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All I Have to Do

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“Oh, Georgie.”

“Mmmmmm.”

“I’ve been waiting all day for this. Waiting to hold you.”

“ ’M here now.”

“Yes. Oh yes. Sweet, beautiful, perfect Georgie, all mine.”

“Yes.”

“Oh, Georgie….you’re a dream.”

“Go on.”

“No, I’m serious. I’m dreaming right now, and you are the image of Georgie that I’ve conjured up because I haven’t got her like this in real life.”

“….You could have not mentioned it.”

“I usually don’t. But this whole situation is getting out of hand.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Georgie, I am in fact going quite mad. I’ve got to work with you, day in and day out, while more and more of my brain power is diverted to stifling this bloody crush! Do you remember the Bickerson funeral last week?”

“Yeah. I finally convinced you to help me carry a coffin, and then you dropped your end.”

Because I was distracted by how your bicep shifted when you re-adjusted your grip. And then after we—“

“—after I

“—after the coffin was in the ground and the Reverend was talking about whatever he talks about, we were standing to the side and the rain started to let up, and oh, the sunlight hit your hair and it took all of my willpower not to start running my fingers through it. This cannot continue; something has to be done!”

“You could always tell me how you feel. The real me, I mean.”

“Oh, yes, that’s a brilliant plan. Just walk up to an employee and declare out of a blue sky ‘Good morning, Georgie! Sleep well last night? Good, good. Incidentally, I’m over the moon for you, so how about it?’ Yes, that definitely isn’t a gross violation of ethics.”

“I’ve helped you defraud an old lady by impersonating a ghost, I’ve helped in countless acts of petty industrial sabotage, and now you’re worried about ethics?”

“This is different!”

“Sir. You said yourself that you had to do something.”

“Well, yes, but—should it worry me that my constructed romantic fantasy version of you still calls me ‘Sir’?”

“Eh, maybe, but it could just be that that’s what you’re used to me calling you. Look, if you just keep stalling like this, nothing will change.”

“And if I take action, things could change for the infinitely worse.”

“Doesn’t it mean anything that I’m the one telling you you should talk to me?”

“Of course it doesn’t! You’re a creation of my own mind; naturally you would push me toward my own desires!”

“So you do want to tell me!”

“Yes. But also no. I want to tell you how I feel and find you falling joyfully into my arms. I most distinctly do not want to pour my heart out only for you to turn me down and leave us both awkwardly shuffling our feet. At best.”

“At best?”

“We both know how little patience you can have for an unwanted would-be lover—I’ve seen the way you handle Chapman.”

Chapman was a condescending egotist who took ages to get a ‘No’ through his skull. Some defensive measures were called for.”

“And who’s to say that ‘defensive measures’ wouldn’t be called for when it comes to me? You’re always hearing about employers who react unreasonably when their workers turn down their advances; what if I do something dreadful!”

“….Do you want to do something dreadful?”

“No!”

“Then….don’t?”

“But what if it’s not that simple! ….Georgie, you matter to me in just about every possible way, and if I tell you about all this and it drives us apart….”

“But you can’t go on like this either, can you?”

“I….well….You’re right. I’ll tell you tomorrow.”

“Will you really?”

“….You can always see through me, can’t you?”

“ ‘Course I can. I’m an extension of your own mind.”

“No, I don’t think that’s the reason. I think you can see through me because you are the closest approximation of Georgie Crusoe that I have been able to create. And she—you—can always tell when I’m lying. Or kidding myself. Or being a coward.”

“See you tomorrow night, then?”

“I expect so. And most nights after that. At least until I can find some scrap of courage.”