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Everybody Loves Laura... And Eric
Rain beat against the car windows with a maddening consistency. Dark clouds refused to clear from the sky above or the confined space of the car below. Eric turned on the radio. A soft melody from the past now competed with the current downpour.
'I love this song,' Laura said softly.
'We've danced to it plenty,' Eric replied.
'When I could make you''
'What are you talking about? I always danced with you.'
'Depends on what you consider always.'
'Every time you wanted to!'
'Not every time.'
'Name one time you wanted to dance and I refused,' Eric challenged.
'Spring Fling, 07,' Laura was ready with an answer.
'You never mentioned dancing once that whole night! You sat in the corner with your gaggle of giggling girls during every slow song and didn't look at me once.'
Laura turned to look at Eric. His hands were gripping the wheel tightly and his eyes, staring down the long stretch of road ahead of them, were full of genuine confusion and frustration.
'You were just supposed to know,' Laura wistfully sighed.
'How on earth was I supposed to know??' Eric implored, 'There's just no way.'
'This isn't going to work, is it?'
'What? I thought we were talking about the Spring Fling.'
'In about three hours, I'm going to be miles and miles away from you. How are we going to make this work if you don't know what to do when we're in the same room?' Laura's words spilled out fast, like soda in a bottle that's been shaken up for a long time.
'These new-fangled inventions like the telephone and the computer, they work from miles and miles away,' Eric said, unable to hide his distaste for this clich' conversation.
'Why can't you take my concerns seriously?' Laura demanded.
'Have a serious concern, and I will!'
'How is our inevitable break-up not a serious concern?'
'It's only going to happen if we let it.'
'I wish I could share in some of your confidence,' Laura sniped.
'Why can't you? We'll stay in touch. I'll visit on the weekends. It'll be fine. We'll be fine.'
'Who are you trying to convince?'
The last question hovered over the couple and the rain kept on falling. The rain wasn't letting up anytime soon.
'When you want to dance, you linger standing up so I won't go sit down and you comment on how much you love the song. When you're tired and ready to go home, you tug on my sleeve 'til I get the hint. When you want to be alone, you make up an excuse to leave the group because you know I'll always follow you. I do understand. I do notice. You think a few miles is going to change all that?'
Laura couldn't suppress a giggle.
'Laura! I'm pouring my heart out here! Why are you laughing?'
'I'm sorry,' she said through her smirk, 'It's just' remember when you said you would never make a silly romantic speech?'
'I remember,' Eric now joined her in laughter. 'I never wanted to be one of those sitcom couples, always fighting and making up after some huge romantic gesture.'
'But here we are, having a sitcom couple fight over a sitcom couple issue.'
'Hey, if we keep it up, maybe we'll have a sitcom couple ending.'
'We'll get cancelled?' Laura said with mock gravity.
The tension melted away.
'See, you thought our little show was being cancelled when really, we're just getting picked up by another network!'
Laura gave a little laugh, but the warning of a passing a road sign changed her channel back to reality. 'You promise we won't let ourselves grow apart?'
'Nope, we'll be just fine,' Eric replied.
'You never said what makes you so confident,' Laura reminded him.
The clouds parted and a tiny beam of sunshine fought its way through the murky sky to cast a bit of hope on the little car.
'Because, sweetie, whenever you lose faith in our ever so cheesy love, you can always catch the reruns.'