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"Don't feel bad Tom, it's just as much my fault as yours. I got caught up in the moment just like you did. It's obvious that there are still feelings between us, the question is what do we do about them?""I certainly don't want to cause any complications for you Linda, that is not my intention. If being my friend is all you can do right now, then I'm okay with that. Does that work for you?""Maybe it would be best if we kept our contact to the telephone for the time being, to avoid any further complications.-
"If that's what you feel comfortable with Linda, that's okay with me too. So we're okay now?"continued Tom. "Yeah, we're okay; as okay as we're going to be"said Linda chuckling. "Ha, ha, glad to see you still have that old sense I humor that I remember so well.""I try,"said Linda, "it makes life a little easier to handle. Besides, I'd rather laugh than cry""I agree,"said Tom, "I try to use the same approach in my life. Well, I should get going now, talk to you soon okay?""Okay,"said Linda, "take care, talk soon.-
After Tom pulled away from the house, Linda went to the fridge for a drink; man did she need one. This was the last thing she needed right now, was old feelings for Tom resurfacing. Then again, maybe it was just what she needed. As she sat down in the living room to enjoy her cooler, her mind drifted back to the last summer that she and Tom had spent together. They had enjoyed every moment of their time together; going to the theatre, book signings, car show; those were the days. How she longed for those days to return.
What she remembered most about those times, was how good it felt to have someone that she felt so comfortable talking to. It's really priceless to have that sort of rapport with someone; to feel so at ease, that you can just be yourself. She wished that she had more female friends, but she didn't. She didn't seem to be able to forge bonds with females anymore. She had a few female friends, but they weren't as close as she would have liked. It seemed to be easier for her to make friends with men, that's just way it was.
Of course this had caused her a great deal of complication in her life that she would rather have done without. She often had mixed up feelings about men, their intentions, and what her feelings should be toward them. Being friends with women would have been much less complicated, but then again maybe not. If they were as sensitive as she was at times, it would just mean more frustration for her. What could she do though, she had a difficult time making friends period lately. She wondered at times what was wrong with her, it shouldn't be this difficult.
John showed up for dinner just as planned, even though she would have much rather spent the evening alone. It was a quiet evening for the two of them, with fewer words than usual exchanged. This was a blessing at times, at other times it was extremely uncomfortable for her. He enquired as to what was on her mind, because she seemed distant. "Oh nothing,"she replied, not wanting to reveal what was really on her mind. "Why don't we go for a walk and get some fresh air,"said John, "I think it would do both of us good.-
Linda enjoyed going for walks, but she preferred to go by herself, because it was time she used to clear her mind. It was a cool evening, with a light fragrant breeze wafting through the air. The sun was still shining brightly overhead, and a few clouds were floating by in the light blue sky. There was a park not too far from Linda's house, and this is where the two of them walked to tonight. It was a quiet little park, not used by many people, but this was a good thing when you wanted some peace and quiet.
They strolled slowly through the park, not saying much at all. John asked Linda if she would like to sit down for a moment and enjoy the scenery. She said "okay,"and they proceeded to sit down on a bench overlooking a lush wooded area. There were a few quiet moments a first, then nervously, John started speaking. "Linda,"he started, "I know that things have been a little rough between us lately and I really do want to try to put things right. You many not believe that but I hope this will show you how serious I am.-
John proceeded to drop down on one knee, pulling a box out of his pocket, and proceeded to propose to Linda, saying, "Linda, how would you like to get married?"Linda's jaw dropped; literally, this was the last thing that she was expecting John to do. She was floored to say the very least. "Oh my god,"said Linda, "this is certainly a surprise, you sure do know how to catch a girl off guard! I don't know what to say, this isn't something that we've talked about and I really haven't thought about it to tell you the truth.-
John was taken aback by Linda's response. He knew the proposal was a risky venture, but he took the chance just the same, hoping for the best. "So,"said John nervously, "what are you saying exactly, are you saying no?"He thought he knew the answer to the question already, but had to hear it from her. "John,"said Linda, "I'm saying that I don't think that it is a possibility for us right now, I am sorry but I just don't feel that it is. I'm sorry if that hurts you, but I have to be honest with you."
