Square One

“Square one? We’re really back to square one? How could we possibly be back here? We’ve been working on this for weeks!!” I knew my voice was getting hysterical, but I couldn’t help it. 

“Listen. I don’t know what you want me to say, but our plan isn’t going to work. Riley has figured out what is going on and – and – We’ll have to start over.” Harley’s shoulders seemed to slump as he finished. I was trying not to blame him since we both had a stake in this plan, but I couldn’t help but remember everything was his idea. 

“We have invested too much time in this plan for it not to work. We can’t start over. I – I can’t wait much longer for Sybil to be gone. She’s driving me crazy!”  

I continued to pace around the bedroom while Harley sank onto our bed with his head in his hands. Sybil was our ‘houseguest’ who had significantly overstayed her welcome, but had yet to realize she needed to leave. Or maybe she realized but wasn’t bothered by the fact she was becoming cumbersome on our every day lives. She was Harley’s friend from college who had fallen on hard times so being the kind man he was, Harley had approached me with the idea of having her crash in our guest bedroom for a week or two while she pulled herself back together. 

Here we were, almost six months later and she was still living with us. So far, all of our gentle reminders had gone apparently unnoticed. Sybil brushed off or ignored every conversation we started about finding her own place. It was like she suddenly became deaf when we brought up the topic of her moving out. 

As I thought about our plan, I knew deep down it wasn’t going to work, but I was desperate. If she didn’t leave soon, I was going to lose my mind. As I continued to pace and Harley continued to sit in despair, I knew what I had to do. Sybil had to leave and we needed to move. Move to where she couldn’t find us. Otherwise, the problems, the crime and the affair would continue. From that moment and whether Harley would agree or not, I was making the final decision that we were going to up and leave. Leave and never come back. That way he could never find out that everything was really my fault and not Sybil’s. I just was just good at deflecting blame and turning the tables. Before he would know what was happening, Harley would be out too. He wouldn’t know what hit him. And it wouldn’t be Sybil. 


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