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From all to nothing

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You look at me and shake your head. What?

"You're smarter than that. Now pass me the cigarettes and I'll give you a couple of minutes to figure out why that was insulting to both of us."

Baffled, I toss you the pack. What do you mean? I look out over the lake, thinking hard, turning my words over in my mind. How could that be insulting? I tried to tell you I love you too much to be prepared to risk hurting you, that I respect you and... Ah.

You sit there calmly, a cigarette in one hand and wine glass in the other. I smile. Yes, of course. You are right. So... that means that... I frown. It's not simple any more. You've done this before, when you've thought I needed straightening out. Asked me questions that sound innocent until you start to think about them. This is one of those. It's simple, but now I'm a bit afraid. I know that if I turn down this path, it'll be painful. It always is.

I have to answer, but I don't know where I'll dare go from there. I take a deep breath, and you turn to me.

"It's insulting to me because it implies that I would do anything to make you unhappy, and it's insulting to you because it implies you would let me."

You give me a pleased smile. "Exactly. So?"

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