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GUYFRIDAY: "The Match"
photo courtesy of Joey Adami
Joey Adami
"You could have told me!"
The lasts few seconds of my encounter with Ryan Green, my ex who, in less than twenty-four hours is due to wed, dropped a verbal bomb.
"He told you!" Will said, exhaling a deep, overdue breath. It was out in plain sight now. Grady and Luke sat on the bed, saying nothing.
"Or something to that effect, as I sprinted off, tripping up the goddamned steps," I shot back. "Somebody say something!" I yelled. "Not you, Luke," I said, pointing my finger and halting him from opening his mouth.
"Did you at least meet Darren?" Grady asked.
"I don't want to meet him. I don't want to be here. I came here with this silly notion that I, was going to win Ryan back. I had to say goodbye to Finn. I have to say good-bye to Ryan."
"Here is another goodbye!" I scooped up Jinx, my cat and slammed the door behind me.
"I hate that cat."
"What!" Luke barked, as Will and Grady both stared him down....
I found myself in a compete dither. Ryan? Finn? Who did I love and who did I long for? I made a dash for the now deserted lobby and out to the fresh night air.
"Warm night, isn't it?"
"Sure" I replied. I found the row of empty rockers free on the porch. Taking the very last one, intending to be alone, now stuck in a ridiculous conversation right next to me.
"There is nothing like the smell of a freshly lit cigarette."
"I quit" I said, inhaling a deep drag. I tapped my pack pushing one up, extending my offer.
"Same here," the voice replied. Jinx jumped off my lap, following the flash of a firefly.
His face was quite handsome in the glow. He waved his hand over the flame, then positioned the ciggy in the orange fire.
"Why is Ryan with me"
I turned my head in his direction. I was silent. Though we never formally met, his keen insight for who I was caught me off balance. It was as if he was looking at me, not via eyesight, but with something much deeper.
"It's ok, I'm sure a lot of people are pondering the same question," he added. A small jovial laugh followed an exhaling of gray smoke, twisting above his head. I watched it disappearing into nothingness.
"I love him." I watched the smile that echoed his words. It was honest, something I have not been all along. I told him all about this summer and Finn, as he shared openly about Ryan. I brushed away the film that pooled in my eyes, but every physical emotion that I tried to cover, Darren somehow saw. I heard those words "I love you" myself, this season, and, for the first time, felt what they truly mean.
"How's that Marlboro?"
"It hit the spot. Want to go for a walk?" Darren Winters asked.
I reached over to the arm of his chair as he stood up. His arm laced into mine, as I guided him down the porch steps.
"How did you know it was me, sitting there?" I felt his warmth. A kind of gentle kinship was born, as we stepped off the porch together in arm.
"Easy," Darren replied. "I'm allergic to cats."
Laughing to myself, I pinched his ribs. "It really is a nice night,' I whispered into the warm night air, as Jinx teetered along.....
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