a tiny trace or spark of a specified quality or feeling.


“When do you start?”




He sighed. Purposely avoiding eye contact with her, he sipped his coffee. Her eyes dropped to stare at the wood of the table and her fretful fidgeting fingers.


“Look, I won’t be that busy-”
“You’ll be gone.” He’s staring at her now, eyes boring into her.


“I won’t be gone that much, I swear- I’ll try- I’ll make it up to you,” The desperation in her voice is obvious.


“I mean, I don’t even know why I try at all,” He toys with the handle of the cup. “If you don’t care that much, I don’t see why we should continue with this charade,” His jaw clenches. “Do you? Care?”


“Of course I do, but this is my dream-”


“School, I know, but am I not important to you anymore in the face of your dream?”


“Yes, of course you are-”
“Then why are you doing this to me? To us?”


She draws a shaky breath.


“Please. I love you. Please don’t do this,” Her hands are interlocked tightly, trembling in her lap.


“Do what? I’m not the one running off to Australia and leaving her boyfriend of three years behind to chase her dream!” The patrons at the next table look over. He glances in their direction and gives them a smile that does not reach his eyes. He leans across the table.


“I love you too. More than you know. That’s why I’m fighting for you, right now. Can’t you see it?” He runs a hand roughly through his hair. “Can’t you see what you’re doing to me with your recklessness?”


“I’m not being reckless! I want you and my dream. Can’t I have both?”


He covers her hands with his own. The coffee’s gone cold. He holds her gaze.


All of a sudden it’s like the light in his eyes dims, and he pulls away. He leans back in his chair.


“You can do whatever you want.” He stands quickly and wrenches the door open, disappearing into the crowd on the street before she could begin to comprehend.


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