“Take some holiday, tell them it's an emergency. Or just quit, come on, I've got enough money for both of us.”

“Oh yes, brilliant idea Jack. I'll just quit my job and you can support me for the rest of my life…until you move on to the next one and I'm penniless and can't pay my rent. I can't just call my boss and say, hey, sorry, I'm going on tour with a rock band instead. That's not how things work in the real world, Jack.”

“Hey, this is the real world too. Just with more, um, perks.”

'I can imagine. Look, I'm sorry. Don't think I'm not tempted, believe me I am. But I have a life at home.”

“A life that doesn't include me.”

“Woah, hang on a minute. I…I barely know you.”

“I know it's not been long, but…Sara, I've never felt this way about anyone before. I know it sounds lame, but…you're the best thing in my life right now. I need you here, with me.”

“Jack, you know I can't. Come on, be fair.”

“Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize offering you the chance of a lifetime was so unfair. How rude of me.” Jack's voice was icy. He stood up and grabbed a robe from the back of the door, wrapping it around himself.

“Jack, look, I'm grateful, it's just — ”

“Don't worry, I can get you on the next flight. You'll be back with plenty of time to get to the office. Maybe it's best if you stay at the airport hotel tonight, it's an early flight, you don't want to get stuck in traffic. You get dressed, I'll call you a cab.”

“Jack, for god's sake, why are you being like this? I'm sorry, I do appreciate the offer, we can still make this work!”

“I put myself out there for you. I let you in, and I don't let anyone in. Because I thought you felt the same way I did…I thought you were special. Turns out you don't even care, you'd rather stay at home and live your boring little life, and tell your friends about that one time you banged some guy from a band. Well, good luck with that.”

Tears sprang to Sara's eyes. She couldn't wrap her head around his sudden change of attitude; five minutes ago they were happy, and now he was attaching her. She hadn't realized he could be so cruel. Running to the bathroom, she dressed quickly. When she came back out, he was fully dressed, sitting on the edge of the bed staring fixedly at the television.

“Well, I guess I'll be going then,” Sara said softly, stifling a sob.

“I think that's best. Thank you for coming. It was nice to see you again.” Sara stared at him, but Jack's expression was blank, no trace of emotion on display. Her heart ached. Why was he doing this?

“Goodbye, Jack. Thanks for everything.” Sara shut the door behind her and took the long walk back to the elevator, tears streaming down her face.

Jack lowered his head into his hands. For a minute he was silent, until he was sure Sara was really gone. Then the howl started in the back of his throat, rising up to become an all consuming wail of misery. He sobbed until his eyes were sore and his head hurt, until at last he couldn't cry anymore. It was the right thing, he told himself. Sara was right; she had a life to go back to, a good, happy life. He couldn't drag her into this craziness. Couldn't weigh her down with the mess of a man he had somehow become. Maybe one day he would finally get his shit together, and be the kind of man that a girl like her deserved. But until then, he knew, it was kinder to let her go. Sinking in to the luxurious mattress, he tried to quell the aching emptiness inside him. He had let one woman in his life down, but he wouldn't repeat the mistake. Sara would meet someone who could give her a real life, and really make her happy. That thought comforted a little, and he saw Sara's face in his mind's eye as he finally fell asleep.

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