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SEQUEL: To Hoping for the Best.
Logistics of a Relationship
All the necessary arrangements have been made, and I have even chosen an equidistant meeting location to represent how much I want a partnership. A friend has loaned me her Rhode Island seaside cottage for the weekend, and I've got a fully stocked fridge and wine cellar. Now, I just have to wait to see if Kelly shows up.
I wouldn't blame her if she didn't bother coming after the horrible way I treated her when she first told me she loved me. It's just that commitment scares the hell out of me, and there were so many different things to consider, our careers, our age difference, my freedom, and mainly, my fear of relationships.
I kept asking myself the same question over and over again. Why would she want me?
I'm self-centered, arrogant, focused, and sometimes downright mean. What does someone like Kelly see in me? We couldn't be more polar opposite if we tried.
Pouring myself a glass of wine and grabbing my sunglasses, I walk out on the back deck and sit facing the water. My mind wanders back to last week when I made my unexpected visit to New Hampshire.
I knew the minute I saw those papers on the floor that Kelly was in trouble. My heart was beating out of my chest as I practically ran down the hall to find her. When I saw her on the floor, I almost pulled out my phone and dialed 911, but her slight movement stopped my actions.
Instead, I opted for the part of sympathetic lover even though I wasn't sure she would allow me to touch her, but she leaned into my touch just as she always did, and I couldn't help but whisper in her ear. The look on her face told me immediately that I was the last person she expected to see.
When I noted her pale skin, I knew I had to get her home, and my apology speech was going to have to wait. I'd never seen her so ill, and it looked as though she had lost quite a bit of weight since I last saw her.
Once I got her home and into bed, I found her medicine and went to the kitchen to try to find something light for her to eat, but just about every cabinet was bare. I remember thinking, 'Oh Kelly, what are you doing to yourself?'
She took her pills and managed a few bites of the crackers I found, but insisted if she ate more, she would be sick so I stripped off her clothes and helped her under the covers. She didn't protest when I crawled in beside her and spooned her from behind. I did quite a bit of some soul searching as I held my sick lover that morning.
And damn Branch and his fucking bad timing. I had to wake my groggy lover and tell her that I had to leave. There was a break in the Vincente case, and I had to get back immediately. Nothing had changed. It looked as if I was running away again.
Even when I kissed her and told her I loved her, I'm not sure Kelly believed me, and I would imagine when she woke later she may have thought she was hallucinating again.
I thought I'd make one more attempt to win her back by setting this romantic weekend up. I've talked to Branch, and he's willing to hire her back if she's interested. If not, I'm willing to go the long distance route if she's still wants to try.
Hours pass and the sun starts to set, and still no Kelly. Well at least there's plenty of wine for me to cry my sorrows into. I'll have a nice quiet, drunken weekend and then go home alone. Serves me right too. I let the best thing in my life slip right between my fingers.
I put my hands on the side of the chair to push myself up when a shadow comes around the corner of the house. Kelly steps into view and makes her way up the steps to the deck with her overnight bag in her hand.
Smiling, she says, "Hello, lover."
I once again make the move to stand, but she holds up her hand as she walks toward me. Sinking back into the chair, I wait for her to make the first move.
"I have something I'd like to ask you," Kelly explains as she drops her bag next to me and then proceeds to straddle my chair and more importantly, me.
"Yes?" I somehow manage to squeak out as my lover shifts her weight fully onto me.
"Did you tell me you loved me the day you came to see me or did I dream the whole thing?" She asks as she moves her hands up to remove my sunglasses so that she can look directly into my eyes.
"Yes, I did, and yes I do. I love you, Kelly Gaffney." I respond with as much honesty and sincerity as I possibly can.
Tears fill her eyes, and she begins to cry. Sitting up, I pull her into a tight embrace and hope with everything I am that these are tears of joy.
Kelly finally relaxes in my arms, and I slowly pull back so that I can properly gauge her reaction to my next words.
"Kelly, I have several things to say, and I'd like for you to listen until I've finished. Can you do that?" I ask as I brush the few remaining tears from her cheeks.
She gives me a nod so I begin the speech I intended for her to hear last week except I have added a new addendum to it.
"I've been a fool, Kelly. I got scared when you told me you loved me. I thought it would change everything, and you know how much I hate change. Instead of talking to you about my fears, I pushed you away and was a total bitch. I never dreamed you would leave, and when Arthur came in and told me you had resigned, I didn't know what to do. I should have gone after you; I know that now. I'm sorry it took me so long to come to my senses. I don't have any excuses except that I made a huge mistake, and I would give anything to do it all over again and tell you I love right back instead of leaving you alone in my bedroom. I'd like to try this relationship with the words this time. So if you're willing to give me another chance, I'm going to be the first to say them. I love you with all my heart, Kelly Gaffney."
The waterworks begin once again, and I'm at a loss as to what she is thinking. I've just poured my heart out to her, and damn it, I want to know how she feels about it. I close my eyes and breathe deeply; patience has never been one of my virtues.
Hands on my face force me to reopen my eyes. Kelly is sporting a huge smile on her face and leans in for a quick kiss.
Releasing my lips, she says, "I love you too, baby, and I'm sure you've got all kinds of ideas about the logistics of this relationship, but we've got all weekend to discuss it. Right now, I'm interested in where we're going to sleep."
Hesitating until the two by four hits me upside the head, I lift Kelly up and stand beside her. Grabbing her bag, I take her hand and lead her to the master bedroom.
Kelly's right. Logistics can wait.
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