Saturday, December 15, 2012 | By: Brianna

Selfish or Selfless?

Anna sat in her bedroom, painting her toenails the darkest shade of blue she owned.  She was crunched up in a position that in any other situation would have been considered uncomfortable, but when it comes to painting one's toenails, one discovers the ability to contort one's body into the strangest shapes in order to reach every angle of that tiny little nail.  The music drifting from her laptop was provided by her most random Pandora station because she didn't much feel like listening to Christmas music despite the nearness of the holiday.

At that moment, there was a knock on her door.  And while she was silently narrating her life in the third person, she briefly pondered the idea of a knock arriving on a door.  It was a odd phrase because a knock wasn't a thing, so it couldn't exactly sit on a door, it was more of an event that happened without the door's knowledge or consent.  So shouldn't a knock "accost" a door?  Rather than just "be" on a door?  Anna shook her head to dislodge such narrative thoughts.

"Come in."

"You sure?" said a male voice from the the other side of the door.  He poked his head around the door and raised his eyebrows at Anna who rolled her eyes and waved impatiently at him to make a decision about whether he was entering or not.  Taking that as his cue to "stay or go," Rhys let himself in and sidled over to Anna's desk chair which he flipped around and settled into, doing all this before saying, "So how are you?"

"I'm just grand," Anna mumbled, flicking another coat of polish on her pinkie toe.  "I'm alive."

"And how are you handling your first break-up, sweetie?" he asked, leaning forward in his chair and tilting his head at an awkward angle so he could catch Anna's eyes which were bent down to concentrate on her toenails.

"I'm fine, no thanks to you, selfless bastard," Anna said, deigning to look up at Rhys and flash him a vicious smile.  "Can I refer to you as that from now on?  'Selfless bastard'?"

"I think the official term is 'selfish bastard,' darling," Rhys commented dryly.

"Yeah, but you're not really, that being why I would want to call you 'selfless bastard.'  Plus I enjoy the mislead in making people think that I was made a mistake of calling you the wrong thing," she said, twisting the cap on her nail polish and nodding in satisfaction.  Only half of that satisfaction really being in finding a new term of "endearment" for Rhys that she was pleased with.  "It pleases me that I can speak about you in an unexpected way."

"Do what makes you happy."

A silence fell over the conversation at that point, because that was always his advice, and that was always the advice that ended any argument about what Anna should do whether it be for her choice of dinner or choice of classes for the next semester.  Her happiness was always one of Rhys' top priorities, even though Anna argued that he should do what made him happy every now and again, and that was when she was met with "Making you happy makes me happy."  Which Anna should have smacked him for or maybe rolled her eyes at, but it always worked.  And that was why he ended things, because ultimately it felt like even if in the shortrun she was grumpy, painting her nails dark colors and listening to moody music, in the longrun it's what would make her happy.  And she couldn't even hate him for it.

"I am a greedy, selfish bastard.  I want the fact that I existed to mean something."
- Harry Chapin 


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