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Everything is uncertain

Ray was taken aback hearing the confidence in Sam’s voice when he said he knew what she should do with her life. A part of her even scoffed internally at him. But she kept all the sarcasm and scepticism to herself and raised an eyebrow to him in a questioning glare. Sam, oblivious to Ray’s spiritless response, continued to pitch his momentous idea.

“Yesterday, on the date you gave a rather intriguing answer to one of my questions. I asked, what is the one thing that you cherish above all and would go leaps and bounds to protect it?” Sam took a brief pause expecting Ray to take on the narrative and make it her own. But his attempts were in vain when all he received in return was impatient silence and her dubious looks. He then continued not minding Ray’s disinterest.

“Your answer was; Freedom. Your face was rather grave when you said it. Almost as if you associated that word with something unpleasant. But still there was this glimmer in your eyes.” Sam took another brief pause to see if he still had Ray’s attention. A small smile played on her lips as she took a sip from her wine glass.

“Go on.” she prompted him.

Not wanting to come off as a weirdo with these fanatical words, he then decided to get to the point.

“Why not seize back the freedom you relinquished 5 years ago. How about a startup?”

Sam grinned ear from ear genuinely excited and a bit proud of coming up with the brilliant solution. Ray gulped down the last bit of sandwich she was chewing on and said.

“Easier said than done. For all that philosophy you just threw in my face, I have already thought about it and pushed the thought in the ‘I can but I probably won’t’ section of my brian.” Ray began picking up the plates as Sam ignored everything else she said and asked, his voice still hopeful.

“Why won’t you?”

Ray saw that he wasn’t going to let this go. She sighed visibly and said.

“Because I don’t have that kind of money Sam. And no matter how I am, I do have some dreams of my own, which is what I have been saving up for. I don’t want to set myself up for failure because I don’t have the security or the privilege to even think about it. I don’t have a safety net to fall back on.” Ray swiftly turned around and added before disappearing into the kitchen.

“And can we please not talk about this anymore? Maybe some other time but not now.”

Sam nodded in agreement and watched her back recede as she walked away from him.

Ray began doing the dishes lost in her thought when she felt a hand take the dish she was scrubbing from her. She traced the hand back to the sorry face of Sam. He held her gaze and whispered in a low voice.

“I am sorry.”

“It’s okay.” Ray whispered back a bit guilty herself.

They stood still for a moment before Sam reached out and took the scrub from her hand. He started doing the dishes and Ray gladly took upon the duty to wipe and store them. They basked in the silence while working in perfect harmony, either of them occupied by their own thoughts. Sam was the one who dared to speak first. He murmured under his breath, a bit cautious.

“I would like to be the safety net.”

Ray only barely heard him and her body froze in response. She slowly averted her eyes towards him to find him looking at her. Ray was sacred. And she put the plate in her hand on the counter, afraid she might lose control and drop it. She was scared of the strange warmth in the pit of her stomach and the coldness looming around the corner. Was she allowed to get used to this feeling? Did she want to? Everything was uncertain and she had a sudden urge to be alone. To process it all. To think about it. Ray said, looking ahead of her, avoiding his gaze.

“It’s late. You should leave.”

If Sam was offended by it then Ray wouldn’t know, because she made it a point to not look at him. He then obediently moved away from her and out of the kitchen. She tailed behind him to see him off at the door.

Standing outside the door he again looked at Ray’s face, searching for something. Anything. But she did not let what she felt see through. He then decided to make it certain what was uncertain before, the clarity in his voice more evident than before.

“I really would.”

Ray stared at him before forcing a smile and shutting the door in his face and collapsing to the floor. Holding her head in her hands, she mumbled to herself.

“You really would. That’s the scary part.”

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