“Are you gonna do it or not?” Jay was getting angrier with every passing moment she delayed them.
“You’ve been thinking for thirty fucking minutes, just do it Lauren.”
“Don’t tell me to do it, this is my thing. I can take as long as I want.” She couldn’t see his face but was sure he was giving her the look. She hated that look. It was full of annoyance, anger and years of the tension that had built up between them.
“This was your thing, but now it’s our thing. You’re the one who said I had to do it with you. So what the hell is this? Why can’t you just go? I told you, they told you, its safe, your not going to get hurt. We can’t sit up here all fucking day Lauren!”
“Shut up! You know I hate it when you use the f word. This is not the time or place to get mad. You need to calm down and just let me think.” Jay was silent and now that she actually had a moment to put her thoughts together, she froze.
“Maybe….maybe we should wait a week and come back.”
The force of Jay’s steps behind her made her move forward. Her back straightened and her whole body tensed.
“Jay, what are you doing, stop!” her exasperated screams were filled with fear.
“Lauren, you don’t have a choice anymore. We are doing this. You either go or I will make us go.” There was a strange seriousness in his voice that she recognized immediately. She hadn’t heard it since the day her father had died and he had to be the one to tell her. For the first time she looked ahead. At that moment she was hesitant and weary and he was pushing her, much like their relationship. She thought about this and became calm. This was a good thing. She was always scared but somehow things seemed to miraculously improve when she went out on a limb for Jay.
She looked forward again. Why did people always do stupid things on the big birthdays? Thirty years old and she was going to kill herself? This was so stupid, she thought. The worst was it had been her idea. Jay began to shuffle around behind her.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m going detach this shit so I can go alone.”
“What do you mean, go alone?”
“Lauren…” It was that look again.
She was almost in tears now and more frustrated with him then what lay in front of her. “Why can’t you be more patient with me Jay, this isn’t easy. I know its no big deal for you but I’m scared.”
The honesty in her voice forced him to soften. He felt bad for her. He wasn’t scared for himself but now he felt scared for her.
“Lauren, remember when we first met and you had that ferret named Moe?”
Lauren was caught off guard and figured this to be the oddest time to bring up her old pets.
“I never told you this but one day I accidentally let him out onto the balcony. I tried to catch him but he got scared and well…he jumped off.”
“What?” Lauren had completely forgotten the current situation and could only picture poor Moe leaping off her two-story balcony.
“He was fine. When I got to the bottom he was just sitting there licking his tail. He let me pick him up and we went inside. I never told you because I thought you would freak out.”
“So why the hell are you telling me now?” Lauren was mad and attributed Moe running away four years later to this incident.
“Because if the God damn ferret can do it, then so can you.”
“That was your pep talk?” Lauren shook her head and spoke in a low and sarcastic tone. Before Jay could answer Lauren walked up to the platform. She didn’t look down, just straight ahead. She grabbed Jay’s hands and put them around her waist. “Okay, I’m ready.”
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