This afternoon, my friend George and I were sitting in the MCSA office, talking about a couple who had just broken up.
“I don’t mean to be nosy (who was I kidding? I totally wanted the scoop), but what happened between Clara and Marlon?” I asked. “They seemed so happy together!”
“Well, I texted Marlon after it happened, saying that I was sorry and that I’m here to talk if he feels like it, and he replied that he was confused. Apparently, Clara said she loved him and two hours later she broke up with him,” said George.
Shocked, I wondered aloud what had gone wrong. “Clara doesn’t seem like the type!” I exclaimed finally, “I don’t know her very well, but I don’t think she would hurt him like that without a good reason.”
We speculated back and forth for some time. Then lunchtime rolled around and we parted ways.
Tonight is University Register night. It’s the last issue of the semester, so spirits are high and Peace Tea is flowing like wine. I went upstairs to use the restroom, and while I washed my hands, I heard someone else clomp up the stairs. Then I heard sobbing. And Clara talking, presumably on the phone. “I feel like everyone is talking about us, and Marlon keeps telling me how sad he is, and I know I did the right thing, but it’s hard! I just want to go home!”
Drying my hands on a half-ply paper towel, I exited slowly, not wanting Clara to know that I had heard. She was sitting on the top of the stairs, but stood up quickly as I approached, turning her puffy face toward the wall. I put my hand on her shoulder and smiled what I hope was an understanding smile, and then went back downstairs to the U.R. office, where Joey was wearing his panda hat, and Zak was grinning, and Sam was toasting with his coffee thermos. It smelled like pizza rolls and Pine Sol (Miles cleaned).
But as I rejoined the copy-editing minions, I reminded myself, for the thousandth time, to think before I speak, and to reserve speculation for the gold fields.