“Sorry,” I follow up, much softer. “I just want to know.”
Scott sighs again, still not meeting my eyes. At least I don’t think he is but it’s hard to tell sometimes over video. “I just don’t get how you can move to Austin but not move here.”
I sit up, a sick feeling coating my stomach. “When I was out there, you said that Austin would be good for me.”
He goes back to wiping the counter, it obviously becoming his way to look busy so he doesn’t have to face me. “I still think that. You just said that your life was in Texas, like Kirstie and your dad and your job, but you’re moving away from all of that anyway.”
“Scott, what did I tell you? You don’t get to have it both ways. You don’t get to leave and then just rely on me to give in to your whims.”
That irritates him. I can tell because his hand stops wiping and it looks like there’s a kink in his neck. “You don’t have to speak to me like I’m a child, Mitch.” Strained pause. “So you’re not going to move out here because you’re being petty?”
He continues, “I thought you forgave me for that anyway.”
“I did. But that still doesn’t mean you were right.”
“I can’t keep having this conversation. If you don’t want to move out here, don’t.”
I hang up on him. My thumb was hovering above the button with the way I was holding my phone anyway, but when he said that, I just hit it on impulse.
Trying to act like somewhat of a good adult, I text him. I actually do feel bad.
Me: srry, didnt mean to hang up on u
He doesn’t respond, and that’s what makes me angry.
The next day, I hear back about the apartment. I got it. I begin the process of transferring my current apartment officially to the next person (someone who answered my online ad).
Me: got the apartment. not sure if u care but thought i should let u know.
Scott: Of course I care! Congratulations. Can I have the address?
Suspiciously, I reply with it, and he follows up by asking when I’ll be moved in. I tell him hopefully within the next few weeks.
Also, can I just mention that he is being unreasonably positive since we didn’t even say goodnight to each other last night?
Scott: I’m expecting a full Facetime tour of it once you move in
Me: absolutely theres no way u could even get out of that if u tried
So I think that the fight is over. Who knows with us though.
A few days later, we Facetime while I start packing up the smaller stuff I won’t need until I move in.
“So… you really don’t want to move here, huh?” Scott breathes out.
“What do you mean?” I ask. I know what he means, but I’m stalling.
He shrugs. “It’s just, like… torture for me to sit here and watch you pack and knowing that it’s not to come spend the rest of your life with me.”
“If you really want me, you’ll find a way.”
He chuckles. “Gosh, you really are something.”
I wink at him as stupidly as I possibly can and he only laughs harder. I feel this tinge in my heart, like I should be with him. My brain hurts from overthinking this so much. I honestly don’t know the right answer. Is he right? Am I just being petty?
At night I lay in my bed, and I feel so lonely. Now that I’ve been spoiled by feeling Scott’s warm body next to mine covered in a huge comforter, I really notice how uncomfortable this bed is and how alone I am. I’m just moving to Austin to feel the same amount of friendlessness I do now. But I really don’t want to move all the way to Illinois. I’m comfortable here in Texas. Scott and I should move somewhere new together, if anything. Moving to him seems like such a powerless move. Not that it matters, nor is that the only reason I’m hesitant. Just moving there and instantly in with him… so many things could go wrong. And then my whole entire life would just be wrapped in him… and Lindsey needs him. We would both be dependent on him… I’m making the right choice. I can wait this out. Pffft, three years is nothing, right?
But what if he doesn’t love me in three years?
Before I know it, I’m moving into my new apartment near Austin. It occurs to me as I’m unpacking that maybe I’m trying to fill a void that can’t be filled with anything but love and people. Maybe even more.
But like, now I need to go find a place to get food. I start work next week. Things are moving really fast, and I know these are all my decisions, but it seems like I’m just standing in the middle of everything swirling around me. Just imagining it makes me dizzy.
After unpacking a few boxes, I head out to find a grocery store and start with the staple things that I need to live on. I go through a drive thru and order the healthiest-seeming item they have on the menu, and then I arrive back at my apartment to see that there’s a package waiting for me. I immediately start thinking about how odd it is to already have a package on my first day until I see that the return label has Scott’s name on it. A smile spreads across my face as I hurry inside to open the box.
I grab the scissors that I left on the floor after unpacking countless other boxes and slice open the tape to reveal the contents. My phone buzzes in my pocket, and even though it’s probably Scott, I ignore it for now.
Under some protective bubble wrap lies a framed photo of us from the skydeck in Chicago. The one where I’m leaning my head against his shoulder. I stare at it fondly then set it to the side to see what else is in the box. There are two unmarked envelopes and then some food such as crackers, fruit snacks, and granola bars.
I open the first envelope which has a folded note inside.
I hope you enjoy your housewarming gift. I know it isn’t much, but we can really celebrate once we have a place of our own ;)
I love that picture of us from Chicago. I have a matching one here at my apartment in the same frame and everything so we can be looking at the same thing.
I hug the note to my chest. Lately I haven’t been letting myself feel how much I miss him. Whenever I do it just leads to a spiral of sadness. But seeing his handwriting scrawl out “forever yours” makes me melt. I wonder if my handwriting would do the same to him.
I open the second envelope to find a similar-sized note from Lindsey.
Scott is making me write this. He’s been making me do a lot of things. Like therapy. Which he said was your idea. So thanks for that.
Anyway, I still miss you, even though I’m mad you thought I needed therapy. My therapist says that must say a lot about how I act. So again, thanks.
P.S. okay it’s been a day and I’m not completely sorry for this whole note but I thought I should mention that Scott had me write you this right after my appointment so I was a little upset. I really do miss you, and I’ll probably keep you updated on if therapy helps. Which I doubt. But Scott tells me to have an open mind so… I’m trying.
The sequence of emotions I have while reading that go offended, to soft, to chuckling, to happy. Overall, the note sounds just like Lindsey which is more valuable than some fakey note that she might’ve written with Scott looking over her shoulder.
I take out the food, laughing and shaking my head at the randomness of the items, and just before I’m about to put the last batch away, I see a note on the bottom of the box in Scott’s handwriting.
You said I’d find a way. So here’s my start.