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You set this meeting up, he said with hands stuck in his jeans pockets as he approached her. She stared at him without saying a word as she barely nodded her head. It’s freezing out here, he whined. Can’t we go inside your apartment? I mean, it’s right here! We’re not going upstairs, she replied as her teeth began to chatter a little. I need to tell you my thoughts without any kind of distraction. He shoved his hands deeper in his pockets as he began to rock back and forth. Okay, he drawled out, speak. She pulled out a crumpled pack of cigarettes from her bag. It really bothers me that you smoke, he said as his eyes kept glancing at her apartment building. She placed a cigarette between her lips and lit it with an old black lighter. The cigarette smoke caused her eyes to water; good, she thought. It means I’m still here. She wanted things to be different but alas, they remained the same. She wanted him to go away and leave her alone. He didn’t understand. All I want is you, he said via text the other day. All I want is your happiness. She couldn’t fault him for that – he was the first honest soul she’d met in a long time. And the dirtiest. She took a deep pull from her cigarette and watched the smoke stream from her nose.

You want to know why I asked you to come, she said in a flat tone. She lowered her head as a slight moment of doubt crept into her, then raised it once more. You hide behind words, she told him with renewed confidence, and that’s something I can never forgive you for. I want action. Haven’t I always given you action, he asked. Haven’t I always shown you that I would do anything for you? He marched off, only to return with a semblance of anger. You know you can’t survive without me, he said through gritted teeth. It’s because of me that you’re the way you are. He pulled out his own pack of cigarettes and lit one. See what you make me do, he pleaded with her. It’s you who’s got the power in this relationship, not me! It’s you that the world has to bow down to! I’m merely your servant, loving oh so loving servant, yet you can’t see beyond what someone has to offer you. She remained quiet and smoked as he went off on his tirade. Poor fool, she thought to herself. She knew he didn’t listen and never would. It’s about time you acknowledge what I want and need, he said as he took a deep drag and blew it right in her face. As much as you want to walk away, I know that you won’t. He moved closer toward her. You can’t face this world without me telling you what to do. My desires and wants are thrown to the side because of you. I have needs, he said as he tenderly rubbed her arm. Needs and cravings that only you can satisfy. His blue eyes now took her in like a cool glass of water on a hot day in New Orleans. Satisfy my craving, he replied, and I’ll leave you alone. Give me what I want only once, and you’ll never see me again. She crushed the cigarette on the ground and walked inside. He watched her retreating form and thought – I’ll try again tomorrow.

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