Mick takes a sip of beer and leans against the counter. “I already offered, but they’ve got their hearts set on this song for some reason.”
“Take one of mine then,” Hendlin offers. “Steal a verse and put it in. I don’t care.”
He shakes his head.
“Then, let me help more.”
“I don’t know.”
“What’s not to know?”
“I don’t feel right about it.”
“What is that supposed to mean?” she asks, growing irritated. “You said we needed this.”
“Then what’s the problem?”
Mick shrugs and takes another sip of beer. As he puts it back on the counter, he mutters. “I don’t know.”
Hendlin’s eyes widen. Her nostrils flare. “Grow up, Mick,” she growls.
Mick grabs the underside of the counter’s edge and chokes back his next thought. Her simple request bounces around the inside of his stomach and lungs, somehow finding his tender points, the pockets of darkness not reached by this afternoon’s sun. The familiar inner monologue, his well-rehearsed story quickly surfaces, and focuses its displeasure at Hendlin’s words, and their audacity by challenging the carefully constructed world within which they are flawless. What started as a mutter, is now at a volume loud enough attract attention in a crowded room. He looks up, focusing on a spot on the ceiling, seeing the fan rotating at a gentle cadence. He shifts his focus to the swinging blades. It slices through his darkness. Then again. Then again. A morsel of light enters. “Okay,” he eventually mutters. “Sure.”