The eery silence cuts into the atmosphere. He can’t take much more, he waves his hand, asks for the bill.

All the while, they keep staring at him. Like he’s the one in the wrong. But he can’t say he’s done something out of the ordinary and in his position he believes most would have acted the same.

There’s something about silence, which makes moments last forever. And this moment was no exception.

All the while he’s trapped up, trapped up in his little head. If only they knew, they knew all he really thought.

It’s not too late to ask. Is it?

But it’s silent now, and this silence, it’s cutting.

They will never reconsider, it will take everything to change their mind.

It’s probably not even worth it.

He bites his nails in trepidation, he can’t believe they even came. He doesn’t understand why.

Why they chose to hear him out, even if they weren’t going to take it.

If they noticed his nails, what would they think?

He’s supposed to be a man, manly. Not an anxious wreck counting down the seconds until the bill comes in.

But here he is, biting at his nails. Gnawing at the silly things.

What are they thinking?

Is there still time to ask?

Is it even worth asking?

The pressure is on, and the longer he waits the more the tension builds.

Why can’t they stop staring?

As if they know everything that’s going on inside his head. As if they don’t like it. 

What if they don’t like it?

He wonders why he cares so much, why he can’t just be happy with what he believes. Why he is so goddamn uncertain about it…

He’s supposed to know, know how to approach every situation. But he’s still learning.

He’s the one, who’s supposed to know. But he doesn’t.

The waiter’s slowly approaching, his hand clasped around a plastic dish with a receipt clipped smartly into place.

Time is running out, as it always does. 

The waiter puts the bill on the table and walks away.

Back to them. He looks them in the eyes, eyes them up, wonders if there’s still time, or if he’s really too late.

He reaches into his wallet, clips his card neatly into place above the receipt and waits for the waiter’s imminent return.

He can’t wait. It’s too late to ask now.

The waiter comes back, he looks up at the waiter, at them one last time, types his pin and prepares to leave.

If only.

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