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It’s Not You

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Thomas walked into the room Elora May was sitting in. “Hey, will you go with me to a restaurant?”

“Which one?” she responded.

“Oh, just the one over by that one mercantile shop.”

“Sure! Let’s go!” She got up and walked over to the wooden door. It scraped against the dirt floor as she closed it and they headed off to the restaurant.

——-

Thomas ordered a nice MLT. The mutton was nice and lean, and the tomatoes were ripe. Elora May had the soup du jour.

Once they finished their food, Thomas looked at Elora May.

She gazed into his eyes. They were cold and hard, unlike their usual state.

Thomas hesitated before admitting, “I don’t think we should see each other anymore. But don’t worry, it’s not you, it’s me.”

“Wh-what do you mean it’s not me?” Elora May sputtered.

“That’s right,” Thomas reassured.

“It’s nothing I did?”

“Nope.”

“It’s all about you?”

“Yep.” His voice was playful, almost joking with her.

“What’s wrong with you?” Elora May asked, with a hint of disgust.

“I… can’t tell you that.”

“You’re breaking up with me for a reason you can’t tell me about?”

“I’m glad you understand.”

“I don’t understand!” she said immediately.

“That’s okay too,”

“No, it’s not!”

Thomas stood up and pulled out a device from his bag. He looked through its sight at the sun, while reading the measurements on the side.

“Oh, come on, Thomas! You know where we are! What do you need a sextant for?” Elora May exclaimed.

Thomas hastily put it away and sat back down. “You’re right. Anyways, I have to be going.”

“Wait!” she shouted.

“Listen to me, and listen carefully,” Thomas said, his voice lowered. “You need to forget you ever knew me, you understand? I never existed. We, as a couple, never existed. Tear up your portraits, forget my address, eat those pastries I baked you-“

“I already did,” Elora May interrupted, her voice despondent.

“Good. Throw away the pouches they were in.”

“The ones with the cute notes on them? I was saving them!”

“Destroy them! As soon as I leave this restaurant! No one must know we dated.”

“But people already do?” she muttered. “Never mind. Why?”

“I could tell you,” Thomas reasoned, “But then I’d have to kill you. Goodbye.”

Elora May’s face twisted up in confusion as Thomas stood up.

“Oh, by the way, you’re going to have to pay for lunch. Make sure you tip the waiter well, the water wasn’t even all that murky. I like that.”

“Where are you going?” she asked flatly.

“I can’t tell you.” Thomas seemed comically apologetic.

“Let me guess, it’s extremely dangerous there.”

“Yes, very.”

“What, are you some kind of spy?”

Thomas ran to the other side of the table. “Shhhh, say nothing!” he said, covering her mouth with his hand. “If you must know, I’m an agent of the Order of Knowledge.” He paused, assumedly for dramatic effect. “A black wizard.”

Elora May almost laughed at him. Thomas was not magically inclined, to say the least. “You? A black wizard?”

He put his finger over his mouth. “Shhhhh! You’re going to get us all killed! I do not exist! This program does not exist! Now forget me!”

Thomas dove over another nearby table, knocking drinks and utensils to the floor.

“Wow,” Elora May sarcastically laughed to herself. She contemplated what scheme Thomas was trying to pull. Before she could think very hard, though, she heard a noise from behind her.

“Psst!”

She turned around in her chair, and sure enough, there was Thomas P. Harrison, crouched down in his full glory.

“Oh, wow, you’re back!” Elora May said, feigning surprise.

“Shhh! Listen to me very carefully. Don’t speak. Nod if you can understand me.”

She nodded at him.

“I seem to have left my coin purse on my chair. Do you see it?”

Elora May looked for a moment before shrugging.

“Get up slowly and walk to the other side of the table. Don’t look suspicious.”

She stood up and started tiptoeing to the other side of the table. She looked, at the very least, pretty darn suspicious.

Thomas noticed this too. “I said don’t look suspicious!”

She dropped her arms and walked slowly.

“Do you see the coin purse?”

“What does it look like?” Elora May said, stifling a laugh. She found a coin purse, but she wasn’t sure if it was the one she was looking for.

“It looks like a coin purse does! Don’t speak!” Thomas realized he would have to tell her. “It has… pink hearts on it. And a cute fuzzy bear.”

“Oh, here it is,” she exaggerated, fully laughing. She picked it up and turned it around in her hand.

“Great! Now without opening it, I want you to toss it over to me.”

The statement had the opposite effect than what Thomas had intended. Elora May looked inside.

“I said don’t open it-“

She found many things, but very few of them were what she expected. She found a signet ring with a crest on it she didn’t recognize. She found a few foreign coins, which upon further inspection, she determined to be play money. She found a semblance of a small creature, which seemed to have two legs, one large eye, and a pack on its back. But most intriguing was a membership coin.

She turned it over and saw that it said Gleaming Rose’s.

“You have a brothel membership?”

“Uh, nooo- wait, how do you know that Gleaming Rose’s is a brothel?”

“I used to be a member. But that’s beside the point! Why do you still have a membership?”

Thomas blanked for a moment. “Oh, I’ve been shot!” He fell over. “Gnomes from The Forest are after me! They’re closing in! They’re very small, and you can’t see them, and, um… can I have my coin purse back?”