Linda continued, saying "you springing this on me doesn't make everything right between us. We've had more than our share of issues, and a marriage proposal doesn't tell me that things will get better, it tells me that you're looking for a way to get me to stick around. "Is that what you think,"replied John, visibly agitated, "why don't you give me a chance to prove myself, instead of just jumping to conclusions right off the bat. I care about you Linda, and I want to make things work. I can't explain it, but there's just something about you.-
"There's just something about me, what does that mean? Is that what this proposal is based on?""Of course it's not what it's based on. When I say there's something about you, it means that I love you, your ways, and your personality.""Listen,"continued Paul, "it sounds like you need some time to digest this, so I'm not going to pressure you about it, just take your time with it Linda.""I think that you've misunderstood me John, I don't need time to think about it, the answer is no, it's not something I'm prepared to do right now.-
"So where does that leave me,"asked John. "Where do we go from here? I'd really like to know, because I'm at a loss.""Well,"said Linda, "this certainly changes things in a way that I hadn't anticipated. I'm unsure about where to go from here myself. Maybe we both need some time to think things through, does that sound like a plan to you?""Do I really have a choice,"replied John, "because I don't think that I do considering that you just turned down my proposal flat out. I don't know if we even have a future anymore.-
"Well, if that's the case then, isn't it better that we find out sooner instead of later,"said Linda. "Is that how you actually feel, that we don't have a future?"asked John. "Be honest with me Linda."Linda hesitated for a moment, trying to think of how to phrase her response so as not to hurt John quite so much. She hated this, but knew that the time would come; it was just a gut feeling she had always had. That didn't made saying it to him any easier though, it had to be done, and she knew it.
"To be honest with you, no, I don't. I've felt that way for awhile now, but I guess I was hoping that things would get better with some time and effort. We had great times in the beginning, and I'm so tired of going from relationship to relationship. I wanted to really put an effort into making this one work, but maybe it's not meant to be. I'm sorry, but that's how I really feel. I wish things were different, because now this is just another failure for me, and I am so tired of experiencing failure in my life.-
"Maybe it would be a good idea for us to chill for a while, and see what happens. The time apart will help us to get some perspective.""If that's what you want to do Linda, I'll go along with it, but it won't be easy. I appreciate your honesty with me, even though it was hard to hear. I wish I would have tried a little harder or maybe I should say a lot harder and things may have worked out differently. Too late to go back now though, I guess I'll have some time to think about that.-
"Life is all about learning,"said Linda, "sometimes learning our lessons is harder than others, but learning is what it's all about, trust me; I've made enough mistakes to know that. It's how we grow as individuals; from our experiences. That's what makes us who we are. Enough of that deep thought though, I'm sure that I'm the last person that you want to hear a lecture from right now.""That's okay, said John, "I didn't think you were lecturing me, just telling it like it is, you're good at that, always were. That's something I've always liked about you.-
"You can still give me a compliment at a time like this. Thank you, I appreciate that. I'm sorry about all this, but maybe it'll all work out for the best. Do you want to head back now?""Yeah,"said John, let's do that, I should get going."The walk back to Linda's house seemed longer than usual, and with good reason. It had to be done, and she did it even though it was uncomfortable for her. The trick now would be following through and sticking with the plan to take some time apart; that would be the challenge.
