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But Not for me

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A 'sadist' of her kind is an artist in evil, which a wholly wicked person could not be, for in that case the evil would not have been external, it would have seemed quite natural to her, and would not even have been distinguishable from herself. If one of them is the bad guy, it's not her. When Tully tried to kiss her, she avoided it. He smiled, buried his face in the place where her shoulders and necks meet instead. Diane's hand reached to his belt, the alcohol and the psilocybin made her fingers a little clumsy. She thought of the other man, Proust. She remembered their first date.

"The silent stoic thing, that's all just a pose, right? When you get home, you start spouting Proust?"
"Yep." He said. Then they laughed together.

Maybe it wasn’t a joke. He had told her. She closed her eyes and let Tully strip off her robe. Did he use the same trick to make his female student fall for him? Yes, there is probably more than one. He said he didn't sleep with Jeannie, Bobbie and Tonya - yes, she remembers, she even remembers two of them were blond - he looked at her eyes and said he didn't. But what could it mean? It never occurred to her that Kurt would have an affair with his student, the same way she didn't realize she was easily attracted to dangerous people. She just doesn't want to go that way.

Tully's palm gently stroked her lower abdomen. It’s a rough hand. She didn't know which job left it for him, bartending or tear-gassing. Sometimes Diane suspects that she is only doing this to mourn her youth. At the age of seventeen, she idolized William Kunstler, a man who defended the hippies and went to jail with them for contempt of court. Oh, seventeen! The era when the air was mingled with the smell of marijuana seems to be a lifetime ago - but she has not used grass at that time, her self-requirement doesn't allow such behavior. And if Dad found out she would be kicked out of the house, her mother was already disappointed with her. No pregnancy so there are no ugly stretch marks on her belly, but how much Pilates and hyaluronic acid can bring back her once glittering skin? She shook her head inwardly. She doesn't hate Tully, she can never be a radical, but she does empathy with them. Her own battlefield is not on the streets. Diane Lockhart fights in court, law firm, and social field. Her fight is much more subtle. The sacrifice she made for this was hard to imagine, and she was never a coward. But maybe she has forgotten what is she fighting for. When counterattacks become an instinct, she only wants to prevent people who are ready to mock at her from getting their satisfaction.

Maybe she should think about it tomorrow, but not at this moment, not when her brain is controlled by alcohol and drugs. Tonight she doesn't care about human beings. Tonight she just wants to forget.

Tully Nelson could tell from her voice that the call was not planned. To be honest, he suspected that had he picked up one second later, she would have already hung up. He is smart, although he does more than he thinks – He chooses to live that way. Whatever, he likes her. No matter what Diane had said, he believed she doesn't hate him, at least she is still willing to sleep with him. Though she seems to be a million miles away. It is not his fault.

"It doesn't hurt self-esteem at all." He brushed away the loose hair falling on her forehead.
“Hmmm?” She feels like soft silk.
"You are distracted." He murmured in her ear. She heard his heavy breathing.

Diane finally opened her eyes and looked at him. Her eyes were covered with fog. Perhaps Tully got too close, she could not see his face clearly. "Then maybe someone should work harder." She finally said, almost like a whisper. He didn't need any other instructions, and then they never finished a complete sentence.

***

The blonde in front of him said something, his eyes narrowed and glowed with pleasure. He always smiles like this, the quark of his mouth hidden under the beard twitched slightly. Diane found herself in a dimly lit bar, where The Brothers Four was singing Greenfields in a stereo. They were sitting at the bar. Suddenly she felt his vision cast over here. She instinctively wanted to lower her head, but she could not move. Did he see her? If he did, his expression did not reveal any message. She couldn't read his face. She always can't read his face. The girl opposite him turned her head and looked around. She saw her young self. It was a dream, she figured. She tried to bow her head again, this time she saw the glass on the right hand, and her left hand being held by his right hand. His thumb brushed over the back of her hand. She looked up and realized that Kurt looked much younger than she remembered. This is not to say that he has aged over the past few years. Time is always more cruel to women.

"Let's go somewhere," he said suddenly. Déjà vu.
"Oh! You want to go out for some air?" She looked at the cowboy hat he put aside and smiled.
"No. I mean, I want to go somewhere I have never been to." He paused, "with you."
"Well, then where to go?" Oh, wait, she knows the answer - Costa Rica? It suddenly bumped up, she almost held her breath waiting for his answer.
"How about Grider Creek? I heard that people can catch good trouts there."
Diane blinked. "Have we met?"
"When the snow on the Klamath Mountain melts, the stream there is very clear. We can rent a cabin or set up a tent, I can teach you how to ride a horse." Kurt looked at her expectantly.
"No, I can't go with you right now." She heard herself saying. "I have work."
"Then you will never go. Come on," he held out his hand as if the devil had lured Faust to embark on the path of sin. “Départ dans l'affection et le bruit neufs!”-this is the last sentence she heard before she lost her consciousness.

