“Would you say you’re happy?”
“What a weird question.”
Marc didn’t think so.
“I don’t think so. Don’t people want to be happy?”
“I wouldn’t know.”
"I feel like we're going around in circles."
They walked in silence for a bit. It was such a lovely day they'd decided to go sit on the park bench with their coffee. They were surrounded by old guys who spoke something kind of like Spanish but not really.
"What's that they're speaking?"
He was touched that she'd assumed he'd know. "Portuguese. Probably from Brazil."
"They must find it cold around here in January."
"Would you say you're in love with your girlfriend?"
"You're nothing if not persistent."
"Sorry. I guess you don't really want to talk about this."
"No, it's not that. It's just..."
She sigh a sigh that was closer to one's last breath than a normal or even a slightly depressed sigh.
He didn't want to make her uncomfortable, any more than he had to. But his instinct kept pushing him to be a jerk anyway. He could sense there was something she wasn't saying that needed to come out. He kept walking in silence. Most people can't stand silence so they start talking even when they really have nothing to say. Oh hell, especially when they have nothing to say. They say it anyway just to make sure the sound of their own thoughts gets drowned in pointless noise.
Sophie wasn't usually like most people. But she hated the silence, too.
"No, I wouldn't say I'm in love with her."
"But you love her."
"There's a difference between loving and being in love."
Marc was burning to press her, but the nearly silent method was working reasonably well so far. He kept on walking.
"It's interesting, this question of love," she offered. "Have you ever felt true love, Marc?"
"Honestly? I don't know. I've loved many people. But was that true love? I really don't know. I tend not to ask myself too many questions. When I moved in with Sebastian it was at his request. He was ready for commitment. I kind of let him take over my domestic life because he seemed so in love and he's so damn easy to live with that I had no reason to object. Is this love?"
"Hmm. You guys don't talk about this?"
"What, love? No. We don't talk about love."
"Isn't that weird?"
"When you moved in together you didn't discuss what kind of relationship you were getting into?"
"Not that I recall. He just said he wanted to live with me and I said OK."
"That's it. And it's working out great."
"I could never do that. I need to talk. About everything."
"Yet you don't know if you're happy. Or in love."
"I know I'm not in love."
"OK, but you live with her."
"Yeah. And it's working out great... most of the time."