If You Didn’t Always Start.

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“So that’s where you see yourself,” David pushed.

“What do you mean?”

“Your future,” he said, “New York. You ever think about us living together?”

Caitlyn blinked. She wasn’t expecting that.

“Do you want to move to New York?”

“I didn’t say that,” David clarified, standing. “But I miss you. I wish you’d visit more, and stay with me when you do, instead of staying with your parents.”

“It’s not economical for me to come up all the time.”

“Seriously?” He looked at her, dumbfounded. “I’m not worth forty dollars to you?”

“I’m not saying that,” Caitlyn tried to soften the blow. “I just didn’t think you wanted me to come see you for no reason.”

“It’s not for no reason,” David protested. “I want you to come see me because you miss me and you want to see me, not because you’re giving in, because I like to have my way. That hurts, by the way. It’s not about having my way. It’s that I love you, and I miss you, and you could stand to act like you feel the same, instead of attributing everything to my argumentative tendencies and need to be right. I don’t need to be right, Caitlyn. I always know when I am.”

“Great,” she rolled her eyes. “Now we’re arguing about your smarts too? I’d never have called you argumentative if you didn’t always start, you know.”

David leaned against the sink and counter, extending his arms along the length.

“Do you even love me?”

“However I answer,” Caitlyn said “won’t be good enough for you.”

“A ‘yes’ would’ve worked.”

“That question is cocked and loaded, and you know it.”

“I shouldn’t have had to ask it.”

“No kidding,” Caitlyn agreed. “How don’t you know the answer to that?”

“Why can’t you just say it?” David pressed.

“When did this go career ambitions to you feeling unloved?”

“Why can’t you just say it?”

“I love you,” Caitlyn recited. “You know that.”

“You know, you say it,” he folded his arms across his chest. “And I know you’ve said it before, but you don’t act like it. You’ve never been very affectionate, and I let that go. But you could try. We’re in a long distance relationship and instead of giving me your all to make this work, you’re giving me excuses. You’re fighting me every step of the way. I need to know that whether you want to be a head hunter, or a firefighter, that I have a place in your future. Otherwise, I don’t know what we’re doing here. And we need to figure that out.”

“David, this isn’t fair.” Caitlyn swallowed.

“No kidding,” he used her line.

“What do you want me to say?”

“Try the truth. Try your feelings.”

Caitlyn looked past him, her eyelids fluttering. After a few moments she confessed, “You’re still in school, and my career is just beginning. I’m not ready think about us living together. And if that’s what you wanted me to say, because that’s what you see, then I’m sorry. I’m just not there yet.”


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