Ness threw herself into the wall-seat opposite Peter.
“Hey - what’s up?”
“Sorry - just, fuck - the traffic’s terrible.”
A waitress moved to their table but Ness waved her away in exasperation.
“Not getting anything?”
“I heard Blue Monday on Rage, it freaked me out.”
“It’s ominous! Doesn’t it just murder your mind?” Vanessa rocked agigatedly around on her seat.
Peter began to take a great interest in his glass of water.
“Its nothing, its - nothing.”
“What is it? What? Peter. Look Peter spit it out or I’m going to go fucking mental. What the fuck is wrong?”
“I can’t handle Bec anymore, Vanessa, I’m too jealous. I can’t do it, I just see her and Steve together at work, on the weekend when we met him walking, I’m killing myself holding this rage in - I confront her about it and she denies it, but I’m going insane!”
“Peter.” Ness touched her temples with both hands and then extended her palms upwards on the table in one quick motion. “Peter is it that bad? Have you really got it that bad?”
“I can’t help it.”
“Like hell you can’t, you’re a twelve-year-old who grew a beard - just calm down, alright? You and I both know Bec, and she’s not cheating on you, she’s just got a friend at work.”
“But she’s just so happy all the time without me, she doesn’t need me.”
“Well then she probably doesn’t, Peter - at the very most not in the ways you like attention.”
Peter looked away, staring at the ground, restaurant door, kitchen.
“I’ve just gotta hold it together I guess.”
“Look, I’m not normally inclined to saying such things, but you don’t honestly expect this to last forever, do you?”
“But you do Peter. You do, and it kills you.”
“Just shut up, okay.”
“You’re the problem. I’m telling you now. Nothing’s been holding you and Bec together these past months and she’s in the process of moving on without you, at the very least, exploring the possibility of some distance from you.”
“God I’m so worried. It just feels like everything’s okay when she’s nice to me, I just don’t understand.”
“Just don’t go off and do anything stupid. I know what you’re like.”
“I hate myself.”
“Fuckssake. You know, not everything’s about you, Peter. You know I have no money, and yet I must pay for my brother’s bail. That’s your problem Peter, you’re self-obsessed and quickly becoming a shallow loser. Now let us never talk of Bec again unless its absolutely urgent. Now buy me lunch and say three Hail Maries to appease me.”
Peter’s eyes moved waterily to look at Vanessa. He couldn’t help but feel worse for contemplating that Vanessa might only be with him for a free lunch, but he knew what her answer to that would be - something about a soup kitchen, no doubt.
“Buck the fuck up, okay? You’re so pathetic, this isn’t the end of the world.” Vanessa rolled her eyes behind her menu.