"Hello Sam,"said Linda, "do you have a few minutes to talk?""Sure hun, what's up, replied Sam. "Are you sitting down, because what I'm about to tell you will probably stun you as much as it did me.""What happened, did you win the lottery or something, said Sam. "No, I wish, John proposed to me tonight,"Linda continued, "how does that grab you?" "Grab me,"said Sam, "you've got that right! Oh my god, what did you say?""I had to say no even though I felt horrible doing it, I was completely stunned and taken off guard.-
"Holy crap,"said Sam. "I can't even believe you are telling me this! How did he take it when you turned him down?""Not too bad, considering,"said Linda, "we're going to take some time apart to try to sort things out. I think it's for the best. Oh yeah, and by the way, guess who stopped by after you left earlier today? Too slow, it was Tom.""What a day you've had girl, I think that we need to go out for a drink, on me - no arguing, we're going, and I'm coming over to pick you up now!-
Sam was off the phone before Linda had a chance to turn her down. Maybe she could use a drink or two; it had been a very interesting day to say the least! Sam pulled into the yard a few minutes later, and almost ran to the house. "Girl, there's never a dull moment with you is there! An old love and a proposal all in the same day!""Lucky me,"said Linda, "I wouldn't mind some boredom, how can I arrange that?""Oh stop it,"said Sam, "I should be so lucky, I have to live vicariously through you!-
"So,"said Sam, was there any spark when you saw John today?""Oh, you might say that,"replied Linda, "we kissed.""You did what?"replied Sam. "You heard me."said Linda, "we kissed, and I don't just mean a peck on the cheek.""Oh my god woman, could there be any more drama in your life?""I could stand a little less, that would be just fine with me trust me!""So do you think that anything is going to happen between you two now that you and John are taking a break?""Who knows,"said Linda, "who knows.-
"There's a million dollar question"said Linda, exasperated. "I'm really not sure, I think what I should do is just take some time to myself, of course following though with that is another thing all together.""You can do it girl, I'll help you through. We can have more girl time; I think it's a good thing. So, tell me more about this proposal. I can hardly even believe he did that! You couldn't have seen that coming, because I sure didn't. What was he thinking?""He was thinking of trying to hold onto me, that's what he was thinking!-
"And he actually thought that would work,"continued Sam. "Well apparently, he did ask, didn't he?"They pulled into the parking lot of the bar, the only good local bar anyway, and pulled into a spot near the building. It was Saturday night, so there would be a band tonight and hopefully lots of people and a good time. They got out of the car and started walking toward the door. As they were about to open the door, who, but Tom should come around the corner, looking very good as usual. This was going to be an interesting night.
"Fancy meeting you here Miss Linda,"said Tom. "I was just popping in to met a few old friends for some drinks.""You remember Sam, don't you Tom?""Of course I do"said Tom, "it's good to see you again Sam.""You too Tom,"said Sam. "Let's go in, shall we?"said Tom. "After you ladies.""Always a gentleman,"said Linda, "glad to see there are still some out there.""I try,"replied Tom. "I think it's the right thing to do. Besides, something has to set me apart from the rest of the pack. Competition is tough out there!-
"There are my buddies over there,' said Tom, waving in their direction. "I'm going to go and catch up with them, then maybe I'll pop over to your table for a drink, if you don't mind that is, and if you're still here of course.""Oh,"said Sam, "we'll still be here, you can count on that! "Okay then,"said Tom, smiling, "I'll catch you in a bit then." "Okay, see you later,"said Linda. As Tom walked toward his friends, Linda couldn't help but watch him walk away and realized that she really never had stopped caring for him.
"Let's get us some drinks girl and you can start telling me all the details of your very interesting day. I think it's going to be an interesting night as well, I think that much is written on the wall, said Sam, smiling at Linda. "Oh hush up,"said Linda, nothing's going to happen, remember what you said, you're going to help me to follow through with staying single for a while right?""Girl, if you set your mind on hooking up with someone tonight, I certainly can't stop you!""Thanks a lot, you're really helpful!""Anytime,"said Sam, "anytime!-
"Glad to know that I can count on you in a time of temptation, wow, I guess I am in big trouble!""Oh you'll be fine,"said Sam, "I won't let you do anything that I wouldn't do.""I guess I am safe then, considering the excitement level in your life honey,"chuckled Linda. "Okay, that's enough,"said Sam, "so tell me the details of Tom's visit earlier, and don't be leaving out any details either!""Well, things really weren't that interesting except for the initial butterflies when I opened the door and then the little incident at the end.-
"Little incident at the end, listen to you downplaying it already!""Oh I'm not downplaying it; I'm just trying to pretend that it didn't happen, that's all.""Oh, is that what that was,"chuckled Sam. "Anyway, we just got caught up with each other, and then John happened to call while he was there.""Well, that must have been weird,"said Sam. "Did John know that Tom was there?""Umm, no he didn't, I said I was visiting with you. I didn't think he would respond well to the truth.""How nice, now I am a part of your lies!-
"So how did the kiss happen; what led up to it?"said Sam. "We were just saying goodbye, and that we'd been thinking about each other lately. Before I knew it, we were kissing, on the lips, and passionately. It was nice, but not planned, and caused some awkwardness.""I can handle that kind of awkwardness,"said Sam. "Maybe you and I can trade lives for a while so I can get a piece of the action for a change.""What are you talking about; you could have some action anytime you wanted if you were a little more forward!-
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