Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Microstory 1917: Not a Date

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Fugitive Agent: But this isn’t a date.
Freewoman: No, it’s not a date. It’s a bond engagement.
Fugitive Agent: You know what people call it when they agree to marry each other?
Freewoman: An engagement, I know, but that’s not what this is either. The word, in this case, means an event or gathering of two or more participant parties.
Fugitive Agent: You had that one in the chamber. Have you gone on many of these?
Freewoman: Not a one. I never thought I would be couple bonded. Honestly, I don’t generally get along well with other ex-cons.
Fugitive Agent: Yet you’re the leader of the female bond group.
Freewoman: You don’t ask to be the leader. They choose you. I’ve had to learn to accept it, as you will one day.
Fugitive Agent: Why would I ever be the leader? I’m still a lawman.
Freewoman: You’re the first to succeed in a couple bond in a long time. They’ll love that. The current leader will probably step down for you. His couple bond was dissolved.
Fugitive Agent: Really? Well, I don’t want it. I’m just doing this—
Freewoman: To find your special fugitive, I know. Like I said, I didn’t want it either.
Fugitive Agent: I see. [...] This is good salad, yeah?
Freewoman: Speaking of being a lawman, I’ve noticed how open-minded and nonjudgmental you are to us criminals. That seems...
Fugitive Agent: Out of character for someone in my position? Yes, well, the truth is that I wanted to be a parole officer, which is probably why I’m so invested in this particular assignment. The man I’m looking for is supposedly a P.O. himself—I don’t know if I told you that.
Freewoman: You didn’t. So, what happened? Why do you work for Fugitive Services?
Fugitive Agent: I’m a legacy. If you met my father, he would list all of our family’s exploits going back centuries of all the fugitives we’ve collectively caught. You wouldn’t even have to ask him about it. He’ll find a way to work it into the conversation, and then the conversation will be effectively over. The rest will be a monologue.
Freewoman: I see. [...] You’re right, this salad is good.
Fugitive Agent: Full honesty is a pillar of the freeman bond. Does the couple bond share this value?
Freewoman: It does...but we’re not bonded yet, and certain lies are grandfathered in as long as they don’t negatively impact the relationship, or our respective freedom, so don’t think you have to divulge all your secrets for it to work out.
Fugitive Agent: This isn’t about the past; it’s about the present. If we go through with this, then you should know that I...
Freewoman: You what?
Fugitive Agent: I am not...unattracted to you.
Freewoman: *smirks* I’m not unattracted to you either.
Fugitive Agent: Is that going to be a problem?
Freewoman: Only if we make it a problem.
Fugitive Agent: Good to know. *smiles*

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