"Alison," Tom began, carefully.
"Tom, I--we need to talk." she said uncomfortably. "I...don't think we should see each other any more."
"What?" Tom was stunned. "What are you talking about?! I-- "
"You never have any time for me any more!" Alison exclaimed, getting off the couch. "You're always so busy with your work."
"I know how much you get fired up over it, Tom. I don't want to compete with it. I see now that I never could." Her voice was shaking, and she was turned away from him, looking out the glass door of the balcony.
"Fired up?" he laughed, and got up to stand next to her. "Alison, you are my fire. My one desire. I couldn't care about anything as much as I care about you. Believe me, when I say--"
"When you say what?" she asked quietly.
"I want us to be together. I want it that way," he replied softly, "and no other."
He started to put his arms around her, but she him pushed away.
"But we're two worlds apart, Tom. I can't reach your heart, see the way you really feel. I don't know what you mean, when you say `I want it that way'," she answered, mimicking his tone. "I think we should break up."
"Tell me why!" Tom demanded. "I deserve to know!"
"It's nothing but a heartache for me, Tom." replied Alison.
"Tell me why! The real reasons!" Tom continued, desperate.
"It's nothing but a mistake. It was always a mistake, even from the beginning," Alison finished quietly.
"Tell me why you think this, please, Alison." Tom said finally, defeated. "I still want it--"
"No! I know how you really feel. I'm not going to continue this relationship if it's based completely on lies." Alison snapped. "You've never really cared for me! Wanted to be with me!"
"Alison, I want--"
"And I never want to hear you say `I want it that way' again!" she cried.
"So that's what you think of me? That I've been putting a show on this entire time?" Tom demanded. "And did you never love me? Am I your fire, Alison? Your one desire?"
"It's too late for that," she said miserably, still not facing him.
"Yes, I know it's too late," he replied. "But I want it that way. I do, you have to believe me."
"The same old chorus." Alison scoffed.
Tom shook his head, and rubbed a hand through his hair. "Now, I can see that we've fallen apart, Alison. I can see that it's different from the way that it used to be. No matter how far apart we drift--no matter the distance, I just want you to know, that deep down inside of me, you are, and always have been, my fire. My one desire."
"I don't want to hear you say--" she cried.
"You have to! I'm going to tell you my feelings, so that you understand them, even if you don't care!" Tom retorted. "Maybe this has been, to you, nothing but a heartache. Nothing but a mistake. It wasn't for me, ever. Just once, I wanted to hear you say--"
"I never want to hear you say it, ever again." Alison snapped. "I don't care if you `want it that way'. I want you out of my apartment, Tom, and out of my life. Nothing you can say now can make up for the grief you've caused me."
She turned slightly, and gestured with her head towards the door. Tom sighed heavily, but realised, perhaps, that there was nothing he could do.
"Fine," he said, trying to sound resolute, but only sounding weary. He left, slamming the door, and Alison leaned against the balcony glass.