When I walk into my apartment, I feel an overwhelming sense of loneliness. Even with the television on it feels empty. After living with someone for almost a week, it feels weird to not have anyone laughing in the kitchen or even slamming the door to their bedroom.
I decide to shower off the plane germs and throw in a load of laundry. Get my own life started again.
Then I just sit on the couch and stare ahead at nothing. Like there’s nothing to look forward to. Like I just wasted so many years of my life and I’m about to waste three more. Like I have absolutely no idea why I ever thought going after a married man was a good idea. I shake my head to rid myself of the thoughts when they become too much and grab my phone. Scott texted me an hour ago, but my phone is still on silent from the plane.
Scott: Home safe?
Me: yep, srry
Scott: How was the flight?
Me: fine. boring
Scott: Well, I miss you so much already. You’re even better than I remembered.
My heart pounds. Because I promised him that I could wait three years. But right now I feel just so… dead and lonely that part of me thinks it would be better if I just cut it off now. If I just told him now that I don’t think I can live three more years without him… that maybe we should move on… would it be easier? Or would I kick myself for years saying that he finally loves me and I gave that all up for inconvenience?
Probably the latter. Since I’ve already been doing that for five years.
But I shouldn’t have to be the one to suffer the consequences of this and somehow I am.
Me: i miss u too. wish i could have stayed even longer
Scott: Yeah, like forever preferably
Me: yeah. like forever.
It doesn’t take me long to find an apartment near Austin I like. I make the drive there to check it out, apply for it, and wait. And while Scott and I have laughed a lot over Facetime for the past month, we have our first argument since I got back over it, too.
“So… you’re moving to Austin?” He asks changing the subject from bakery advertising, phone leaning against something on his counter while he cleans up the kitchen. Dinner just ended and Lindsey retreated to her room as quickly as possible.
I nod. “Um, it’s about a half an hour outside of it, but yeah.”
“Isn’t that kind of far from your dad?” He uses the scrubby side of the sponge to get some dried spaghetti sauce off the counter.
I flip onto my back, Scott probably seeing ugly angles of me as I do so. Holding the phone right above my face with one hand and playing with my hair with the other, I answer, “Yeah, it’s pretty far.”
He pauses, not looking at me while he mindlessly washes one spot on the counter, but I don’t think anything is actually there. When he glances up at me and then looks immediately back to the sponge, I know something is wrong.
“What?” I ask, genuinely curious. “What are you thinking about?”
He sighs. “I don’t want to say.”
“Something is obviously bothering you about me moving to Austin, so just say it.” I think it comes out more defensive than I mean it to, but I just feel so proud that I’m finally making this decision for myself. And it’s truly for myself this time.