It Isn’t My Fault

“I never thought of her as interesting, and well, frankly, I had done everything I could to avoid her, but she was available and I was bored, so I figured, “why not?” It wasn’t like I was hurting anyone. I mean, she had wanted to hang out for quite some time, and I felt like I was doing her a favor, really.

“She wasn’t one for making plans, which is kind of annoying. I am not sure why she couldn’t just pick a place to go. She was the one that wanted to hang out; I was just along for the ride. In the end, she decided on some lame exhibition at the old, run-down museum two towns away. Great.

“I am not one for making new friends. I mean if you are around and I am around, and we have an interesting conversation, that’s fine, but I don’t want to have to get to know you or anything. I really like to be left alone. She couldn’t get the hint. She drove me crazy. Every time she saw me, she went out of her way to talk to me. If I caught a glimpse of her before she noticed me, I did my best to sneak away. She never really had anything to say. She would just try to talk for the sake of talking. The last time I was unable to escape her, she asked some questions about a class that she knew I was taking that she had already had.”

“So, did you finish the homework last night?” she asked as if she really was concerned about my academic prowess.

“Yes.” I replied, hoping that would be the end of the conversation.

“Well, I really struggled with the material. Maybe we could get together and study.”

“Okay.” I replied and quickly walked away watching her stupid, excited smile. I should have confronted her about not having the class, but I just really didn’t feel like it.

“Here I am again, stuck going to see some meaningless exhibition about the immigrants of the 1950s or something irrelevant like that. I guess if you were an immigrant, or your parents are, maybe it means something, but why would a museum think a bunch of people want to see something like this? I don’t know who is running that place, but they are obviously out of touch.

“I told her I would just meet her at the museum because I could not endure the idea of being stuck with her in meaningless conversation the whole ride there. I stood outside the museum in the freaking cold for what seemed like hours.”

“Joshie!!” I heard from behind. My name is Josh. Not “Joshie.” I should have ignored her since that is not my name. Who adds “ie” to a name? It seems strange to me.

I turned to her hoping she was more subdued than usual. “Hi.” I say avoiding eye contact as much as possible.

“I am so glad you agreed to meet me. This exhibit is supposed to be intriguing.”

“I could see in her eyes that she really wanted me to agree, but I really didn’t feel like it. So, I didn’t say anything.

“When we got into the museum, it was really warm. I saw a coffee shop in the front corner and wanted so much to have a coffee in peace. I didn’t suggest it though because I was afraid if I had coffee with her, she would just talk the whole time, and I would never be able to enjoy a peaceful coffee again because of her ridiculous rambling running through my head.

“I followed her into the exhibit. She was so excited. I don’t know why. All there was were clothes, books, and luggage in a big room with pictures papering the walls. Everything just looked dingy and dirty, and I didn’t see how any of this mattered.

“I followed her around the exhibit as she “ooohed” and “awed” at every item as if you couldn’t just go down to Goodwill and see it everyday. I couldn’t understand why she wanted to spend time with me. I wasn’t interested in anything she said, and I really didn’t hide it very well. She kept putting her arm in mine and leaning her head on my shoulder. She smelled like syrup.”

A loud, deep screech interrupts my train of thought.

“Do you understand the gravity of this situation?”


“You pitter patter here like Holden Caulfield, all loner, anarchist, ‘woe is me.’ None of this is about you. I don’t care how stupid you think this girl is. You aren’t helping yourself.”

“Helping myself? To what, exactly?”

“I need to know important things about her. Did you see anyone over and over, where did you go?”

“When we finished walking through the exhibit, I started toward the exit. She wanted a coffee, and I figured it was the only way I was ever going to get away from her, so we went for coffee. She babbled on for days, and it was really getting under my skin. She could not take the hint. I don’t know how she went her whole life without learning basic social cues. I finally suggested that we go for a walk through the town. At least that way I could smoke a cigarette.

“We walked for a while, and then I told her I needed to get back and study. She offered to come with me, but I told her I couldn’t have any distractions. We walked back to the museum parking lot, I got in my car, and that is it. I left.”

“Her car is still at the museum. You didn’t wait to see if she got in her car?” After a slight pause, the detective says, “Of course you didn’t.”

“I am ready to go now. I can’t imagine I am needed for anything else.”

“I have to release you. But don’t go anywhere far. I am not finished with you yet.”

“I need to get back to my room. I don’t like this situation anymore than anyone else does.”

I try very hard to be the right kind of person, and it just isn’t in me. It takes too much effort. That is why I prefer to be alone. No distractions, nothing to make me stray from my path. It is time for me to get back to my bed. I just want to make one quick stop. It shouldn’t take long. Besides, better to be safe than sorry right?

I have done all I can to avoid this. I realize now that I have no choice.

And so it begins.

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