I’m sure we’ve all been there. The phone rings late at night. The message is short, but the tears and talk go on well past midnight.
“I’m late," You heart stops. "A week late.”
Fade back in time to three weeks ago. You and your girlfriend are visiting friends over the long Memorial Day weekend. The barbecue and beers that Saturday night were chased by more beers and, if you remember correctly, tequila. Lots of tequila.
The beer and tequila were later chased by lots of mad, passionate drunken sex.
And now, three weeks later, she’s out of town visiting her parents for a few days.
“What are we going to do?” The question brings you back to the present.
“Are you sure?” you ask.
“It’s been a week. I could be.”
“Come back tomorrow, we’ll talk about it together.”
The goodbye lasts almost as long as the call. You tell each other “I love you” too many times to count.
And then you hang up.
Sleep comes fitfully, if at all. Did you even sleep? It doesn’t matter when the alarm goes off, you still have to get up and go to work.
A quick call to make sure she’s OK and still coming back that afternoon.
“Meet me at work,” you say. “I’ll leave when you get here and we can talk.”
The morning seems to stretch toward infinity, like you’re on the event horizon of a black hole. One more step...
Lunch comes and goes. The next two hours are spent checking your watch every 10 minutes. Every five minutes.
Then, just before three, you’re outside taking a smoke break with some friends and you see her car pull up. Your heart races and your hands shake as she pulls into a spot just across from you.
She gets out looking more beautiful than you remember (khaki shorts and a blue tank) and your eyes meet.
She sees the look on your face and bites her lip. And smiles.
“Sorry I’m late,” she says, then laughs after she realizes what she’s said. “I had to stop on the way down and buy some tampons.”