“You would rather be with the painter than with me,” Joe asks Cassie?
He does not seem hurt by the fact that Cassie does not want to be with him, and she thinks the only reason he seems upset is because he lost this competition. He puts his hand over hers, and Cassie notices how clean and shiny his nails are. His hands are strong, and she recalls how tightly they held her when they went on midnight walks together, and how firm they seemed when she had used them as a shield against scary movies. Joe’s hands are covered with smooth tan skin, and two years ago she had sat cross-legged on Joe’s couch, and she told him that he needs to become a hand model. Joe had laughed, given her a kiss, and told her that his hands were to rough and that her dainty hands would be perfect for modeling.
“Do you like him more than me,” Joe asks, as his expressionless eyes stare at her face.
She remembers how his eyes had the same expression when he told her he wanted to break up. She was crying and pulling at her hair, and he gave her an emotionless stare, while he told her to pull herself together. Between sobs she asked him why he wanted to end their relationship, and he looked into her eyes with the same hard look he had now, and told her he wanted to see what else was out there. She dreamed about those eyes for months, and now they were burning her face with their stare.
“That’s not a fair question,” Cassie says.
“Because you and I have ten suitcases filled with memories together, and Max and I only have a wallet of memories. Quantity creates affection and love, and because of that I feel closer to you. If you ask me the same question a few years from now, I could easily say Max.”
“That’s a very pretty speech, but it’s not true” Joe says with a smirk, and Cassie wishes she could slap him. “You are only choosing him because you feel you need to punish me for breaking up with you. If it wasn’t for the list of moral rules you feel you have to follow, you would choose me.”
“I would not,” Cassie snaps, but she is hoping her face does not give away that she is lying. Cassie hates that Joe knows her so well. The night before she had gone though hours of inner dialogue, and she had decided that she should stay with Max. However, now that she heard her inner dialogue spoken out loud, she is unsure about her decision.
“Give me a month to decide,” she tells Joe.