I hadn’t seen Bill in five weeks. A few days before I left for Burning Man was the last time. Then absencia: two weeks of me high in the desert, followed by two weeks of back-to-back weddings that he had. He had made a vacation out of the one in Chicago, texting me how much he loved my windy city.
Our relationship was clearly starting to wane: either our interest in one another dropped or other commitments took priority. I stopped thinking about him and concentrated on dating others, many many others. A friend/co-worker said he thought I might get along with a friend of his. “He’s a burner, you’re a burner. He’s crazy, and you’re…well you’re really crazy.” I agreed. Set it up. I’m always open as long as there’s some level of attraction.
Soon after, I got a message from this potential date Brad on Facebook. I noticed we had a few friends in common–including Bill–and mentioned it to Brad. He responded, “Oh, Bill…he’s one of my best friends. I’ve known that guy for ten years.” I smirked at how interconnected life’s network was. It didn’t bother me. I was sure things were slowing to a halt with Bill. If I couldn’t have Bill, then maybe there was a chance for love with one of his best friends!
Bill and I met up last night. It had been a long time. I didn’t even feel like kissing him. “Are you not going to give me a kiss? What’s wrong, honey?”
“Sorry, I’m cranky and I haven’t eaten dinner.”
“I said I’d buy you pizza!”
“I don’t want to get a whole pizza for myself.”
“Honey, I’ll eat a slice. Everyone can always have a slice of pizza. Even though I’m stuffed from dinner, I’d do that for you.”
I shook my head. The crankiness didn’t come from hunger. Our on-the-rocks dating relationship made me ill. I wished everything could have worked out and it didn’t. I didn’t feel like kissing him. I hadn’t heard from him. I felt like he wasn’t interested in me anymore. I knew he wasn’t. People call when they’re interested. I’d only heard from him once since he returned from Chicago. I’d worked myself into one of my moods and I didn’t know how to get out of it. I sat on his brown corduroy couch and sulked.
The first time I went to his place, I imagined myself moving in. I had wandered into a spacious one-bedroom flat overlooking the Marina. His dress shirts were neatly spaced out on hangers in his walk-in closet. I could see my tiny dresses hanging alongside his crisp white extra-large shirts. The more I got to know him, the more I liked him. I announced to a friend on the phone, “I’m ready to have his red-headed yellow babies.” Now that was all over.
“I can’t wait for the Bachelorette event, honey. I’m going to be all over you.” The newsletter had gone out to the matchmaker’s 800+ network a couple nights ago.
I laughed. I had told him I was vying to be the Bachelorette and he read in the newsletter that I had actually gotten it. “You better not. I need to meet my future husband and you’d better not get in the way.” I was teasing and joking all at the same time.
“The last girl they set me up with was lame.” My heart stopped. If they had set him up with another match, then that meant he had given the matchmaking service his feedback and he was ready for the next one. He continued, “I told them that you were my favorite so far.”
I ran to the bathroom and dabbed at the tears welling up in my eyes. If I knew it was over, why did I feel this way? I get attached so easily. I need to stop getting attached to every single guy I date. Bill is one of ten. Move on. I calmed myself down with a few deep breaths. Just let it go. Just fucking let it go.
He was oblivious, thinking I really just needed to go to the bathroom. “Are you sure you don’t want me to order you some pizza?”