I finally ended up at home, both relieved and disappointed to see that Steve had gone. He had left a note for me:
^^ Whenever you’re ready, we need to talk. Call me, or stop by. Steve.^^
I picked up the phone and dialled the first six digits of his phone number, my thumb hesitating over the ‘5’ that would complete the circuit and ring through to him. I spied Sooty out of the corner of my eye and noticed what looked like the start of a large knot. Couldn’t have that happen, could we? So I put the phone down and grabbed the cat and his brush, and spent the next hour and a half brushing him out. Once he was completely brushed to the point of being silky smooth, I let him go, then looked at all the loose fur on the carpet and couch and sighed. All that hair all over the place! I pulled out the Dirt Devil and cleaned up. Then I dusted the shelves, straightened my linen closet, rearranged all of my books, rearranged my living room, and then put it back to how I had originally had it. Then I showered and went into bed. Sooty curled up by my side and went to sleep, but I wasn’t so lucky. I spent the night staring at the ceiling, thinking about Steve. I knew I should have called him, but I just couldn’t. I could have gotten out of bed at three in the morning, called him, asked him to come over, and he would have. I just couldn’t face him. More accurately, I couldn’t face the rejection I knew I would get. I rolled over and buried my face in my pillow. I took a deep breath and caught the lingering traces of Steve from earlier in the day, when he had laid on my bed.
I got out of bed and threw on some clothes, grabbed my keys, and drove to Steve’s house. It wasn’t quite dawn, so the streets were empty, and I managed to make it to Steve in less time than usual. I knocked on the door, cursing the time it was taking him to answer. That time was time for me to think and realize that what I was doing was ridiculous, turn around, and go back home. I was getting to that point when he opened the door.
“Steve, I love you. I have been in love with you for apparently quite a while. I was just too fucking stupid to see it.”
I knew it. He didn’t feel the same. It was over. I had just managed to kill in 30 seconds something that had taken the better part of 20 years to build.
“I’m sorry,” I said, backing off the porch as tears started streaming from my eyes. “I’m so sorry.”
I turned and ran. I heard him call my name, but I didn’t acknowledge. I just got into my car and drove off. I went in to work, sat in Matt’s office, and cried myself until I was literally sick. Once that had passed, I started cleaning everything I could, the bathrooms, the tables, and the floor. I went ahead and stocked the bar for that night, checked to see what was defiantly going to need to be ordered on Monday, cut paychecks, anything to keep my mind occupied. Sadly though, I soon ran out of cleaning, so I decided to head home, shower and change. By then, it would be time to come into work again……………