pancakes and pain

I dropped my mother at work and sat in the parking lot waiting for him to arrive. As each minute passed, I thought about driving away.

The last time I saw him, we had a sweet and innocent afternoon. He had been upset about his kids. I came over, we had a cup of coffee. I let him vent. I kissed him, and I left so he could finish getting ready for work. He winked at me as I quietly closed his door.

I sat there thinking that if that scene had to be the last time I saw him, so be it. Yes, I would miss him. Yes, I’d be tempted to see him again. But, as a last memory goes, it’s much better than a tear strewn goodbye or a slammed door.

I could pull out of the parking lot and go on with my day.

But, I know he’s been working 7 am- 2pm and 3pm – 12am every day and he woke up early on his only day off to meet me for breakfast. Guilt. It gets me every time.

We hugged hello and goodbye. Some laughs in between, a lot of catching up. We danced around a couple subjects, leaving things unsaid, questions unanswered.

I ate my breakfast and listened to his stories, smiling at all the appropriate times. I kept my digs to a minimum and tried to keep things in our familiar zone.

I did not cry. I did not flinch when he touched my hand. I didn’t roll my eyes when he talked about his new love interest.  I did not throw myself at him as we stood outside his car.

Ok, fine.

I wanted to do all these things but I do have some self-control.

We drove opposite directions in the pouring rain. Minutes after we parted, I called.

“Do you love her?”

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