An Italian restaurant. I sit across from Lucy, my girlfriend. I am wearing a University of Chicago sweatshirt and talking loudly on the phone.

“No, that’s billion, with a B! Well, you tell Gerber he can shove that offer up his ass!” I hang up abruptly.

“Sorry, Lucy. You know how crazy work is around the holidays. Looks like the FDA does not take vacations! But of course, you already knew that.”

“Yeah…Spencer, look, I actually want to talk about something.”

“Sure, what’s up?”

“Well, I just want to say first off that I love you…”

“I love you too, Lucy! I mean, we’ve been dating for how long now? Ever since I met you in Professor Haviland’s class, I’ve known you were the one. We’ve gone on all those trips… Paris, Bermuda, your parents’ place at Lake George? That was so relaxing, at least before your brother Josh showed up, unexpectedly, drunk off his ass! Oh man, Josh is such a loveable fuckup whose problems could certainly compound to a concerning degree in the future.”

“Yeah…”

“And raising Franklin…never knew I could love a dog so much! That rascally little terrier has brought so much joy into our lives. But of course, you already knew that.”

“Spencer…”

“And if it weren’t for your dad, I’d never have gotten that job at Ogilvie Pharmaceuticals! He’s been so good to me as a boss, you’d never guess he was such a high-powered CEO.”

“Look, I… think we should stop seeing each other.”

“What?

“Just for now… I want to see how I feel.”

“But we just moved in together two months ago, Lucy!”

“And I frankly don’t think we should have! It was too much too quickly.”

“Is this because you just lost your job? We’ve been through this, you’re an excellent reporter and they had no right to fire you! For crying out loud, you won a Pulitzer for your work investigating government corruption right here in Hoboken.”

“It has nothing to do with that. I just… haven’t been happy lately and I’ve been trying to figure out why. I need to look at what’s going on in my life and fix what isn’t right.”

“Lucy, I know things have been a little rough lately. I know I haven’t been there for you when you needed. And I shouldn’t have flirted with Allison at her party last month. Allison is your best friend. I should have known how much that would upset you, especially since she got hired in your position at The Daily News, even though she writes fluff pieces on celebrities and you harbor a simmering resentment towards her for that.”

“It’s not just that…”

“How could you break up with me right now? Josh and I just booked squash courts for next weekend! Squash is my favorite sport but you’ve never had any interest in it, or sports in general! It would be so ironic if your next boyfriend turned out to be the starting second baseman for the Yankees!”

“I don’t care about your squash courts!”

“And Christmas is coming up! Did I mention that already? Will you meet your new second baseman boyfriend at a Yankees holiday party that Allison will drag you to, because she’s following a hot gossip lead about star outfielder Aaron Judge, who will ideally be making his acting debut playing himself in the movie this will become? Who’s to say?”

Lucy gets up to leave, clutching her bag close to her.

“Goodbye, Spencer.”

“I’ll miss you, and your beautiful eyes, which everyone tells you resemble those of your dead mother! But of course, you already knew that.”

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