Bzzz. Her phone vibrated on the table.
She put it on the couch.
She turned on the television.
She turned it up.
She opened her iTunes. Then, a memory: Why do you want to listen to the TV with the stereo on? ‘Cause I like to party. She laughed. Then, frowned. Stupid movie.
Her phone went on bzzing.
She went on ignoring it.
She knew it wouldn’t solve anything. Pouting. This passive-aggressive payback. But it was certainly more satisfying than an honest confrontation. That would require an exhibition of vulnerability, and she had her shell firmly in place. No weakness there. At least, none she would show.
A text this time: Hey, are you OK?
She waited a few minutes. Then, Oh hey. Sorry, I didn’t hear it buzz. What’s up?
She looked at the screen: Ryan Seward calling…
Damn. It was harder to lie over the phone.
“Heyyy,” she drew it out, faking cheer and indifference.
“You are one hard lady to get a hold of, you know that?” he joked.
She laughed, “Yep.” Awkward pause. “I must not have heard it ring, I guess.”
“Sheesh.” He had no idea.
“Sooo, what’s up?”
“Just calling to say hello.” She could hear the shrug in his voice. “I wanted to hear your chipper voice.”
She laughed and kind of meant it.
“I sound like a five year old.”
“I like it.”
I like you. Or did. Or do.
But she said, “Why thank you.”
“So what are your plans this weekend?”
This time she shrugged, like he could see it. Then realized he couldn’t. “Nothing too exciting.”
“But you get to see me,” he said, like that should be something exciting.
“Ah, that is true,” she conceded.
“That should be the most exciting thing in your whole week,” he continued.
It might have been, she admitted silently, but then I realized it wasn’t yours.
“Of course, whatever was I thinking,” she said sarcastically.
“I have no idea. But you should try again.”
“Try what again?”
“Oh. Thanks.” And she rolled her eyes.
No big deal. Certainly not, that much is clear.
But they weren’t thinking of the same thing.
“So seriously, do I get to see you this weekend?”
If you can fit me in.
“I hope so,” is what she really said. But not so enthusiastically.
“Well, I am going to a basketball game Friday—do you want to come?”
Of course I want to tag along. Like a puppy. Like a cute little puppy. Precious.
And if I said no? Then what? See you around?
“Sweet,” he said.
“Well, I am going to grab a bite to eat… I’ll talk to you later?”
“Sounds good. OK, see ya.” She hung up.
My dear Ryan,
I would like to thank you for reminding me to catch myself when I start to fall. Muchas gracias, mi amigo.