Musical Chairs

Despite the fact that I think our last date was a complete disaster I agreed to see Scott again when he called me yesterday.  And now I’m regretting it.

Josh and I were talking when he called, and Josh told me I should just be honest with him about not wanting to see him again, but he asked me out to see a movie I’d mentioned wanting to see.  I’m weak. I waffled.  Maybe I was feeling optimistic.

Really, I just didn’t want to hurt his feelings.  He is so nice, and going to a movie’s not really a date.  You’re in a darkened theater sitting next to someone.  It could be anyone.  You might as well be alone.  It doesn’t change the experience.  Really, it’s a non-date.  Still, I don’t want to even go on a non-date with this guy.

I call him to break the date, and he’s totally cool about it.  He’s so cool, that I catch myself wondering why I’m breaking the date in the first place.  But I remind myself to be strong.  Best to cut these things off before they go too far.  I tell him that I’m stressed out because of work, not a complete lie.

As a matter of fact, as I’m getting off the phone with him, I realize that I am really stressed, and I just want to get out of town.  I call Josh.

“Hey!  How’s your day?” I ask.

“Good,” he says.  “How was yours?”

“Good,” I say and think, To hell with the formalities. “What are you doing the last weekend of the month?”

“Um, I really haven’t planned that far ahead,” he says.  “What do you have in mind?”

“Well, I really need to get out of town,” I say.

“Is everything okay?”

“Yes,” I say. “No.  I don’t know.  I just really need to get out of here.”

“Do you know how much a plane ticket to Portland will cost?”

“No,” and then, “It doesn’t matter.”

He’s quiet for a minute and then says, “Well, if you want to do it, I’ll make myself available.”

“Okay.  I’ll check on flights,” I say.

“I’ll see what the kids have going on,” he says.

I get home and check the flights.  I can get a flight out of Tampa on Southwest much cheaper than I thought.  Josh has taken his daughter swimming, and I wait for him to call before I buy the ticket.  And I wait.

Two hours later, I send him a text:  “R U still swimming? Or R U thinking?”

“Thinking,” is what he sends back.

We always do this.  We both agree that we’d be good together, but one of us always backs out.

In a way, I’m glad, because I know he loves me and doesn’t want to screw up what we’ve got, which is pretty great.  And I don’t want to screw it up, either.  Plus, I know what’s motivating this sudden urge to get out of town.  I know what will happen if I fly out to see him.  And I know that it’s not worth it.

I have to wonder, though, just how long you can dance around something before the song finally ends.

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