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Facades Are Tricky Things

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And yet, there She sits, perched on the edge of her seat, smiling and laughing. She’s staring like the person across from her is the only being in the entire world. (It made people feel like they were important when She did that. They didn’t know they weren’t; they didn’t need to, really.)

It’s a nonsensical conversation about some trip on the subway He had, what? two, three, four? weeks ago, but She sits there like it is the most riveting thing He's ever said. It's like He’s recapping how He was kidnapped by wannabe gangsters and held for ransom, but escaped all by himself because He was just that great; like He’s spoiling how an extremely popular book series ends; like He’s a hot professor who has the girls hanging on his every word.

But then, her eye twitches. She glares at him like She wants to slash his throat and watch him bleed out like a sacrificial goat. She’s close to doing it, too, a not-quite-so-clean steak knife on the table. Her mind flirts dangerously with the idea, and her fingers even more so. Her hand grips the knife like her life depends on it, though He's the one in danger.

“What’s wrong?” He asks and She realizes her facade of perfection is cracking.

She smiles. “Nothing. What were you saying?”

She fills in the cracks with sealant and goes over it with coats of paint. But it won’t last for long. It’ll crack again, or rather, She will. Her facade will be stained ruby-scarlet red, whatever remaining exploded like a car in one of those action movies She’s seen. She’ll be standing over him while He dies, leaving him to wonder, “Why?”

But for now, She sits perched on the edge of her seat, smiling, laughing, staring.