"Never in this weather," she said. Jaw set. Eyes steeled. Emphasis on NEVER. It was something she did often. Not the remark but rather the brushing off of a request the approval of which I would have gone through chest-high flood waters for. I shrug, "Okay." Add a small wink to the disyllabic reply, a hint of a smile, little nuances that fail to cushion the impact of an all-too-quick rejection.
Do you want to grab dinner? Hang out? Movie? Coffee? A small slice of cake? Donut? Just five minutes? Seconds? Four? "I've eaten." "I'm with friends." "Seen it." "Not in the mood." "Had one already." "Busy." "Can't." "Sorry."
I take it, all of it, knowing full well the names reserved for people like me. It is a daunting task, scaling the fortress you've put around yourself, but I forge on nonetheless. It is a futile war, one I know I must fight despite foreseeable failure. Your favor, cold queen, does not shine where my weight-worn shoes tread. Still, I march towards my Waterloo.
"Never in this weather," she said. "Okay," I reply. The battle will resume when the grounds have dried from the night's rain.