I walked into the pub and met Anne at the door. "Hey! Where have you been?" "Hi Anne, can we talk later?" "Sure," she replied with a puzzled look on her face.
I went up the stairs to my room. The door was unlocked. Weird. I pushed the handle and walked in to find Claire sitting on my bed.
"Hi Claire! What're you doing here?"
"Where were you?" She demanded as she stood up. "I went out." "For this long? What were you doing? Couldn't you inform someone that you were going to gone for a while?" She was angry. Really angry. This wasn't going to end well. "Look, I'm really tired right now. Could we do this another time?" I asked, exasperated.
"Another time?! Another time?! NO!" She almost yelled at me. "Do you know how worried I was about you? We were all worried! I thought something had happened to you! We looked for you everywhere!" She was frustrated. "Well I'm sorry," I said softly. "Sorry? You're sorry? I was about to call the cops!"
"Look, I don't want to talk right now. Can you just go?" "I own this place." Her eyes were burning with rage, her lips trembling, her nose flared up, her face turning red. I couldn't look at her. "Maybe I should go," I said, stepping back.
"SIT DOWN HERE RIGHT NOW!" She yelled. I sat down, almost on command, and buried my head under my arms. Oh God! This was going to be a nightmare!
"Look up!" I raised my head. "Now tell me what's going on, young man," her voice regaining composure. "Could you sit, please?" I still couldn't look her in the eye. "Krsnah, I don't have all night."
"It was you," I said softly. She didn't say anything. "Claire, please promise me you won't be upset? Please?" "I am upset!" she said angrily. "Right, right," I looked down. "I couldn't stop thinking about you Claire," I said, choking up. She still didn't say anything. "I couldn't stop thinking about you all day and night. Ever since I saw you, my mind has become obsessed with you." Tears rolled down my cheeks, falling down on my pants. "I don't know what it is. I don't know what's happened to me, but I just can't get you out of my head. And I... I don't even know anything about you." I reached into my pocket and fished out a handkerchief. I blew my nose into it. "I'm sorry," I said softly.
I looked up at her and registered the look of surprise and shock on her face. "Wow! I don't know what to say." "I'm sorry," I said, "I thought I'd spend some time away from you and maybe I could forget you. Out of sight, out of mind." "And did you?" she asked gently. I shook my head, "No."
I looked down and waited in silence as she processed what I'd just said. "This is all my fault. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I flirted with you."
A pair of footsteps walked up to the door. "Hey! You guys alright?" I looked up and wiped my tears with my hand. Anne stood at the door with a concerned look on her face. "Yeah, just give us a minute." Claire said. "What happened? Krsnah? Are you okay?" Anne started walking towards me.
"Anne, will you give us a few minutes please?" Claire said impatiently. Anne stopped and looked at me. "I'm okay," I said softly. "Do you want me to get you anything?" Anne said. "No, thanks!" I replied. "Okay, I'll speak with you later," she said, turning back.
Claire got up and locked the door.
"So?" She asked as she sat back down. I shrugged. "I'm sorry. Maybe I wasn't thinking straight." "What about Anne?" she prodded. "You must be joking!" "As a matter of fact, I'm not. She was pretty upset when you weren't here." "And you weren't?" I was getting irritated. "Not as much as her. She's been pulling extra hours ever since you went missing," Claire said.
"Really?" "Yes! I think she likes you, a lot." "That's a bunch of bullshit!" I said, agitated.
"Is it?" Claire prodded on, "Did you catch the look on her face when she came in?" "Yeah, so?" "She's a keeper," Claire said.
"I'm sorry, are you mocking me right now? 'Cause that's really messed up! I just confessed my feelings for you and you're talking about her!" I said, getting angrier by the minute. "I'm just telling you that she cares about you, and you should think about it," Claire continued. "And you don't?" I was getting furious now. "Not as much as her," she replied.
"Oh my God! This is unbelievable!" I buried my face into my hands. She waited in silence. I tried to compose myself.
"Look, Claire," I started, "This is all my fault." "You need to stop saying that." "Yes. I understand that you may not share the same feelings that I do, and it's okay." I looked into her eyes. "I know you don't feel the same way about me, Claire. And you don't have to. I'm not asking you to love me. But could you not talk about Anne when I'm with you?"
"Krsnah," she smiled, "it's only been a few days. You don't know anything about me. You're just going through a phase right now. Give it time - you'll find someone who's right for you."
"You're right," I nodded, "I never imagined you'd be so insensitive towards me." I got up and opened. "Please leave." "Krsnah..." "Get out!" The tears were back, streaming down my face, but I was angry. Really really angry. "Krsnah, please listen to me. I ..." I ushered her out and slammed the door behind me.
Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! I wanted to scream.