Hope turns to see if the Burner is still on the cabin, he IS. He TAPS on his brain as if to remind her he is merely a figment of her imagination.
HOPE: Let's keep going. There's nothing here anyways.
The two turn back to the road and continue their walking/skating.
HOPE: I've been sort of a... a bitch to you. I'm sorry.
MICKEY: What? No, you haven't.
HOPE: Yes I totally have.
HOPE: YES I have and you don't deserve that. It's not fair that I am taking my shit on you. Being angry and stuff. I mean you've been really nice to me, and sweet. Except when you mansplained to me about your alcohol addiction. But even then, obviously it's a sore subject and I didn't have to be so pushy about it. I'm really sorry. I'm not a bad person. Maybe I am. I don't know. But I don't want to be. Honest to God.
HOPE: What hmmm?
HOPE: "Okay?" What is it... you don't accept my apology?
MICKEY: Oh I accept it. Sure I accept it. I'll accept any apology from anyone even when it's absolutely not necessary. Thing is... I don't believe you. I want to believe you. I do. But you said 'honest to God.'
HOPE: Oh, come on. It's a... figure of speech.
MICKEY: For people that believe in God. Yes.
HOPE: Well maybe I do. Maybe I don't. I don't know. Why does it matter?
MICKEY: You don't know much about addiction, do you? I mean no disrespect.
HOPE: I know some. Not like you.
MICKEY: Okay. Well... the third step in the twelve step program is faith. It's an important step in recovery. Because to make the necessary actions to change, we must first BELIEVE that we can change. And a belief, any belief, isn't seen or proved, it's only felt. Through the process of faith. Like, we don't know if we'll make it to the gas station before we die of dehydration, but we believe we will. That's what keeps us going.
HOPE: You really are a son of a preacher-man.
MICKEY: Guilty as charged.
HOPE: I bet he'd like that. That was... moving. I am almost convinced.
HOPE: Leaving room for doubt. It's there to protect us also, no? I mean, otherwise we'd still be back there, with our blind faith, hoping someone will come to our rescue.
MICKEY: God shows us the way, but we must walk through it.
HOPE: How convenient. For God, I mean.
MICKEY: Are you flirting with me? Or with God? I'm genuinely not sure.
HOPE: Me neither.
To be continued...
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman