"Helen, I don't know why you put up with him."
Helen looked to where her boyfriend was leaning against the bar counter, quite clearly chatting up... some guy. And it was just some guy - late twenties, tired-looking, sketchpad open on the bar next to him; could have been anyone. The artist was slowly starting to smile as her boyfriend waved his hands in a wide gesture.
"What do you mean?" Helen finally asked Julie.
"I mean, look at that. Jesus, can't he even keep it in his pants for ten minutes? Guys, girls... and with you - his own girlfriend - sitting right here. I swear to God I would dump him faster than you can say 'philandry'."
After a moment, Helen laughed and shook her head. "Naw, I don't mind, really. There's just something about him you can't be jealous of - and you can't own people, they have to have freedom. He doesn't cheat, Sarah. He just makes love to other people sometimes."
"Well, I wouldn't put up with it. I can't believe you sometimes. It's like you think he's God or something."
"Actually, he might be," Helen said.
Julie cracked up. After a few moments of silence from Helen, she stopped. "You don't think you're joking."
Helen shook her head.
"What kind of crack have you been smoking?"
"No, really," Helen said. "Jesus Christ. Second coming. I'm sure of it."
"What, like," Julie said, snorting. "He can turn water into wine?"
Julie stared at her.
"I saw it!" Helen said defensively. "I hadn't been shopping, and neither had he, and we were out of EVERYTHING and I said that I wasn't in the mood for water, and that I would seriously owe him if he'd pick me up some good wine, and he grinned and poured me a glass of water from the tap but when he handed it to me it was wine. Good wine, too. Tasted French, but like, French from before the grapes all died and they had to get 'em imported. Because French wine just sucks now, and Australian's the only way to-"
"You ARE on crack."
"No, it's true."
"Your boyfriend turns water into wine."
"There are other things too. Like the other day, this talent scout showed up..."
"Hey there, babe! Is your boyfriend in?"
He leaned past her. "Yeah. What do you want?"
"We have been sent to offer you a Great New Deal for you joining us!"
Helen wrinkled her nose as the guy talked. He was like every commercial she'd ever hated all rolled up into one.
"Helen, mind going inside for a moment?"
The commercial-man turned a cheesy smile on Helen. "Ah, Helen? I should have guessed, babe, you're gorgeous. Could rival the Helen herself!"
"Helen of Troy was probably overrated," she said.
"Naw," her boyfriend said, scratching at his stubble. "Helen was beautiful. Not the most beautiful woman in the world, but pretty beautiful."
"Helen of Troy," the commercial-man said, apparently irritated by the change of topic which he'd caused, "was a ditz who couldn't make up her mind which guy she liked more."
"Helen was taken by force," her boyfriend said, after a moment.
"Maybe, maybe, I wasn't there at the time," the commercial-man said dismissively. "But it's a better story when..."
"As usual, my answer's no, dude."
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