Ryan looked at Zöe and said, “We are here because we can be surrounded by people we can’t see. All I see is you. I hope all you can see is me. Everything else is an illusion, put on for show. Everybody here feels the same. Look around. All the couples are focused on each other. They are unaware of anyone around them.”
Zöe checked out the tables near them. A man was in an earnest conversation with a young, dewy-eyed lady, rapt in attention. Over there, a lady was delivering what looked like a lecture to a man who wished he could be a thousand miles away. Every table had its own story.
“What’s ours,” Zöe asked, “what’s our story?”
Ryan contemplated his martini. Taking a deep breath he said …
“Do you know how much I think about you? I mean, during the day or whatever, but when you come into my thoughts?”
Zöe wasn’t sure where this conversation was going, so she threw out an answer, flippantly, “I don’t know,” she said, “twice a week?”
Ryan let out a little laugh, “Good one,” he said, “yeah, that was good. But, back to the question, more like when I’m awake and sometimes when I’m not. I think about you all the time.”
A moment of silence descended on the table. Not a bad moment, but a moment.
Zöe stirred her drink. Ryan finished his.
Finally, Zöe looked up and asked Ryan, “Why?”
Ryan stood on a cliff’s edge looking down. He couldn’t see the bottom. It was a descent into blackness, an untold fate, but not pleasant he knew. A plummet. Screaming into the depths below.
Ryan looked up at Zöe and said, “Time. It’s all about time. And it’s running out.”
Zöe’s heart skipped a beat.