19: She

"So what's your boyfriend's major?"
"He's not in school."
"Oh, he's graduated?"
"No," she said flatly. "He's working."

There was an awkward silence as her roommate tried her best not to judge but did so obviously anyway. Gathering up her belongings, C.C. headed for the door.

"I'll be back."
"Of course."

They sat quietly. Stirring her coffee, she stared into its black depths until he placed his hand on hers. Leaning forward, he asked her what was bothering her.

"…Why didn't you apply for college?"

He was silent, and she looked away. He was already under enough pressure as it was from his parents and hers and everyone they knew. She knew it didn't help that she was siding against him and questioning him again – God knew he'd gone over it hundreds of times, sometimes with the same people – but after her roommate's reaction, she couldn't help but ask again. He wasn't stupid. He had said he had wanted a good future too. So then why hadn't he even applied?

"Don't you think it was a little too late to?"
"You weren't planning on going before?"

He shrugged. "It wasn't really necessary in my opinion."

"But you could have still applied. Just in case you changed your mind. You had good grades, at least in the first 2 years of high school, and you could have just explained the other 2 years."
"It's not that simple."
"Why isn't it?"

He picked at the cinnamon bun they'd been sharing. Leaving a trailing of icing on the plate, he wiped his fingers on a napkin before leaning back.

"I went to jail, C.C. Multiple times."
"There are people who have gone to jail and have gotten into college."
"…I'm not going to be able to get into your school with a criminal record, and I don't want to be apart from you."
"You can't just let a relationship control your life, Lelouch."

He frowned. This was supposed to be a pleasant date, but here they were, arguing again. Lips tight, he crossed his arms across his chest.

"So then what?"
"What do you mean what?"
"Why is it so horrible to want to be with the person I love? I had nothing attaching me to that town, C.C., but you, and now that you've moved here, there's no reason to stay. I could have gone anywhere in this country, regardless of whether you went to college or not, but I chose to come here because of you. The only thing you've influenced is this location, and nothing more. I'm sorry that I'm nothing but a disappointment who chose not to go to college, but not everyone has to live life by the playbook," he hissed. Abruptly standing up, he tore his hand away from hers.

"Where are you going?"
"To see if this city is still worth living in."

And the door slammed shut.


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