Content warning - Wholesome Couple Cuddles
"But there's so much Evidence!" Penny said emphatically, hoping to bring their "discussion" to a close. Joe smiled and tried not to look too pleased with himself, though he didn't try particularly hard and his smile wormed across his face.
"Yeah, that isn't evidence for ghosts. You got to hit me with intelligent responses or nothing." Joe said.
"They say names and stuff!" Penny said.
"Getting it once through that thing is not good enough, not by a long shot. I wanna hear, can you say your name, can you say my name, where are we, what happened to you, all in good time and with accurate responses." Joe said.
"Well that's ridiculous no ones ever going to get that."
"Exactly, the burden of evidence is too high, why is that?" Joe said .
"Because you're an ass." Penny said, without much conviction.
"No...." Joe said.
"Because Ghosts aren't real." Penny said.
"There it is." Joe said.
"But what about The walking noises on the roof? In that hotel in New Orleans? What about that?" Joe said.
"I don't know, maybe there was a big fat bird up there." Joe said.
"A big fat bird! Making human stomping noises that's ridiculous." Penny said.
"Less ridiculous than ghosts? I think not." Joe said.
"So you admit that you don't know what it was." Penny said.
"Yes, I admit that I don't know what it was." Joe said.
"So, it could have been a ghost." Penny said.
"Could have? Sure. Was it? No." Joe said.
"You are so unreasonable sometimes." Penny said.
"Almost always, like, look. I get it, you think this thing is real but I don't. I'm willing to be convinced but you have to do a lot better than stomping footsteps and one word answers from a spirit box to win me over." Joe said.
There was a moment of silence in their shared flat, the scatter of blankets and pillows that had formed around them reminding them both of the cosy life they lived.
"What about apparitions?" Penny said.
"Like full body appearances." Joe said.
"Yeah, me and my mum have both seen them. Do you believe me?" Penny said.
Joe paused and scratched at his chin. He didn't want to let the discussion evolve into a full blown argument and they were close to it getting out of hand. He needed to be delicate in his response, but he also needed to make sure he didn't encourage this sort of tactic.
"I believe that you believe you saw it." Joe said.
"What kind of half-assed answer is that. " Penny said. Joe winced, as soon as he said it he knew it had been a wet noodle of an answer.
"I feel that if I saw a ghost, or something that looked to be like a ghost, that I would assume that I was seeing something that wasn't there." Joe said.
"Oh How convenient the old I'm crazy defence. That will never hold up in court." Penny said.
"Oh but a ball rolling towards someone's name in graffiti is compelling evidence for the Jury?" Joe said.
"It was uncanny!" Penny said.
"It was uncanny. Dare I venture into confirmation bias?" Joe said.
"I'll confirm your bias in a minute." Penny said. Then paused.
"I didn't mean it that way, I won't confirm your bias." Penny said.
"I was gonna say, is the debate settled?" Joe said, laughing.
"But like, what about Aliens?" Penny said.
"Well, what do you mean by aliens?" Joe said. He was leaning back on the sofa and he pulled Penny into a tight embrace. She nestled against his chest and wiggled until as much of her was touching him as possible. He sighed in deep contentment.
"Like little green men or UFOs." Penny said.
"Little Green Men? No, not really. UFOs like a flying saucer, probably not. There is something to the tic tac thing though." Joe said.
"Tic Tac thing?" Penny said.
"I'll show you the videos, it's really weird." Joe said.
"Weird like Aliens weird?" Penny said, her voice rising with hope.
"Yeah, maybe, or maybe it's just really advanced military technology." Joe said.
"So you believe in Aliens but not Ghosts?" Penny said.
"I mean, yeah? But also no, not really. I believe that there's other life in the Universe, it's too damn big for that not to be the case. I would be seriously surprised if Aliens have made contact with humans though." Joe said.
"Why?" Penny said.
"Do you have any idea how many amateur astrologists there are? People who just look at space for fun. If there was contact happening it'd be so hard to keep all those people quiet. MK Ultra wasn't even a real secret-secret and there were only a few people involved in that. We'd be talking about a conspiracy that thousands of people would be involved in." Joe said.
"Arbitrary Sceptic." Penny said.
"Delusional conspiracy theorist." Joe said.
They both laughed and Penny turned so that he could kiss her. He was lost for a time in the soft skin of her lips. After a couple of minutes, or hours as far as Joe could tell, she snuggled back into his chest.
"So no afterlife for Joe boy?" Penny said.
"Doesn't seem like there will be my love. If there is, I'll find you there." Joe said.
"More like I'll find you." Penny said.
"Yeah, it seems more likely that I'll go first." Joe said.
"We'll go out in battle together like a pair of Valkyrie." Penny said.
"I think Valkyrie are all women." Joe said.
"You can be an honorary one in light of your contributions to feminism." Penny said.
"Why, cause I'm not the absolute worst." Joe said.
"Yeah, it's a pretty low bar." Penny said.
They sat together for another long moment, Penny's hand entwined with Joe's and her fingers played with his knuckles.
"Sounds very serious to me. Like this is it." Penny said. Joe started to shrug but didn't want to disturb the delicate balance of their cuddle.
"Yeah, I guess, I think of it as being kind of freeing. Nothing matters so only the things I want to matter actually do." Joe said.
"Like us?" Penny said.
"Like us." Joe said. He kissed her again.
"Hmmm I like that. Penny said.
"Me too." Said Joe.
I love you, Joe boy." Penny said.
"I love you too Penny girl." Joe said.
They lingered on the magic of those words for a long time, lost in the feel of one another pressed so close together.
"But ghosts are totally real." Penny said.
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I like this story. I always wonder when reading if a conversation would actually go like this - or an argument for that matter. In the past, I read similar 'discussion' stories and found them unnatural. Then, I had children and when they argued I wondered: 'did they read these stories before they were born?' I do like to read a bit about the environment, just to make the story a bit warmer, for example, are they in an apartment they both rent, is she a lawyer and he an accountant or something like that. I liked it!
She had to have the last word of course. I’ve had these conversations, where you like the person but their beliefs don’t mesh with yours so you just let it go. Where do you stand on the likelihood of aliens? I think in a truly massive universe the fact that we’re around makes it probable that there’s something else out there but maybe it’s just bacteria and nothing we would even notice and probably so far away we would never find it. Or it could be a form of life so different to us that we wouldn’t recognise it as life if we came across it.
This was cute!