Yesterday marked an important day in my relationship with The Neighbor. On our balconies at lunch, with bathing beauties below, we talked over our railings.
“It turns out I can’t hang out tomorrow night,” he said as he pressed his lower half through the bars, his sleeping bulge noticeable to my watchful eye. “I have a date.”
My heart skipped. “Oh, wow. Good for you. Is it with Vanilla Ice?”
“No. It’s a new girl.”
“Cool. Where’d you meet her?” I was afraid I’d overstepped my bounds, but my natural curiosity won out. I shouldn’t have worried.
“Well, if you get done with your date early, stop on by after.” He snorted at the idea and smiled uncomfortably. “What??” I asked innocently, beaming my brightest smile at him while I leaned over the bars to fully expose my cleavage. “My dates end early. What time was I home last night?”
“True. Ok, I’ll do that.”
I tried to be as cool as humanly possible — I knew this admission had been hard for him and I was proud of him for stepping up and letting me know — but the vice-like feel on my heart reminded me that this hurt. Can I really handle this?
Of course, I have zero hope whatsoever that I’ll get a knock on my door tonight and I have to bend the universe of my heart to accept the reality. I won’t lie — I can barely swallow. The idea of loving someone with whom you have no future and watching them look for a future with someone else is a new kind of torment, but I’ve made my decision and I’m sticking with it until I feel certain it’s time to walk away. And today is still not that day.