I can’t believe you got on that bus and left. I thought about driving to your house to wait for you but … stalker much? Anyway, I know I stood there like an idiot staring at you, both in the carpark and inside earlier. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve thought I’ve seen you only to be disappointed. Last night, well seeing you was unexpected. I convinced myself I was wrong, it couldn’t be you. But it was.
I guess I should take a hint. You walked out of my house and didn’t contact me again, you disappeared from soccer practise, even the mall. I thought I had taken the hint, gotten the message. You were avoiding me. I don’t know if I had embarrassed you, upset you, it didn’t matter really. I got the message so I left you alone.
Then I saw you and you lit me up. I realise that I’ve just been surviving these last months without you, not living. I feel like a fucking teenager writing that but it’s how I feel. So much I don’t know about you, so much I want to know.
What I do know? You’re not wearing a wedding ring anymore. Does that mean what I think it does? Just like (has it really been?) six months ago, can we talk?
I read Tyler’s email again, not really knowing what to make of it, how to reply. What did he mean he had just been surviving. What did it matter though? I replayed those couple of minutes in the carpark.
“Lily. Where are you going?”
“Home,” I answered automatically, surprised that he was here talking to me.
“Have you moved?” He’d asked with a frown. “I think you’re going the wrong way.”
“Oh right.” I managed a smile at his comment. “The bus stop is this way,” I said and pointed. I took a step and he matched me, walking towards the bus stop.
“You don’t drive?” His hand brushed mine, an accident I was sure but that didn’t stop my body from reacting, goosebumps racing up my arms.
“No,” I said shortly, annoyed with myself for my reaction and my situation. No way was I explaining that Paul owned what had been the family car and no longer allowed me to drive it.
“I could give you a lift,” Tyler offered, his voice hopeful as we reached the bus stop.
I stalled, looking down the road for the bus, then looked beyond him, saw his car sitting waiting. Then I looked at him, waiting for my answer, wearing the same clothes he’d had on earlier though not as neat as they had been. Like he’d slept in them … or picked them up off the floor to get dressed.
There it was, reality. That bitch used to be a friend of mine but now, not so much. I didn’t thank reality for giving me a little flash of memory of Tyler helping the woman out of his car. I really didn’t thank her for the image of her holding his arm, saying how she couldn’t wait to get to bed. Not that I could blame her. If Tyler had been taking me home, I’d be pretty anxious to get to bed too.
Thanks to reality I didn’t give in to temptation and jump into his car. With uncanny timing the bus pulled to a stop behind me, the doors swishing open.
“No need,” I said and left him standing there. I’d been subdued on the trip home, replaying the two meetings in my mind. The hopeful part of me suggesting that the woman could have been just a friend or a casual date. The realist in me pointing out they had been to dinner with his family. Hopeful me wanted to know why he’d come back. Realist me scoffed, said maintenance closet.
I wasn’t sure which part of me was going to answer the email.
It was a surprise to see you too. I haven’t stopped thinking about you! Of course we can talk. I work six nights a week and sleep during the day so I’m not sure how we can make this work. I have Saturday night off so if you’re not busy then, I could see you after 8pm.
Nope, that didn’t seem likely.
Sure was a shock seeing you after not hearing from you in all this time. So much for wanting to know everything about me. No, I don’t get to soccer training anymore, my soon to be ex wont let me drive HIS car. As for shopping, it doesn’t fit into my awesome work hours. Also, I’m just a border in HIS house so I pay for basic food and he buys it. No more happy family grocery excursions.
You know I’d love to get together to chat about old times. Will your girlfriend be joining us? Why don’t you both come around and I’ll make something with chocolate for her. It will be great, we can compare notes on you. Just let me know when.
Wow, didn’t know I had that in me! Maybe something in between?
Thanks for the message. Sorry I just left like that but if I missed the bus it was an hour until the next one. Anyway, as you saw I have a job now so things have changed a bit since the last time we spoke. I don’t see much point in us getting together to talk, I don’t really have a lot of spare time and nothing to say really.
Let’s leave what happened between us in the past where it belongs. It was nice seeing you, you looked happy with your girlfriend.