17. “I Win”


Our final day together was brief. James was scheduled to work that morning and, at some point, I needed to fly home (my ticket was stand-by). I knew we wouldn’t be spending much time together; it didn’t matter because I’d be waking up next to him…that was enough.

The way it then stood, James would be coming home for Thanksgiving, almost two months away from the day that I left. That gave me two months to focus on my life. Did I want to teach again? Was I really committed to losing 10 pounds? Then, James and I could discuss where we’d be…What ‘we’ meant. I was fully committed to devoting my time to other activities so that when I got to see his face again, I’d be ready to talk about our options.

James’ alarm went off and it woke me instantly. Instead of being next to him, I was on the couch. I rolled over to see him walking out of his bedroom toward me. We hadn’t slept in the same room. My smile vanished.

James: “Hey Fina, it’s about that time. I’m going to shower. Can you be ready in 20?”

Groggy, I pulled myself up to a seated position.

Me: “Yeah.”

James: “I told you I would’ve slept on the couch. Did you sleep okay?”

Me: “Yes, I think so. I don’t remember falling asleep though.”

James: “You kept waking up coughing. You said you didn’t want to keep me awake. You came out here so I could sleep. Thanks.”

James jumped in the shower and I packed my bag. While doing so, I got the strangest text message from an unknown number (with an area code from home). “I know where you are…”. Weird.

While James was at work, I was going to have a few hours to kill so I was going to meet up with my cousin Chrissy (who lived in the city) before heading to the airport. I called Chrissy to get directions to her place…no answer…perfect. Another text message, “I hope you’re having a blast with your ‘college’ friends.” Really? Now I started to worry. “Who is this?” I replied. No answer.  Double perfect.

James and I headed out. He was taking me to the train station on his way to work, but I still hadn’t heard from Chrissy. He couldn’t miss work and I didn’t know how else to get to the train, so I was going to be on my own in an unknown city until I heard from her. As luck would have it, she called right as we got situated in his car. Yes, I know…it does seem weird that every time we get in the car someone calls. It’s true though. Chrissy told me what line to take to get to her place but she was giving me color-coded directions (like I was supposed to know what the hell they meant), and as I looked to James for guidance he pulled over to the side of the road.

James: “We’re here, Fina.”

Me: “Okay, I think I’ll be able to figure it out.”

James: “I wish we had more time to talk but I’m going to be late if I don’t leave.”

Me: “I had fun. Thanks for entertaining me.”

James: “I had a great time too. Call me when you get home. If you don’t get a flight back tonight, I have a place for you to stay.”

And with that, I grabbed my luggage from the backseat and got out of the vehicle. He was gone. No good-bye kiss, no hug…just gone.

****

My time in the city with Chrissy was fun. We browsed antique/resale shops for a few hours and then she fed me in her little studio apartment. By the time we were done with lunch, it was time for me to head to the airport.

As I boarded the train to head to the airport, I started gathering my thoughts about the weekend. I wished we would’ve had a better good-bye. Then again, real life isn’t always so fairy-tale like. We’d had a good time together. That’s all I really wanted.

I had to wait four hours before there was room on a plane for me. Ellen agreed to pick me up from the airport and promised me a dinner date (to get the dirty details), so I was excited to get home and spill the gossip.

Ellen was there waiting for me once my luggage finally appeared. I threw my stuff in the back of her car and entered.

Ellen: “Mom wanted to go to dinner too, so we can either meet her or go somewhere else.”

Me: “Well, I kind of wanted to talk to you about this weekend. Hey! Do you know this number? Someone sent the weirdest text messages.”

Ellen, grinning: “That’s Rebecca’s number.”

Rebecca is Ellen’s mom’s girlfriend. Fuck.

Me: “Is she joking? Did she know where I was?”

Ellen: “Sar, I couldn’t hold it in anymore. You know I don’t keep anything from my mom. She knew something was up based off of your reaction the night we looked at wedding dresses. I couldn’t lie about it. She hasn’t told James’ mom though. I promise.”

From there, I directed her to take me to the restaurant to meet her mother. If there was any hope that she wasn’t going to tell James’ mother, I needed to make sure I did everything in my power to make sure it didn’t happen.

Ellen’s mom was definitely a lot more empathic than I’d imagined she would be. She said she understood our reasons for not wanting anyone to know. She agreed that James’ mom would put a lot of pressure on us if she knew what was happening. She, most importantly, promised to stay quiet. I believed her. And then I dished every single detail about the weekend (while giggling and girlishly grinning the whole time).

After dinner I text James to let him know that I made it home safely.

His reply: “Good. I was just thinking about you. Glad you made it back.”

He was thinking about me? Awesome.

When I made it back to my place, I grabbed my Macbook and started browsing Facebook (I’d missed a lot during those three days away). I caught up on who broke up with who, who had a baby, who was a raving lunatic, and everyone/everything in between. Then I headed to one of my favorite places …James’ page.

On it I found a new wall post from his best girlfriend, Alexis (Lexy for short). Here’s what it looked like:

Lexy: Sooooooooooooooooo……..????????

I knew exactly what she was asking. I went straight to her page to see his response. Clearly, she was asking about the weekend. I needed to know what he thought.

His entry follows:

James: I win.

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6 thoughts on “17. “I Win”

    • Alright ladies, I’m going to do my BEST to get another post up tonight. I don’t really know (to this day) what the heck “I win” means, but we’ll explore this as the story progresses.

      I was hoping for some dudes to show up today…but no such luck. Perhaps their insight would be helpful. Hellllllllooooooo boys, want to come out and play?

  1. I win? Thats what he wrote….WTH! Who says that….okay you are leaving in suspense hurry up and write another one I need to know what happens!

    • I’m sure a psychiatrist could interpret that statement. Maybe there is something to it.

      I’ve said “I win” since before James used it that night. However, I use it more now than I ever did before.

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