“So when you coming up?”
“Soon.” He repeated none too convincingly.
He smiled, shifted his gaze to something just off camera, something indistinct, vague, just out of vision, then looked back again.
“So when’s soon?”
I moved a little in my chair. His gaze was steady, placid, yet at the same time it had an intensity to it that, although not meant to be unsettling, had me unsettled nevertheless. I was nervous, with no reason to be, but when does your body take any notice of what should and shouldn’t be?
“I can’t say for sure. You know how it is. There’s this and there’s that…”
“…and there’s that and there’s this.” He added in a sing song voice.
“Exactly!” I said with more relief than I had meant.
“You know that’s just being evasive don’t you?”
“It’s not evasion, it’s just…”
“I’ve just got so much on, commitments, deadlines. I can’t just drop everything.”
“Yes you can.”
“I can’t. I really can’t!”
I could hear my voice rise and begin to wail ever so slightly. I was beginning to panic. I could feel the perspiration damp behind my knees. I checked my calendar on the wall to my right. What was I looking for? Dates? Free time? I looked back at the screen, he was still gazing and smiling, gazing and smiling.
I looked over to my left, checked my phone for new messages. Something, but really nothing. I looked back at the screen again. Still gazing and smiling, gazing and smiling. I smiled back timidly and then exhaled deeply.
“OK.” He said matter-of-factly, knowing full well that there were geological plates of pressure tied to my “nothing.” He waited as I hoped he would.
“Soon then” he grinned.
“Yes, soon” I brightened.