I Love You to Death

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“Wow, I’ve never understood a subject better than I do now. You are a godsend Naomi.” Lukas places his pencil down and leans back with a satisfied smile.

“Thanks, but you’ve clearly been studying the material too; otherwise there’s no way you’d have done this well on one of Dr. Willow’s practice exams. The quizzes she allowed you to take while you surveyed her class were not even close to how tricky her exams are. So to pass your very first one, practice or not, is seriously amazing. I’m impressed.”

“Ok, I’ll take the praise, but only if you take mine too. You’re an awesome tutor, and I mean that.”

Nai must turn her head in an effort to hide her blush. “Fine, I accept too. We’re both awesome.” There’s a moment of silence, but it’s soon broken by an alert on her phone. She quickly opens it and reads the content of the message quietly. “Interesting,” she whispers under her breath with a thoughtful gaze.

“What? Everything alright?” He leans forward.

“Hmm? Oh! Yea, it’s no biggie. My next two sessions both cancelled for today. They were my only other sessions, so I guess that means I can go home earlier today.”

“Oh. Nice!” He looks at his watch. “It’s just after noon; three hours just flies by, doesn’t it?”

“Surprisingly, it does, but only with your sessions I find. Luckily, not too many people take advantage of the opportunity to schedule the three maximum sessions at one hour each, but once in a while they do. Three hours with other students seems to drag endlessly, but our sessions do go rather fast.”

“Well, time flies when you’re having fun. That’s what I’ve always heard at least, so I guess we must have loads of fun together.”

“Yea, I guess we do.” She smiles slightly to herself.

“Yup, now just imagine how much fun we can have in a more casual setting. I can’t wait to show you Friday” He winks.

“Actually, now that you’ve brought it up, where exactly are you taking me Friday? We never discussed it, did we?”

He smirks coyly. “That’s for me to know, and you to experience. All I’ll say is, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress casual. A skirt will be fine, but don’t bring out the ball gown.”

“Oh please, I don’t even own such fancy clothes as that. Have you not seen my wardrobe? I have jeans for days and my fanciest tops are my blouses. I think I own one pair of slacks, one skirt and one dress. The only reason I have those is because my mom insisted that I should for that off chance I’d need to dress up formally. That day has yet to come though, not even with Adam.”

“Seriously? Has he never taken you out for a proper night on the town? I know enough about Denver to know it has a decent nightlife if you look for it. Even Boulder has its charms.”

“Well, we’ve gone to a few of the more casual places over the years I guess, but neither of us are the type to roam the nightlife scene. Bars and clubs aren’t really our speed. We prefer to just stay in and cuddle on the couch, while we check out various movies and shows. Especially now, we’d rather not do anything that would bring us too much attention, as he’s becoming more well known. I doubt we’d have fun dodging paparazzi at those places.”

“I mean, I get that point, but come on Naomi. There’s loads of things you guys could’ve done for fun while keeping a low profile. You could go out to the movies, or to an amusement park, or to a bowling alley. You don’t always have to be confined to his apartment. Don’t you ever want to get out sometimes?”

Nai loses her smile and displays a look of discomfort. “I mean, I’ve suggested a few outings to him, but he always insists it’s better to keep a low profile. He says it’s for my sake.”

“So basically, he justifies you guys chilling inside all the time because it’s in your best interest?” She nods slightly. “Does that sound normal to you? I mean, I know this is your first relationship, but surely you’ve seen enough movies to know what types of things young couples do in their free time together; outside of the bedroom of course. Wouldn’t you rather do those things from time to time?”

She sighs and becomes visibly agitated. “Look, I would like to go out a bit more together than we do now, but it’s not exactly practical considering his position. Our relationship might seem unusual to someone who’s probably dated multiple women in his lifetime, but it works for us.”

Lukas appears genuinely shocked. “Multiple women? Just who do you think I am? Do you actually see me as some kind of playboy?”

“I-, I didn’t mean it like that. I just mean that you’ve probably had more experience in dating then I have.”

“Who says? I sure didn’t. How can you make assumptions about something like that when I’ve never said a thing about it?” She’s silent. “You’ve got nothing to say? Ok, I’ll answer for you then. You’re making that claim based on my looks and maybe even a couple of stereotypes. I’m just a wild and sexy womanizer who’s love of women comes second to his love of alcohol, right?”

Nai frowns. “I didn’t say that! Don’t go putting words in-.” She stops herself before this argument becomes bigger than it needs to be. “Let’s just drop it.” She begins to pack up.

“Well, being that you’ve effectively cut the conversation on your own, I suppose I’ll have to, won’t I?” He begins packing up his bag as well. They do so in silence, neither looking at the other.

Nai finishes first and as she stands and slips her bag on her shoulder, she coldly says, “I’ll let you know if I can still make it on Friday, no promises.”

“Please, don’t do me any favors. If you want to then we can, but if you don’t, that’s cool too. Frankly, I don’t give a fuck. Play house with your boyfriend the whole weekend for all I care.”

Nai doesn’t respond immediately, but looking at her, Lukas can see the hurt behind her prideful eyes. With a bitter expression Nai finally says, “Well, then I guess you have your answer now. Perhaps, I’ll see you on Monday for our next session.”

Lukas is suddenly hit with an intense feeling of regret. “Naomi I-.” She stomps off without another glance at him, ignoring his call. Once she’s gone, Lukas drops his head so that it bangs against the table. “Estupido!” He calls himself out as the idiot he is. He can hear someone sit at the table across from him, the same spot where Nai just sat and he looks up, hopeful. However, he’s met with someone far from her beauty.

That same graying man from before sits in that spot holding a book, and slowly says, “Ah, we do tend to hurt those we love the most. Why do we do that Lukas?” He snaps the book shut and glares at him. “More importantly, is this what you call, “getting her to trust me”, as you so called it?”

He looks down in shame. “I’ll get it done Sir.”

“You’d better do so soon Lukas, as you are quickly running out of time.” He gives him another glare and then slowly stands. “Here’s some words of advice from a seasoned veteran of fucking things up with women; apologize first and take responsibility for everything. That’ll be the fastest way to win back her favor. Good luck.” He turns and makes his exit as swiftly as he came.

Lukas squeezes his fists against the table in frustration and silently resolves himself to making things right. The longer he waits, the higher the risk becomes. “This time I will save you Nai. I will save you from him, no matter what I have to do.”

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