Overstepped the boundaries?”

The man next to him folded the corner of the page, realizing he had committed himself again to the conversation.  “Well,” he said, “You could simply relax.”

“Yeah, that’s awfully helpful advice.”

“It’s a long flight to be thinking about it all.  Besides, you’re young,” the man then said, ignoring his confrontational tone, “In a few days you’ll have forgotten all about it.”

“But don’t you remember how lovely I told you she was?”

“And how many times in your life have you thought you’d seen the loveliest?”

Okay, now we’re getting somewhere, the young man thought.

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