She said things, at an early point in the relationship, as though sometimes she were saying them to someone else.
I remember, again, this was very early on, she said, ” . . .”
Well, I don’t remember exactly what she said, just that she was talking about the kind of man she wanted to fall in love with, and how she was hoping to meet that kind of man.
I wondered if she were wondering if she’d met him or, after meeting me, she knew she hadn’t met him yet, and would go on looking.
It felt like a very scary way to get a relationship off the ground, wondering if the person you’re with has already decided you’re the wrong one. Of course, you may wonder this to yourself, but to say it out loud to the person. It was worrisome.
One evening we were sitting at Mānoa Garden, drinking beer. This was the third time we’d dated, if you want to call it that, getting together after class to drink beer and talk.
I asked did she want another one. She did. As I stood up from the table, she asked, “Lanning, what’s your astrological sign?”
I told her, then went inside. Elvin, the bartender, said, “Wow, who is that woman you’re sitting with? Every time I go past, you two seem to be talking like you’ve known each other for years. You must really be hitting it off.”
I laughed. “No, no, I met her in an English class just at the start of the semester. We’re sort of still feeling each other out.”
“Good luck, man. She seems great.”
I thanked him for his well wishes, then carried the beers out to the courtyard. I figured she must have gone to the restroom, so I sat down and waited.
After fifteen minutes or so, Elvin came out and walked over to the table.
“Ah, that woman, she left this for you.” He handed me a folded napkin.
“Oh, well, thanks, Elvin. Thanks.”
He turned around and headed back inside. His walk was so heavy, his shoulders so stooped, I thought he must be feeling very sad for me.
I stared at the folded napkin. After I’d finished my beer, I started on hers. When I’d finished that one, I picked up the two cups and the folded napkin, carried them over to the trash, and tossed the cups in the can.
I looked at that folded napkin for the longest time, then threw it in the trash, too.
She dropped the class. I never saw her again.
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Happy #WriterWednesday. Today’s #WritingPrompt is
Use it to inspire a piece of writing, and then post that piece as a comment below. I would love to read it : )