“Your story’s good” she said while blowing her cigarette up in air at the table with him.
Across the table, he dipped his fries into the ketchup then ate it. She wouldn’t have believed that the only story that ever mattered to him was the one with her in it.
‘Hell, I don’t even need to be in it’ he thought as he gazed at her. She wasn’t just the stripper whom he loved who didn’t love him back; she was the last ever love of his life.
“It’s whatever” he said disinterested as he dipped a fry in the ketchup.
“Oh I’d die for a story like that” she smiled with her eyes closed as she faced the ceiling. Seeing her smile almost made his heart skip. “Being picked up at my childhood home…” she said, “The guy asking my father if he could let me go on a date. Falling in love underneath the stars after the dance. You had such a typical, classic, sweet experience” she said with a pause, “That I never had…” she continued.
“It’s not that exciting” he dipped another fry into the ketchup.
“Oh it’s grand” she said as her eyes lit up, “How lucky you were to go on a date with her. I would have taken hours to get ready. I would have worn the most perfect gown. I would have laughed and danced with my date at the school dance and then we’d kiss underneath the stars afterwards. I would have gone to sleep that night smiling at the thought of falling in love. I’d go on more dates, get to know him better, he’d propose to me in a year or two, we’d have a lavish wedding blessed by our respective families, we’d grow old and happy together.”
His face turned red as he chewed his fry. He looked up at her and saw her smiling with her eyes closed as she talked gibberish.
“It’s not too late, you know” he told her, “Those things are possible.”
“But it’s not possible” she tried to convince him, “I don’t know my father. I didn’t grow up in a house. I’m old. I never finished high school. I never went to a dance. No parent would ever give their child a blessing to be with me. I have too many conditions to grow happy and old.”
“We could have it our own way” he said to himself.
“But there’s got to be no other way” she responded upon hearing him.
“Why?” he asked.
“Because I want it that way” she said with a broken heart. She got up and left the table to go back to work. He watched her glittery skirt move while she stepped up the stairs to get to the stage. He would have given her everything she wanted. He would have given up on all his memories of love, first love or whatever it may have been, if he could have the last with her.