We walk out of the restaurant and Lena says, “We could make a detour.”
“We could. Thataway?” I point towards the Ohio Union.
We walk into the Union. My idea was to just walk out on the side of the Oval, but a group of people off in a corner catches my eye. I recognize several of them from last weekend. It’s the Star Fleet crowd playing.
Lena sees where I’m looking. “That’s the game you had to pretend you played, right?”
“Yes and I was scared you’d call my bluff.”
“Not so likely. But what’s with the funny look?”
“I just realized that probably George is right there playing right now and it feels weird.”
“If you want to talk about that, we’d probably better get outside.”
We walk out the door an on to the Oval. Lena looks at me and says, “So you are still using original names for each other?”
“Original— Yeah, I guess. It started that way and we never thought of changing that. Why?”
“It’s natural it started that way. The first days, in the dream you still looked like you used to be, the shock of the change was still raw, of course that’s the choice you made; I expect you didn’t even think about anything else.”
“Why would we?”
“Exactly. But how about now?”
“Lena, what are you driving at?”
She stops and looks at me. “I’ll do everything I can to help you either way, but I need to know. Are you staying?”
I hug her and whisper, “We wanted back so bad—” My voice cracks. She hugs me back.
She says, “It’s alright—”, I shake my head. She stops. I swallow and say, “George is cheering me on—” Take a deep breath. “—And I worry about her in a triangle and hurting.”
Her hands stroke my back. I take another deep breath. “I don’t know anything anymore.”
Her hug tightens, then she says, “I’ll find you a Chinese dictionary yet.”
“Chinese dictionary. You did say it was like waking up in the middle of a Chinese subway station.”
I kiss her.