I sunk my eyes down from her gaze. “That’s not what I meant to say.” I said as sheepishly as I could.
“Oh? Really? It sure sounded like that is exactly what you meant.” Her voice oozing with venom.
“I just meant… I mean… that’s not what I meant… it’s just…” I looked up at her, trying my best to give her a smile to disarm her. “I love you?” I said as I curled my lip up on the right side, hoping that my boyish grin and charm would disarm this horrible mess.
“You’re not getting out of this with that smile. I don’t care how cute you look. It’s not going to work this time. I’m really upset about what you said.” She placed both hands around the coffee cup and looked down into it. “I mean, if you would say that now, what hope does there seem to be with our future?”
“Our future? You think this will have an impact on our future?” I sat aghast at her accusation. I could feel the desire to fight welling inside of me, but having already misspoken, I held my tongue and breathed deeply to calm myself, closing my eyes halfway in order to focus on fixing the problem instead of making it worse.
“Of course. If you could so easily say that now, how much easier will it be for you to say worse things later on?”
“So, you think this is going to fester into something worse and that there is no hope. Even though I already admitted that it was a faux pas on my part.” my pleading taking a sterner turn.
“You only admitted it when you saw the hurt in my eyes. You probably thought it was a funny dig, something I would easily get past. But, that really hurt.” She dug her heels in. I could tell, this was going to be a fight. I didn’t want a fight.
“Look, I don’t want to fight. I’m sorry. I spoke out of turn. You’re right. I was being funny. Ok, I was trying to be funny, I failed obviously.” I deflected. “It… it just came out wrong.” I reached my hand across the table toward hers, running my fingers over the back of her hand still clutching the coffee. “I love you.” My eyes pleading with her again.
Almost as if the physical touch sparked something inside of her, reminding her I was here, she seemed to relax. “I know.” she looked up from her coffee, locking eyes with me and slipping her hand over mine. I smiled, glad to be on the backside of what could have been a horrible fight.
I watched as she smiled, her fingers playing with mine, wrapping them up. A bit too tightly I admit, but at least she wasn’t backing away. Her fingers kept wrapping around mine, tighter and bending my fingers into a contorted position, pain shouting to my brain telling me to get free, but unable to. She had my fingers but good. She applied pressure to my bent fingers, causing me to sit quite upright in my chair. The pain was very evident in my eyes as the rigid smile flashed across her face.