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  • Writer's pictureAntonio Monge

The Story.

“You cannot publish this.”

“I can and I will...I have to.”

“You don’t understand, this is bigger than the story”

“Don’t you dare patronize me, not now… you want to talk to me about the story?! You sanctimonious piece of- I cannot believe you right now!”

“Lois, please...I didn’t mean to say-”

“I’m a journalist! You are a journalist, or at least you’re supposed to damn well be. This is bigger than the story? Is that what you think of me? That i’m just chasing the big scoop?”

“No that’s not what I-”

“That was a rhetorical question, jagoff. What it means is that you think what we do here is bullshit! You think this is all some stupid toy for you to play with and when the real work needs to be done, you can just set us aside and go off on your own.”

“No, Lois, you know that’s not what I meant!”

“Do I? Do I know that? What exactly do I know about what you do and don’t mean anymore? How can I trust one word that escapes your lips? How can I trust you when even now, you hide that striking shade of blue behind these god-awful ridiculous things. You lied to me… you are a lie, and you know what that makes us? It makes us a lie, too.”

“You’re dead wrong, Lo. I should have told you, years ago, yes- hell, I should have told you after our first date, because I knew then. I knew it’d be you. You have every right to be angry with me, but I’m still me, I’m still the man you fell in love with and you need to know that this is real. My love for you is real!”

“Real?! What even is reality anymore? ...You’ve ruined you even realize what you’ve done?”

“I should have told you sooner...”

“I interviewed you. I was the first. You gave me the first. That meant something to the public. It legitimized me. Do you know how humiliating that is? I have been to war, real war. I have seen men die. I have held their hands as they empty their bowels and the stench of shit and death fills the air. I have been here, on the ground, with them, not above them, making sure they know what’s really happening in their city. I have been at this paper through floods, through terrorist attacks, through goddamn armageddon- but you know what finally won me that Pulitzer? Interviewing you. Not the hard work, not the blood, sweat and tears, not the endless hours I’ve spent pouring my fucking soul into this institution, into the truth. No, it was the 10 minutes I got to spend on the roof of this building with you.”

“Well it was a pretty good interview…”

“It was the best goddamn interview anyone in this shit-show has ever written, and I was on top of the fucking world, because I was the one who got the exclusive. The man everyone was talking about but no one could reach, and he reached out to me. Open palms and a big shit-eating grin and he opened me. I thought it was because you respected me, because you realized I would be the one to tell your story right.”

“That’s the reason I agreed to it.”

“You can tell yourself that all you want, but now we both know the truth. It wasn’t respect for me that compelled you. No….You wanted to fuck me.”

“That’s not...Lo, you know that isn’t true. I have endless respect for the work you do here. Is that really what you believe?”

“...Honestly? No, I know you. I know you were raised better than that. I know you read every one of my award-winning articles twice and even some of the smaller-time stuff before showing up, you even quoted me back to me. It was so goddamn charming, and you were an absolute and perfect gentleman. You were everything I dreamed you’d be. What you don’t get is; none of that will matter to them.”

“Why do you say that?”

“You know damn well why. They won’t hear that. They won’t see the cute back and forth you set up between us. They won’t know the conversations we’ve had in the dark when the world wasn’t watching. They will see that you gave me the exclusive interview, and that I am sleeping with you, and my credibility will be dead on arrival.”

“That’s absurd, you shouldn’t be persecuted, I was the one who lied to you!”

“Oh? Is that really better? Tell me, which sounds worse: A Pulitzer prize winning journalist who is completely unaware of her boyfriend’s double life, or the Pulitzer prize winning journalist who slept with her subject to get an exclusive interview?”

“ don’t know that it’s going to shake out that way…”

“Yes, I do.”

“I...I’m so sorry Lois.”

“You’ve ruined me...but you can’t stop me from telling the truth; you can’t stop me from publishing this...not with words.”

“I won’t stop you but please, think about this. You don’t have to do this.”

“I do, Clark. If the people betray me? Fine. But if I don't tell the truth? If I bury the story just to save my image?

I betray myself.”

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