Snakes and Pills

165 - falls

A few people in the line were beginning to take note of Victoria's raised voice. Catching glimpses of the others turning to look at her, she consciously quieted herself. Then, not wanting to lose the current of the conversation, she repeated her words.

"Explain to me: what's so important to see up there?" she asked with a tone that was quieter, but no less annoyed.

Pete, her boyfriend, had no answer to provide. Not one that he thought would quell her anger, anyway. He offered the truth: "I don't know. I just wanna go check it out. I think it'll be interesting."

Not enough, the expression on Victoria's face said. "Just a view of the city from up high. You think the tops of these buildings will look any different than you've seen before?"

Her question apparently did not need his answer, because she continued with her diatribe. "Plus, we have to wait in this long line just for tickets. Then, after we get the super-expensive tickets, we get to wait in another line to go up. Lucky us. It's so stupid, so touristy,"--her voice was growing louder once again--"what's the point?"

Pete said nothing, which annoyed Victoria. If he had chosen to open his mouth, it would have annoyed her, too. The line edged forward, and she glared at him while he appeared to ponder the situation.

Victoria's feet hurt. They had been trying to cram so much into so little time for their vacation. She felt like she just needed a rest. Certainly she did not need to be standing in a line for something as ridiculous as going up to the observation deck of another tall building.

"You know what," she said, picking up the conversation by herself. "If YOU want do this so badly, why don't YOU wait in line for the tickets? I'm going to go find a place to sit down."

Exasperated, Victoria pulled herself out of the line and went in search of a seat. The way she had emphasized her "you"s hurt Pete, but stoically he remained in line. Though he didn't know it, the people around him felt relieved that the angry girl was gone.

He did not share their sentiments. He was disappointed that things had deteriorated so quickly. Yes, he admitted to himself, she had her points. The view of the city would probably be nothing extraordinary. But he simply wanted to see it for himself. Why couldn't she allow that?

Did he complain as he endured hours of excruciating boredom while she shopped? His question gave him a surprise when he realized that, if he were being truthful, he'd have to to answer: "Yes. A little."

He had never gotten as confrontational or as loud as she had just now. But he knew that was Victoria's style. He liked her style.

Finally, Pete reached the front of the line. "Two adults, please," he said, as he handed his credit card over to the cashier. The price certainly was expensive, she wasn't wrong about that. He had always planned to pay for both of them, though.

When Pete found Victoria playing with her phone on a crowded bench, her demeanor had cooled significantly. He flashed the two tickets. "Ready?"

She showed no enthusiasm in her nod, but no vitriol either. Pete was relieved as he helped his girlfriend to her feet. Hopefully, she could endure the line for the elevator to the observation deck. At least it wasn't as long as the line for the tickets.

He handed her a ticket as they got in line. Victoria looked it over, feigning interest. "Thanks," she said flatly.

"Hey. I got dinner tonight, okay?" she added.


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