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She Didn't Look Back

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“This restaurant is lovely,” Mandy declared as she and her date Miles took their seats.
“Yeah,” Miles responded, “definitely nicer than that burger joint where we had our first date.”
Mandy let out a fond little giggle, thinking back to that night. “That must’ve been, what? Five months ago?”
“Just about,” Miles nodded in agreement and picked up the menu.
Mandy mirrored his action. “Seems like just yesterday,”
Miles nodded.
“You know,” Mandy carefully chose her words, “I’ve grown pretty fond of you in the time we’ve spent together.”
Miles looked up from the menu and leaned forward in his chair, a smug smile adorning his face. “Just how fond?”
“Fishing for compliments, are we, Miles?” Mandy shifted uncomfortably in her seat, refusing to give a genuine answer to the question Miles had asked.
Miles shook his head. “I would never.”
“Of course you wouldn’t.” Mandy rolled her eyes fondly.
“I am curious though.” Miles sat back easily in his chair as he spoke, while Mandy fidgeted with the napkin on the table.
“Of what?”
“Don’t play dumb.”
“I’m not, I just...”
“I know... I’m just...” Miles trailed off.
“Right,” Mandy spoke. “It’s just hard to say that I...uh... I...”
“Are you two ready to order?” a waiter interrupted Mandy.
“We need more time,” MIles told the waiter.
“We’re ready,” Mandy said at the same time.
The waiter looked between the two, waiting for a decision.
“We’ll order now,” Mandy spoke up.
“I’ll take a steak, medium-rare,” Miles ordered.
“I’ll have the chicken parmesan, please.”
With that, the waiter collected their menus and left, leaving only silence between the pair.
“You’re a chicken person?” Miles broke the silence,
“Of course. Thought you knew.”
“Well, did you know I’m a steak person?” Miles retorted.
“Yes, of course. I do pay attention to you,” Mandy’s tone was bitter.
“It’s not that big of a deal.”
Mandy rolled her eyes at MIles. “Of course the chicken isn’t.”
“Then why are you upset?”
“I’m not.”
“You are”
“It’s just, I really love chicken.” Mandy emphasized the word love, which seemingly went unnoticed by Miles.
“And I love steak.”
“Right, but if chicken doesn’t love me back, like if it upsets my stomach, then I want to know so that I can try other foods, you know?”
“No, I don’t know,” Miles started. “What are you on about?”
“Nothing, I just...” Mandy sighed. “Never mind.”
The pair fell into another silence, Miles now wearing a cold, distant look. “If you’re over your little episode...”
“My episode?” Mandy shot a look of daggers at Miles. He never was very good at dealing with his or other people’s emotions.
“Yes, your episode. You tend to overreact.”
“And you tend to not listen.”
“Why are you being like this?
“Like what?”
Miles sighed. “Tonight was supposed to be nice. Let’s not do this now.”
“Do what, Miles?” Mandy crossed her arms and glared at Miles from across the table.
“You know what, Mandy, so if you could stop being such an overreacting, spoiled brat I’d appreciate it.”
“Maybe if you weren’t such an emotionless ass!”
“All right, and which one of you had the chicken?” A waiter asked, two meals in hand. Miles and Mandy were sending each other death glares from across the table.
“I did,” Mandy spoke, not moving her eyes from Miles.
“Um, right,” the waiter spoke uncomfortably and placed the meals down in front of the two. “Let me know if there’s anything else I can do for you.” The waiter once again left the pair to themselves.
“So what now?” Miles broke the uncomfortable silence that had settled over the table.
“I don’t know, Miles.” Mandy let out a long sigh and pushed a piece of her chicken around with her fork. “I’m just tired of this.”
“Let me get this straight: you’re breaking up with me. As if I’m the insufferable one.”
“Yes, I’m breaking up with you. Contrary to your belief, you’re not an angel, Miles.” 
“Whatever,” Miles huffed out the word and crossed his arms.
“This is exactly why I can’t do this! You’re like a child who can’t admit when you’re  wrong!” Mandy was on the verge of shouting, restraining herself only for the sake of the restaurant guests around them.
“Because I’m not wrong! You always start fights and make everything miserable! You’re just... you’re a... you’re...”
“I’m a what, Miles?” Mandy stood up and death glared Miles, daring him to finish his sentence.
Miles fell silent.
Mandy began to gather her things. “I think it’s best if I leave.” Mandy walked away from the table without letting Miles say a word. She walked into the chilled night air to catch a taxi home, and she didn’t look back.






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