Not Just a Fairy Tale

Debbie Novotny smiled at the two young people in the booth as she delivered their order. “Two cherry cokes,” she announced, “on the house - this time only - since you’ll both be heading back to college tomorrow – or that’s what Michael tells me.”

“I’m going back tomorrow,” Brian told her. “Linz gets another day or so. Winter vacation isn’t very long – but I guess it’s long enough…”

“You ready to get back to those hot guys at Penn State, Kinney?” Debbie took a parting shot as she moved away and back to the counter to take an order.

“Well,” Lindsay asked him after Debbie had gone. “Are you, Brian? Are you ready to get back to the hot guys at Penn State?”

“Hot guys are hot guys, Linz,” Brian answered her nonchalantly. “State College. Pittsburgh. It’s all the same. You meet ‘em, you spend the night with ‘em and you never see ‘em again – and you don’t want to. Doesn’t matter where you are – you can always find somebody – some body that is…”

“Brian,” Lindsay tried again. “It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s not supposed to be that way. You might find a guy you’d want to keep around – maybe to fall in love with – really in love with – and have a real life with - if you’d ever give somebody the chance to….”

“Nope,” Brian said. “Won’t happen. Not to me it won’t. So you’ve found your Susie and you think it will last forever. I hope it does if that’s what you want – but don’t count on it. Bet you in ten years you won’t even remember Susie …”

“Well if I don’t, Mr. Know-It-All, I’ll probably have somebody else,” Lindsay told him. “I want someone to love, Brian – to share my life with – even to grow old with. It’s better than what you’ve got. Everybody needs somebody to love – really love…”

“I’ve got people to love, Linz,” Brian pointed out. “I love you. I love Mikey. I even love Debbie, I guess. What you’re trying to tell me is that I ought to love whoever I’m having sex with. Nobody could love that many people – especially when you don’t even know their names.”

“Yeah, that is what I’m saying, Brian,” Lindsay agreed. “You need some one person to love – that you can really truly care about - that you would want to share your life with.”

“And you really think there is somebody – anybody - who would want to share my life with me?” Brian questioned. “It’s not all that much of a life, Linz. I don’t even want to share my life with me. If anybody wants it, they can…”

“Exactly what I’m saying,” Lindsay interrupted him. “You’re not the awful person you think you are – or pretend to think you are. You’re actually a pretty nice guy, Brian Kinney. Nobody should want the life you’re leading – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Brian, you could have a lot better life – with somebody you love more than yourself – and who feels the same way about you - if you’d only…”

“And what kind of a guy would be interested in me,” Brian challenged her. “For anything else than what I’m interested in him for?”

“Michael…” Lindsay began but was quickly interrupted.

“Mikey is my friend, Linz,” Brian cut her off. “I do share my life with him – not like you mean – but I do. And that’s all of it. It can never be any less than that – or any more either. Ten years from now – when you’ve forgotten all about your beloved Susie – Mikey and I will still be best friends. That’s what love is, Linz. For me anyhow. It’s all I expect. It’s all I can ever expect.”

“Well I’m not giving up on you Brian Kinney,” Lindsay laughed. “For now maybe – but not forever. You’re worth the effort even if you don’t think so. But maybe next time we talk about this, you’ll have already found the right guy and I won’t have to…”

“Yeah,” Brian laughed back. “So I’m the handsome prince who was turned into the frog – and I need to be kissed by a fair maiden to regain my princely form - or maybe I’m Snow White – waiting for her prince to come…”

“Or maybe like Sleeping beauty,” Lindsay added. “Asleep till the right guy comes along to wake you up so you don’t sleep your whole life away – and miss what you could have had. That guy just might show up when you least expect him – if you’re lucky, Mr. Sleeping Beauty…”

“You know what they call that stuff, Miss Lindsay,” Brian teased her. “They call those stories – they call them fairytales – because they don’t happen in real life. Not to real people. There is no Beauty who could ever fall for this particular Beast.”

“Yes there is, Brian,” Lindsay insisted. “But you’re gonna make it hard for him – and he’ll have to see through that Brian Kinney persona you want to project - so maybe it won’t happen - and maybe you’ll never find him – or he’ll never find you – but for your sake I hope it does happen – and it can happen…”

“In fairy tales maybe…” Brian told her. “But I’m 20 years old now, Sweetheart – 20 - and that’s pretty old for fairy tales.”

“But it does so happen in real life too, Brian,” Lindsay held her ground. “And it’s never too late either. I don’t think age makes any difference - so if it happens to you – when it happens to you - you may be even 30 when it does - just remember that I told you so.”

“Geez,” Brian thought to himself as they got up to leave. “30. 30 years old. If I ever get to be 30, I will really be too old for fairytales. Shit. I wish Lindsay would keep her ideas to herself. Women are crazy dreamers and the last thing I need in this world right now would be dreams. Things are bad enough already - still - sometimes she even makes me think that maybe it could happen – but I really do know better than that. I am what I am. I’m Brian Kinney - and fairytales are not for me.”

But maybe he was wishing that they were.

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