Driving home, I wonder what went wrong over dinner, to change Mr. Faraway’s demeanor so much, so quickly, and cause our evening to end with a dismissive goodbye. I think maybe I said something to offend, but I cannot imagine what it might have been. More likely, I think, he simply realized that there must be someone better out there: someone more thin, or more reserved, or younger, or blond, or whatever it was that he suddenly realized that he really wanted that I was not.
Things often seen wonderful onscreen and then disappoint in person.
But none of this feels quite right, and I can’t put my finger on it. I decide maybe I should say something, so I decide perhaps a simple text message saying thank you might help me figure it out. If he ignores it, then I know something happened, though I might never know what. If he replies, then I’ll deal with whatever comes. At least I’ll know, I tell myself.
It’s late, and I’m driving, and there’s no traffic at all, so I manage to hit green light after green light in a way that doesn’t seem possible. I finally pull off the main road for a moment, and park on the side just long enough to text: Thank you.
I start to head home and try to think about anything else. How fun it is to drive when there’s no other traffic. I zip across the bridge from Seattle toward my house.
My phone pings, then pings again.
I can’t read them with the car moving, and there’s noplace I can stop. I get home quickly, though, and say goodnight to The Child, and then check my phone.
Thank you, he replied, that was fun! He was delighted to discover I was familiar with the movie Battleship Potemkin.
I texted back: I was a film major, it was an important movie … and I enjoyed the evening very much.
And a few minutes later, he replies again, telling me what a delight it all was, and what a wonderful companion he had.
The following afternoon, he texts again, just to let me know how much he enjoyed our dinner, and thanking me.
I reply, I should be the one thanking you – I hope we can do it again sometime.
This time, though, he does not reply.