The Web: The Secret

by Mitchell Harding

written 12/14/99

The door of the Taco Bell opened and James entered. Townsend was holding court, as usual. To his captive audience, he concluded, "Somewhere out there there's a cow walking around without an eyebrow."
James caught the eye of Simone, a sophomore majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Film. She began to wiggle her eyebrows mysteriously when Townsend swung around suddenly.
"Jimmy! To what do we owe this rare pleasure?" Townsend's eyes were characteristically wild, his hair disheveled.
"Elizabeth wanted tacos."
"And how is dear Liz?"
"Fine. Hungry, I guess."
"Sit down, Jim. You need to hear this."


The door to James' apartment opened and James entered. Elizabeth was glaring at the door with exhausted eyes. James couldn't help but think that this must be what a ferret must look like at the tail end of a sleep deprivation experiment. Pushing away this amusing but inappropriate thought, James cleared his throat and began to speak.
"Save it, James. You were with Townsend, weren't you?"
"Well, yes, actually. But you know how he can be!"
"I know that you can't say no to him."
"But -"
"I know that you put him above me."
"That's not fair!"
"Fair? Is it fair to leave me waiting for tacos for three hours?" An uncomfortable silence followed. "Was he talking about his project again?"
"No. Yes. Kind of - you know how he is!"
"Yes, I do. And so do you. Look, I only waited this long so I could tell you that I don't want to talk to you again."
James was still protesting when the door to his apartment closed, leaving him alone, the details of Townsend's plan still echoing in his ears.

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