Ultimatum

“I saw you talking to him over there,” Jenny accused. Her arms were crossed as she glared Sam down. “What was that about?”

“Um. I said hi?” Sam said, bewildered. “Isn’t that something people still do?”

“Haven’t you heard about him?” Jenny asked. “We’re ignoring him. Eventually he’ll give up and stop coming.”

“I hadn’t heard anything besides third-hand stories, really,” Sam said. “Not enough to avoid basic pleasantries.”

“Well, you’d better stop,” Jenny said. Her frown deepened. “We don’t like him, and neither should you.”

Sam raised a brow. “I never said I liked him. We have nothing in common. But I also don’t see any reason not to treat him like any other stranger.”

Jenny grew red in the face, a shade Sam had never seen before. “Let’s put it this way. You can talk to him or me. Not both.”

Gritting his teeth, Sam felt himself growing flushed as well. “Fine. Bye.” He spun on his heel and started walking away

“I can’t believe you’d pick that jerk-off over your own friends!” Jenny shrieked after him.

That sent Sam spinning back around. “I’m not picking him over you. I’m picking me. My identity. I am someone who treats everyone with what I consider a minimal level of respect. Not asking you to do the same. Shun him if you want. But I will not accept a challenge to my personal ethic from anyone, even a friend. So again. Bye.”

Then Sam walked away, leaving Jenny sputtering and red and confused and angry.

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