"You sure you want to?” Mary asks.
“Yea,” Albert says. “I mean, I guess so. I thought I was. I don’t know.”
“It’s not too late; we don’t have to. We can just go home, watch a movie, drink, smoke,” she says, grabbing his hand, a sincere look of understanding in her eyes.
Both of Albert’s hands are still on the steering wheel. Mary sits in the passenger seat, both hands clamped down on his right hand. The radio is off but the constant sound of traffic coming off the nearby 101 Hollywood Freeway stops it from being too quiet. She takes both hands off of his, reaches down, picks up her purse, opens it and pulls out two cigarettes from the pack, has a second thought, hesitates, and puts one back.
“Cigarette?” she asks.
“That’s fitting, dear.”
She lets out an obligatory small laugh, knowing her role as the encouraging girlfriend, knowing that she has no choice; she has to acknowledge Albert’s wit to show that she’s on the same level as he is in the moment, that she gets the joke, that the entire situation, them in the car, just about to go up to this place, that this is all funny, really, haha, goddamn.
“Well, I mean, it’s getting kinda late; it’s now or never. I’m fine with either,” she says, really hoping, surprisingly to her, that he decides to go ahead with it because, come on, we’re young, healthy, attractive; this will be something different, something exciting and fun.
Albert thinks about it. He’s here. She’s the one that persuaded him to drive out and to just think it over; if he decided at the last minute to back out that that would be fine, no problem, but at least think about it. And now. And now here we are: to go, or not to go. The possibilities were good and at the same time horrible. He was getting upset at his over-thinking it. Over-thinking was a big flaw in his character. Fuck it, we’re young, healthy, attractive; this will be something different, something exciting and fun. Deep down inside he had a feeling that this is truly what she wanted, so why not?
“Ok, babe,” she says.
“I love you,” he says, instantly embarrassed, instantly regretting it, thinking it not being the proper time in saying it.