“Dollars and degrees. That’s all you ever think about, you self-centered bastard,” she said before turning and taking a large sip of her martini.
He took a swig of his beer. They were sitting next to one another at the bar of the Tomfoolery, a popular pub in the Foggy Bottom section of D.C. “It’s Wednesday night, Deb. You know I have that urban planning course paper due for tomorrow night’s class. I really need to head back to my place to finish it up.”
“Any excuse to get up and leave me here by myself,” Debbie slurred. “I swear, you don’t give two shits about me. All you care about are dollars and degrees.”
He liked Debbie. She was attractive, reasonably bright, and quite accomplished in the sack. But he was working on his master’s degree at night while holding down a full-time job during the day. Barely half way through his 54 credit-hour curriculum, completing his master’s program by the end of the next year was his highest priority.
“I think you’re a little drunk, Debbie,” he responded, finishing up his beer.
“And I think you’re a selfish son of a bitch” she snapped back.
He turned toward her and, affecting his most sincere, genuine manner, said, “I really do care about you, Debbie. I enjoy our time together. A lot, actually. But I have to finish this paper tonight. I’ll probably be up quite late and I have to be at work again by 8:30 in the morning. So even though I’d much rather stay here with you a little while longer and then head over to your place and spend the night, I’ve got to go.”
It was only a little white lie, he told himself.
She moved her bar stool closer to his, snuggled up next to him, and while running her hand up and down his inner thigh, whispered in a low, throaty voice, “I’d rather we head over to my place, too. We can both call in sick for work tomorrow.”
“I can’t,” he said, removing her hand from high up on his thigh. “I’m sorry, Debbie, but I just can’t. Not tonight. I need to get this paper done.”
He stood up and retrieved his jacket and backpack from the hook beneath the bar overhang. He leaned over toward Debbie and kissed her on her cheek. “I’ll call you tomorrow,” he said, and headed for the door.
As he was leaving the pub he heard her yell after him. “Dollars and degrees, you fucking asshole! That’s all that’s important to you. Dollars and fucking degrees.”
This post is my entry this week in Linda G Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. This week’s word is “degree/degrees.”