This series happens once a week. In order to understand what’s going on in the series, be sure to read the column, in order.
Christopher had something simple down pat. It was something this generation’s woman sees rarely, something that we yearn for in quiet, something we sometimes pretend we’re strong enough to do without.
It’s what kept me interested. It’s what made me answer the phone, even if I was infuriated with outside factors that were motivated by our union.
He called the moment I got back to my hotel.
“That was pretty crazy, huh?”
I tried to be optimistic, “Your parents seemed really concerned for your well being. I mean, I might be a serial killer.”
He sensed my sarcasm, “Hardy har har. Things are tough for me. I’m bound by this whole trust fund thing.”
“I get it, but I don’t. You’re a grown man, you should be able to move like one.”
“You don’t have to get it. You don’t have almost a million dollars in jeopardy.”
He sounded annoyed. I was too, “Like I said, I get it. I’m just concerned about how you’ll move when you actually get that independence. What do you actually do on your own?”
The other line grew silent. I was genuinely concerned about him: his mother did his laundry and cleaned his room, they rarely went out without one another, and they even managed his finances. I wondered what type of provider Christopher would be if he didn’t learn these things, on his own.
He changed the subject, “Despite my dad’s appearance, I thought tonight was pretty cool. Did you enjoy the vineyard?”
I did enjoy that portion, it was the only time we really had alone, “It was great.”
My next statement came out quickly, in a way that I instantly felt guilt about, “Listen, maybe we should spend some time being friends.”
“I knew it. It’s over, right?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“Run. That’s what all of you do, any way. No one understands my predicament.”
I frowned, “I tried to, but right now…it’s not going to work for me.”
The other line grew silent and then my phone lit up. He was gone.
I hadn’t heard from Marsha since our last encounter and as our friendship started to fade, my interest in Edwin grew. There was no guilt when we met up.
Edwin tried to be consistent. He truly did. However, he was frequently out of town due to his touring and he’d call at ridiculous hours after shows. I told a friend this and she stated, “He could not call at all.”
I sighed. Sometimes we mistake minuscule, scarce-effort gestures for grandiose ones, because of the excessive absence of opulence. I took her advice, anyway. I ignored my gut.
He did try. When he came home, we spent a day or two together, but it was hard to catch him between those moments, unless it was in a tired short call or text exchange.
I think I spoke too soon. On one of the nights he was on tour, he called. It was early and I was excited to see his name flash across my screen.
He used my name, not a pet name and his tone was dry.
“Hey, is everything okay?”
“Mayyyybe. I’m hearing some things that I’m not happy about.”
“I’m listening,” I truly was and his words were a bit slurred, he was drunk.
“You ever dated a guy named Derek?”
I thought about it for a second, there was a guy by the same name that I went on one date with and never spoke to again.
“Derek Matthews? The writer?”
“Oh. So you do know him…”
“I do. We went on one date and we never spoke again.”
“Why is that?”
“No chemistry. I think we both weren’t feeling it.”
“That’s not what he says. Derek is a good friend of mine.”
My, my, how the tables started to turn.
“What did he tell you?”
“He said he was into you and you ended it. But that’s not even what I care about…did you sleep with him?”
I could not believe I was having this conversation, “No I didn’t.”
“He says you didn’t either, but I don’t believe much folks these days. The way he talked about you, the way he spoke about how wonderful you are, it just doesn’t make sense. How could someone end it with you and you still think the world of them?”
“Because I didn’t end it, we just stopped texting one another. I’m sorry he didn’t see it that way, but that’s the truth.”
“I can’t date you and you dated one of my best friends.”
“It was one date and it was years ago.”
He ignored me, “Imagine how I feel, showing your picture to my homeboy, and he’s all ‘she’s so dope’. He’s not even supposed to know you.”
We’d officially arrived at foolish land.
Edwin was overreacting. I couldn’t believe how loud and ridiculous he was being.
“I believed you when you said you weren’t messing with Marsha. Why should this be any different?”
He sighed, heavily into the phone, “It just is.”
I stood and waited for my co-worker to finish her flirtation with her almost-boyfriend. Trey shuffled things on his desk nervously, while I threw intentional shade with a grin. But she was so giddy to see him, she didn’t realize.
After twenty minutes, she was ready to go. I’d decided that I wasn’t going to tell her anything, we weren’t that close. Also, telling a woman something about someone she’s infatuated with never ever goes well. I’d also decided that I was through with Trey.
We made our way out of the bank, when my co-worker realized she had one more transaction to make. As we turned back, we saw one of Trey’s fellow bankers hugging and kissing him goodnight. My co-worker was furious and stormed her way back to his cubicle, I stayed put.
She yelled, “Who the hell is she?”
The girl looked defensive, “I’m the manager of this branch. & I’m also his girlfriend.”
See you next week!
Rivaflowz is an educator and freelance writer, living in New York. You can read her first dating series “In The Meantime” and her fiction, at Rivaflowz.com and follow her on Twitter/Instagram at @rivaflowz.