Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Character study

Riley sat on the couch, flipping listlessly through the channels.

"What's on?"  Connor asked as he sat down beside his wife.

"Nothing good," she said, passing him the remote.

"Still thinking about Owen's new partner?" Connor asked, knowing the answer even before he posed the question.

"Yes," Riley admitted.  "I just... I don't know.  I don't like it."

"You realize that any other husband would throw a fit about his wife being jealous of another man dancing with someone else?" 

Riley gave Connor a small attempt at a smile, then leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.  "Yes, I realize that.  I've married the best man in the entire world."

"As long as you know that," Connor told her, smiling.  "But really, what is it about this new partner that bothers you?"

"I can't put my finger on it," Riley said, shaking her head.  "She's definitely not prettier than me -"

"Well, of course not!"

"And she's not a better dancer than me," Riley continued.  "I don't know.  I mean, it's really not a rational thing.  I'm irrationally jealous that a man who's not my husband is dancing with a woman who isn't me."

"Maybe you're afraid that he'll like it?" Connor suggested.

"I've listened to him complain about her already - I don't think he's going to like it!" 

Connor shrugged.  "Sorry, that's it for my theories.  Maybe you should call Dr. Phil.  I'll bet we could get on his show - 'Dance cheating - is it really cheating?'"

Riley finally laughed.  "Thanks, sweetie."

"You're welcome."  Connor could tell that Riley was still going to keep stewing about the whole situation, but at least he'd managed to make her smile.

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