Alone on a Saturday night. That wasn’t the original plan.
Nathan sounds sincerely apologetic as he breaks our date. Of course, his hushed tones may have more to do with where he’s breaking the news to me – in the medical library where I work.
“Mom’s having a party that night, and I thought you’d feel out of place.”
I hope he works on those people skills before he completes his internship. Still, I’m forgiving. Maybe there’s more to this story.
As it turns out, there is. My friend, Peter, says Nathan broke the date with me to go out with Betty, a co-worker.
Peter just arches his eyebrows in surprise.
OK. I get it. Betty’s drop-dead gorgeous.
Still, I am really more hurt than I let on. It doesn’t help that Betty and I work in the same office. Really! He could have cast his net a little further.
A few weekends later, my friend, Patty, tells me Nathan called while I was out, and he wants me to call back. Delighted at first, I am about to call. Then, I hesitate. Patty and I already have plans to go on a picnic with friends.
“G’wan, call him,” Patty taunts.
“And let you have my share of the corn on the cob? No way.”
“What a jerk I am,” I mutter.
“No argument here,” Patty shoots back. “But what are you talking about?”
“Oh, nothing. Just something I forgot,” I say making light of my outburst.
What slipped my mind until that moment is why Nathan picked this particular weekend to call me. Betty is out of town.
On Monday, Nathan is playful, acting hurt when he sees me at work.
“I called you Saturday,” he said.
“Oh, that’s right. I was halfway to a picnic with a couple of guys before I remembered,” I say, not quite trying to sound sincere.
“You hurt my feelings,” he says, trying to look crushed.
“It works both ways.”
I could tell he didn’t have a clue. I doubt he would care, even if he did know what I’m talking about.
Betty told everyone that she was typing papers for Nathan’s classes in exchange for a ride home that summer. But, when the time came, he only drove her to the airport.
In the fall, I spot him as he descends the stairwell. He is tanned and tall, leaning against the wall.
“Hi. How are you?” he says, bouncy and breezy, as if we see one another daily. I am equally friendly and casual.
“Oh. By the way,” he says almost apologetically, “do you think you’d be able to type my papers this semester?”
Why am I not surprised? But my response, still cheerful, floors him.
“Oh. I don’t think I’ll have time. I’m taking two classes on the hill this semester, and working, too.”
“Why don’t you have Betty type them up?” I suggest.
His jaw nearly hit the stairs. Until that moment, he never knew I knew.
“Uh! No. She did such a lousy job,” he stammers lamely. “I don’t want to ask her again.”
“Oh. Too bad. Well good luck,” and I leave him in mid-sentence on the stairwell and join my friends.
(This is a true story. Nathan and Betty’s names have been changed.)
COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-15. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider, earth-rider.com, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Main Photo – Judy at party1
Photo – picnic – table with corn http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/95/Lifetime_Picnic_Table.jpg/300px-Lifetime_Picnic_Table.jpg
Photo – Judy with friends at party – Peter and Debbie (who he later married) is seated right behind me. I am in the first row, on left, in the metallic silver suit.