(Just now, during dinner. Sentences in italics but not parentheses represent my unspoken thoughts)
Mom: You seem especially down today.
Mom: You do, though.
Me: I feel no more down than usual. Really, I don't. Although I can see that I've been acting that way. Maybe it's just a weekend thing.
Mom: It seems like more. You are usually down?
Me: A little bit.
Mom: Usually a little bit down... Why is that?
Me: No particular reason. Nothing new. The same old reason, of course. Girl broke my heart and all. Plus I've been reading from the 'Shoebox Project' and it makes me feel the definite absence of snogging and of thick-as-thieves friendship in my life. Plus I've had 'Eleanor Rigby' stuck in my head all day, and that's just a beautifully depressing song...
Mom: Same old thing as it has been for months?
Me: Yeah, I suppose. I guess the above thought continued into this one... Hang on, now, this isn't even a thought. This is commentary. Bother.
Mom: You should just talk to Grey.
Me: No. I do not want to talk about this.
Mom: Why not?
Me: I can't. It's over. Just...no. Let's not talk any more about this. Please.
Mom: No, you just should. If you're going to be acting like this.
Me: What purpose would it serve? By which of course I secretly mean, It's over, and if I were to see her again it would have to end again and probably in a less satisfactory way, not that the way it ended was all that great to begin with, but at least it was an ending...
Mom: To be friends with her!
Me: I tried that. It didn't work. It didn't work because I'm a complete idiot and I can't even think around her let alone have a coherent conversation because I'm so idiotically head-over-heels...
Mom: Well, you didn't try very hard.
Me: I tried as hard as I was capable of doing. It failed. My attempts were pathetic, I know, but really I couldn't do anything else with my brain all fogged up and my stomach all fluttery and my heart threatening to do something dangerous...
Mom: You should invite her over or something. Invite her to carve pumpkins with us. That seems like the kind of thing she would like. Judging from what little I know of Grey.
Me: No. No. Definitely not.
Mom: Why not? To become friends with someone, you generally need some event, you need to do something together.
Me: It wouldn't work. Oh that would be so awkward. I don't even know what I'd do. Melt, I think, into a little puddle. Or not melt exactly but whatever it is that solids do to turn into liquids when subjected to intense vibration. Even she would probably have trouble acting like nothing happened in June...
Mom: Why not?
(Very long pause as I chew on a bit of meat and try to escape answering the question.)
Mom: I want more words from you.
Me: No. How did I get into this conversation anyway? Why can't it just end, why can't she just stop asking questions?
Mom: Why not?
Me: Obviously, to answer that question I would have to use more words.
Mom: Yes but they wouldn't be the same kind of words.
(Another long silence. The meat is actually rather diverting in its own right as well as a decent excuse for not speaking.)
Mom: So why would it not work?
Me: Maybe at some point it would have. But not now. Not now that I've told her I'm in love with her. Friendship could never exist after that. And anything else was always out of the question.
Mom: Why not now? What bridge has been burned?
Me: That I can't say. Please just take this as an 'I don't know.'
Mom: Can't say, because no bridge has been burned? Or can't say, because you don't want to tell me?
(I pull a facial expression meant to express 'I acknowledge your question but refuse to answer it,' although I suppose it could just as easily have been interpreted as 'Tough bit of meat, here, this.')
Mom: Does Grey know about...all this? you? how you're...?
Me: Yes. Oh yes. First she forced me into telling her that I had a crush on her. Then I voluntarily told her I loved her. Oh yes. She knows. She saw me cry. I'm sure her spies have told her how I've been behaving ever since. She definitely knows. But I can't tell you any of that.
Mom: So there is more to the story! Tell me what happened.
Me: I don't want to talk about it. She's always told me, during these uncomfortable conversations, that this would be an acceptable way to end it if I got too uncomfortable. I've never had to use it before. I've always been able to use the old 'I don't know' line. She hasn't always believed it, but I've never had to resort to 'I don't want to talk about it.'
Mom: Why not?
Me: I don't want to talk about it. Because I don't want you to know how long I've been hiding this from you. I don't want you to know that I've known how I felt about her for a very long time, but haven't told you. I just want you to think I still don't know, and that you're helping me figure myself out. I just can't seem to tell you anything except on the day it happens, so when I have to tell you something later I pretend it happened that day, or even hasn't happened yet at all but it will. Because for some reason I just can't ever be completely honest. And then something like this happens and my careful little harmless deceptions threaten to disclose themselves. I just don't want to talk about it.
(I gather up the dishes and leave the room to go wash them. The gesture is pointed but not very sharply so.)