choices

Last night after a rainy bootcamp I met my friend, Carla at a bar/restaurant around the corner for dinner and drinks. I hadn’t seen her in ages so it was good to catch up. Lee had asked me (enough times for me to notice something might be up) if I was still meeting my friend that night.

“My plans haven’t changed since the last 3 times you asked”, I wanted to say. I couldn’t figure out if she was a little jealous or if she was coming down with an early case of dementia.

“Let her be jealous”, I thought as I stripped off my wet workout clothes in the car.

“It serves her right after what she pulled the other day”, pulling on warm, dry clothes and getting out of the car right as my friend pulled up.

Last week Lee said she had texted muscle head a ‘happy birthday’ and that she never heard back anything. I thought ‘who the f*ck cares’ but just played the dense blonde role and said, “Huh? OH, you mean that Florida gal. I’d forgotten all about her.” (Other than the fact that blondes have more fun it’s also a useful tool for acting dense or blaming something on a ‘blonde moment’.)

“Yeah, and she’s supposed to be coming here and doing that race this weekend with her friends but I didn’t get an invite.”

“Were you planning on going?”

“I don’t’ know. Do you mind if I go?”

“No, do what you want.” and walked out of the room to do some chore so she wouldn’t see that look in my eyes.  I’ve been told by people who know me that when I get pissed off or mad I can stop traffic with that look.

That weekend I taught a class and Lee said she’d be out on Saturday afternoon to watch and meet my co-instructor (as she met her gf several times before when we were working together).  At three she pulled up while we were on the range teaching. It had been one of those days and we were running behind. I was in a bit of a foul mood because the school we share the site with had messed up our schedule for the day and we had been playing catch up. Lee walked up behind me under the shade structure and I talked to her over my shoulder as I watched my group ride.

“I can only stay a little bit and then I have to get back and put the wet clothes in the laundry and tend to the cats.”

I wondered in passing what her hurry was as when I left her that morning to go to work she was sleeping peacefully in my bed and hadn’t said anything about having any plans for that day. I just assumed she had been hanging out at the house all day doing laundry and relaxing. Later, after we let class out I texted her and told her I was on my way home. Fully intending to find her car parked in the carport when I got there I was surprised to not see it there. I got out of the truck, unlocked the door and went inside and fed the cat. He ate as I popped open a cold beer. I put the bottle up to the side of my head before taking a long pull. It had been a hard day. Several people had dropped their bikes and we were behind going in to Sunday. My co-instructor and I would have to haul @ss the next day. Just then Lee walked in.  

After a hug she said, “So, did you just get home?”

“Yes, we got out late tonight. Let’s go outside and sit a bit before I take a shower.”

I wanted to sit down badly since I had been on my feet all day and they were hurting. Lee popped open a cider and we went outside and sat down. After catching her up on my day she held out an arm and said, “I got burnt today.”

Realizing that I had no idea what she did that day I asked.

“Oh, I went to that race and saw Florida.”

I suddenly saw red and composed myself before saying, “Oh, I didn’t realize that you had decided to go.”

“I know. I didn’t want to tell you because I knew you were having a shitty day and didn’t want you to be in a fizz about it all day.”

“You know me well, then.” I said, smiling.  

True – with the day I had I would have been more and more pissed off as the day wore on and probably by the time I got home that night I would have called her and told her not to come over and that I didn’t want to see her. I realized that I had a choice right then and there to either be pissed off at her about it or to use it to my advantage and decided on the later. I could probably get anything I wanted right then because I thought I detected a note of guilt in her voice when she said she went.

I casually asked how it went, if she saw Florida, if she talked to her and if Florida’s new gf was there. It was a ‘yes’ to all.

“Florida’s new gf acted really strange around me. I was trying to talk to her but she was a little standoffish.”

I started laughing and said, “She was probably pissed that you were there. Plus, Florida’s probably in hot water because you showed up.”

“Yeah, maybe I shouldn’t have gone.”

“Why did you go?”

“Because I wanted us to be friends again.”

“You know that’s never going to happen, right? That the reason she wanted to be your ‘friend’ before was because there was some chance that she could be with you.”

“I know but why can’t we be friends? We had so much of a connection before.”

“Sweetheart”, I said in a mildly patronizing voice, “that connection was her wanting to get in your pants. Now that you’re off the market she doesn’t want to ‘just be friends’ “.

I see what you’re saying but she doesn’t have to act like she’s mad at me.”

“She’s not mad at you she’s mad because she didn’t get you.” I put my hand under her chin and gently tilted her head up until her eyes were looking directly in mine before saying, “You’re a catch, Lee[-full-name] and I’m so lucky you chose me.”

She smiled back and after some time said, “Me too. Now where do you want to go for dinner? My treat and when we get back I’m going to give you a foot massage before bed.”

Yep, I’m glad I chose the latter.

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