Don’t call me. He says. I’ll call you.
Thump! You can actually hear the sound of my heart landing on the floor.
He fixes it by saying: I mean–I will call you. I want to.
He calls up on Sunday: Want to go for a walk?
I’m annoyed that we didn’t go out on Saturday evening, but feel better that he calls on Sunday. I agree.
He comes over and brings white tulips. I like that he brings flowers. I give him a nice kiss hello. We go outside and start to walk. We walk down the street. I start to talk. It’s the only time I’ve spent with him the entire weekend.
We talk. (Maybe I’m doing all the talking).
We walk to the other end of town.
We walk back.
He nudges me past the sidewalks to my house. More walking? I ask. He chuckles and we walk past a few houses that’s he’s thought about buying and we talk about real estate for a bit. I theorize that one recently bought house has renters. That’s why there are so many cars parked out front. Looks like my house I laugh. I often have four or five cars parked outside of mine. The only way a single person can buy a house in this town is to buy one and share it.
We walk past another house where a young couple is moving in. I stop and ask if they are new home owners. No. No. They say. We are renting. Welcome to the neighbourhood I say.
We continue walking.
We walk around the corner and cross Powell Street.
He looks up at the stars. It’s a beautiful night.
We walk up around the school.
So. What did you do today? I guess I’m running out of things to talk about.
Laundry. Then I did some ironing. I laugh and tell him he gets points for ironing. He’s the only person I know in the 21st Century who irons.
We start walking back to my house again.
So. He says. Three-and-a-half months.
Three-and-a-half months I repeat–feeling a tiny bit hopeful that he’s actually counted.
Three-and-a-half months he says. I’ve been thinking about that lately.
Hmm…My heart starts to sink. What have you been thinking?
I’ve just been thinking.
About what? I prompt. What about three-and-a-half months?
About how I feel.
Thump! That’s the sound of my heart hitting the pavement.
How do you feel? I venture.
I–uh–haven’t been feeling like a boyfriend.
Oh. DUH! I think. I haven’t exactly been feeling like a girlfriend. Well. I say. Why is that do you think?
I–uh–just don’t have those feelings for you.
Great. After the hour-and-a-half walk and trivial patter, we are finally talking about what needs to be talked about.
And after everything you did on Valentine’s Day, I realized that you are for real. That this is real for you. And I don’t want you to waste your time.
My heart is somewhere on the pavement–probably scurrying under a rock. I note the house where we are so I can come and collect it later–if I can find it.
Well. I say. Thank you for being honest. Thanks for actually telling me.
I’m sorry he says. I can hear some pain in his voice. I know how painful it is to be honest.
I’m really sorry. I didn’t want to hurt you. And I’d still like to be your friend.
Friends? I question with a bit of disbelief. I’m hurting and the sushi raw feelings are welling up. My heart is already on the ground somewhere back in front of that house. Friends? Well. I say. Well. I guess you can’t have everything.
So this is it? You’re breaking up with me? I just want to clarify the situation.
Yes. He sighs. I guess. I’m really sorry.