She did not know that her husband could speak French.

The room was dazzling white, she opened her eyes and smelled the pungent smell of disinfectant. A cognition came out quietly - she was in a hospital. She struggled to get up from the bed and walked to the door of the ward, no one stopped her. There was a man lying there. From this angle, Diane could only see his feet. One foot was only wearing a sock. Will! Panic caught her at once. She felt her stomach ache and couldn’t understand why she already felt sad. For a moment she could only stand at the door, and then she noticed it’s not a normal shoe, it is a boot --Will would never wear that kind of stuff. She thought slowly.

The owner of the boot moved. He put on another boot and sat up from the chair. It must have fallen when he slept on two waiting seats, she speculated. Now Diane could see his silver hair. He stretched himself and stood up.
"Oh! You're awake." Kurt McVeigh stood in front of her, wearing a wrinkled flannel shirt.
She didn't know what to say, so she nodded, "Hey."
"Hello." He laughed. " Will is in the NICU."
Diane looked at him as if he wasn’t speaking English. “Will is in the neonatal intensive care unit,” she repeated.
"Yes, our son." His smile was a little tired. "Go back to bed. You need to rest." Kurt came over to hug her, she could feel the warm body behind her and his strong arms, but she Still felt that she was going to faint. "Are you okay with us using Will 's name?" she asked hesitantly.
He helped her to the bedside, that’s when she felt her limbs vain. For a moment she thought that Kurt wouldn't answer, but he just stared at her, as he had done countless times, as if trying to understand her thoughts. "No, I know he means a lot to you." Then he kissed her.

Deep down Diane knew none of this was real. But she still indulged herself in the kiss and let his beard rub her chin. She has lost her partner forever, which she cannot forget even in her dreams. But she still did not want to wake up, she drifted into deeper darkness.

"Hey! Wake up. " She heard him say in her ear. Diane Lockhart opened her eyes and saw a vast expanse of black in front of her. Only a gleam of glaring red could be seen in the extreme distance. The wind in the early spring blew through the woods. She was a little soberer, and then felt a little cold, so she leaned back to the body behind her subconsciously. Kurt offered his coat. "The sun is about to rise."
So I agreed, Diane mused. Here is Grider Creek, she just knew it. She lowered her head and looked doubtfully at the winding blood vessels in her hands. No. Her hands were not like this when she was young. Then she turned to look at him, his wrinkles were not obvious in the night, but she knew them by heart. Kurt didn't seem to notice her movements, he still looked at the distant sky, fingers unconsciously drawing small circles on her arm.

The white light spread out little by little, dispelling the dark clouds in the sky. Diane leaned in his arms for a while, stood up and took two thermos cups from the tent. She handed Kurt one and then sat down beside him. Unscrewing the cap is the aroma of coffee, mixed with the unique smell of trees. Klamath Mountain is slowly waking up, she heard the sound of birds singing and gurgling water. The clouds have been dyed rose-colored, and the outline of the opposite mountain is gradually revealed.
Diane tasted the bitterness of the coffee in her mouth. "Thanks for bringing me here. It's beautiful."
"I hope you feel that it is worthwhile for me to wake you up." She could hear the smile in his voice.
She did not answer. For a while, none of them spoke. Sky has now turned into flowing gold.

"Do you think we can really start over?"

Her husband sat quietly beside her. The wind stopped at some point, as if the time had stopped. Until he reached out and embraced her to his shoulder, "If you are willing to give me another chance."
Diane smiled, but tears choked her throat. "So tell me about Holly."
"I thought you didn't want to know," he said.
He does not understand. She suddenly realized that he was unwilling and unable to understand her thoughts. The sad part is that she can understand him. She can now. She thought of Tully.
She turned her head to Kurt. "I need to tell you something." Her voice suddenly stopped, but she hadn't cried, not yet. Her eyes widen. "And then you tell me what I need to know."
Kurt McVeigh lowered his gaze. Diane panicked. She saw he nodded.
"There is someone who named--" She paused, then opened her mouth only to find that she couldn't make a sound. A stone was pressed against her heart, making her unable to breathe. She saw Kurt looked up, heard him call her name.

Then she woke up.

***

Tully Nelson's arm lay across her chest. Her cell phone was ringing.
Diane gently pushed him away and got up to wash.