She knocked on the bathroom door. “Seth? Can you let me in?”
She thought she heard him banging around in there. “Please, I want to see you.”
He opened the door, looking agitated. He looked her in the eye demandingly, then looked around desperately, the fear of getting caught clear in his eyes. His fly was undone.
“Oh, just come in.” And he stood aside for her, twisting and closing the door behind her as soon as she was in.
“What do you want?”
“I want to see you,” she repeated, this time her meaning clear. His eyes dropped immediately down to his exposed waistband and scrotum, and he zipped hastily up, blushing uncharacteristically.
“I knew it. You’re a liar.”
“You do like me.”
“Look, I’ve had fantasies before. You just weren’t in any of them.”
“Don’t bullshit me!” he said, self-consciously doing his button up on his black slacks.
“Yeah, right,” she rolled her eyes. “Fantasies, huh? Don’t you ever just wanna make it reality? What they ever involve?”
Caressing. Touching. A little more, but he wasn’t ever gonna tell her. He had enough experience avoiding the media to avoid that. He was too smart for it.
Still, her smirk grew. “Right. Just, why didn’t you ever wanna tell me?”
“I can’t afford to,” he said, by no means making a confession, only a point, whether or not she chose to see it that way. “I would’ve been a creeper. Even though I never did anything, that would be the perception. I didn’t want violate you. Even having those kinds of thoughts are violations. If you could just picture it, you’d understand…
“Or maybe you wouldn’t. You’re the type of person who never would, anyway, so desperate to be accepting, rather than face rejection. Desperation makes you rather weak, Andrea. I can see right through you.”
“That rough, was it?”
“Don’t celebrate rape, Andrea.”
“I wasn’t. And anyway, I’m not weak. Desperation is truth, not weakness. I can already guess what truth you’re afraid of.”
“You are wrong,” he said. “No matter what you think.”
“No matter what anybody else thinks, you can’t let it rule you.”
“Like you have a say in it. People talk. It isn’t about them, it’s about their power. I simply can’t afford it.”
“But all of this, it’s a confession –”
“No. All people talk. Even you, apparently.”
He glared at her with a look of loathing, and finally she saw who he really was now. Just a broken, bitter man, resenting a judgemental world.
She could tell it was time to go. She had been in his headspace before, and she knew the only solution was solitude, temporary though it was.
Wordlessly, she left out the door, with barely an aided gesture from him.