"It's about triangulation," Peter said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
"It's about being paranoid," Grace said louder than she'd hoped. The frustration in this new relationship was tearing through the fabric of her. She imagined some force field ripping a hole in this reality and sucking her deep into another world, a world very similar to her childhood.
Her father died feeling like the world had persecuted him, denied him the very basics, the things that made him a man. And now, her boyfriend of three years, was displaying similar tendencies. And that scared her.
"Listen," Peter said. "If they can—"
"Who are they?" She placed air-quotes around the unknown pronoun.
"They. Them. The ones who control the world. The fuckin’ pigs. The boys in fuckin blue." He dangled his arms out and flopped them around as his voice went falsetto for his imitation of some reference.
She had always been too afraid to ask about the small vagaries in his backstory. She suspected that he possibly spent some time away, but never felt capable of getting him to tell her everything. There was so much about this man she didn't know.
And with this descent into paranoia, she, for the first time, was thinking of how to extricate herself from the relationship.
"They know how I walk, and they know you're my missus, but they can't get a clean shot of my face, see?" He raises his fingers to the baseball cap's edge and ceremoniously tips it down even further. "They can't see me face, so they can't get that last part of the triangle. If they can't do that, they can't control me. And that is freedom."