“When did you start referring to yourself in the 3rd person?” asked Phil and took a swig from his Spider Ale and waved at hand towards a battered publication lying on the table. They were seated in a booth next to a grimy window at the Hunchback Hideout. It had been months since Hadjare had been there and even longer since she had last spoken with Phil. While the intensity of his eyes hadn’t changed, his appearance had undergone drastic changes. The most surprising was the massive mullet that flowed down the back of his head and peeked out behind his ears. “I hope you aren’t doing that in real life.”

“No,” Hadjare tore her gaze away from his hair and laughed. She concentrated on a fishing her cigarettes out from her oversized bag. “I am not that self centered — yet.” She pulled a cigarette from the pack and offered them to Phil. Although she knew he had quite several years ago she wasn’t surprised when he accepted. “You see I am not technically referring to myself in the third person.”

“You’re not?” he pulled out a Zippo and lit their smokes.

“No, I am not. ‘Hadjare’ isn’t really the same because it isn’t my real name.”

“But using your adopted alias to write about yourself really isn’t that different,” he argued.

“Well, hold your horses…let me explain a bit.” She blew out cloud of smoke and glanced out the window. “I thought about it long and hard. I know it’s a bit pretentious to do the third person route — which is why I refrained from using my actual name. Using Hadjare allows me a little comfort zone to relax in. But I also felt like the publication was getting a little too predictable. You are world renowned journalist — you know people hate absolute predictability.”

Phil nodded “But they also like a certain amount sameness.”

“Well sure they do, which is why I haven’t completed changed everything,” she flicked her ashes into a mason jar converted ashtray. “I have only changed the format.”

“You could still have used the first person perspective,” he stated and motioned to the passing waitress for refill on their beers.

“Yeah, I could have…but that is too easy. I feel like I have let my writing go to the wayside and the two things I do write about are kind of journal style anyway. My letters and this publication. I need to challenge myself a bit in getting back into creative writing. I also need to get over a fear of letting other see any attempts I have at creative writing.”

“So this is your solution?” he raised an eyebrow at her questioningly.

“Well,” she sat back “It is something, if not a solution then a start. And besides, it lets me put in some embellishments that may not be true for my world, but it might be true for Hadjare’s world.”

“Yeah like what?” he turned sideways to acknowledge the waitress’s return with refills.

“Like me paying for these beverages,” she winked and pulled out her wallet.

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