Oh Wellz

He thought he knew why he was doing it. No one else would get it, but he knew why. He supposed he could simply point to the fact that he loved her very, very much. But love binds selfish and selfless motivations in a sometimes beautiful and often very complex weave.

On the selfish side, he wanted the time with her. He wanted every moment he could get, even if the moments were painful. Just having her at his side in the car for another 20 minutes was the best use of his time he could imagine. Also on the selfish side, he wanted to be on her mind while she waited to board her flight. He figured that one of the best ways to make that more likely was the be the last familiar face that she saw before greeting her new boyfriend in D.C.. He wanted her to sit at her Gate waiting for her flight thinking that he was willing to do anything for her to make her life better. He was even willing to make it easier for her to get to his own replacement in her heart. Here was the first yarn in the weave of his emotions that linked to genuine altruism.

While he selfishly wanted her to realize how wonderful he was for his willingness to help her even in this particular endeavor, he really did want to help her even in this particular endeavor. It was actually true that it was less important to him that she recognize him for what he was doing than it was that he might make her life easier by giving her a ride. There was no way he would make her take public transportation to Logan Airport with a travel bag that was just a little too heavy for her petite frame, especially while she was suffering from an upset stomach.

The upset stomach intrigued him a little, but he knew better than to get hung up on it. A piece of him hoped she was anxious about leaving him in Boston and didn’t really want to go to D.C. again. But the better part of him knew that she was excited to go. Excited to see the new boy. Excited to celebrate his birthday in a new place, maybe with some new interesting people. Excited to lay in bed with the new guy’s warm body next to hers; a body that she did not associate with heartache and pain. As much as he wanted to believe she was getting on that flight out a sense of duty because she had promised the other guy she would, he knew it was more likely that she was amped to go and had simply eaten something that didn’t sit well.

In the end, he realized as he drove her through the tunnel under Boston, it did not matter much because she was going to D.C. to be with the other guy. There was nothing he was going to do to stop her.

As these thoughts and emotions percolated and recycled through him, he engaged in idle chitchat with the love of his life in his passenger seat. He said things like: “The traffic can be bad on this road at this time,” and “The Big Dig seems to have helped here,” and “how’s your tummy?”

As they cruised by East Boston onto the roads that lead only to the airport, she commented, “You seem subdued. I mean, you are chatting and all, but you seem…subdued."

Subdued! He thought. Ya think?! How about nauseous?! Depressed? Nihilistic, maybe?! I’m driving you, the girl I want to spend the rest of my life with, to the airport so you can fall further in love with another man. I don’t know, I think subdued is pretty good, all things considered!

“Subdued, Yes.” he calmly repeated aloud to her, “You are perceptive. Perceptive, you are.”

What was that?! He thought. When did I start channeling Yoda? No wonder she is leaving me for that dude…

“What airline? U.S. Airways Express?” He changed the subject.

“No, JetBlue.” She offered, “I like JetBlue.”

“Yeah, me too. That’s Gate C. That’s my ‘going home’ Gate. I know that one well.” He finished.

She was quiet for a moment. “So do you have any plans for the weekend?” She queried.

Such an innocuous question in almost any circumstance, but to him in this situation it was more loaded than the Enola Gay on August 6, 1945. She was thinking about her weekend ahead. Then she was thinking about whether or not he’d be alone and obsessing; whether he’d be stalking her Instagram and Twitter accounts. Actually, she was sure he would, but she worried about how much. And further, she feared the aftermath if he was struggling. She cared about his well-being, but she also didn’t want to feel guilty when she got back. She was tired of feeling bad. Washington, D.C. and the other guy mostly made her feel good.

He chuckled softly as he considered what and why she was asking, “Yes, well, I have the kid tomorrow through 6:00 on Saturday night. I guess besides that I do have plans. Well, I have a plan. One thing scheduled.

“You know how I am taking that online math class at Stanford?” he followed turning to look at her for the first time since before they entered the I-93 tunnel. This conversation felt safe enough to look at her pretty face without experiencing a welling of emotion.

She nodded to him with her signature “you are such a nerdy dork” grin.

“Well,” he continued, “I have a Boston study group that I am joining.”

She was almost laughing, “So you are going to meet up in person with these people.”

“Yep.” He was starting to get a little embarrassed.

Now she really was laughing, “Maybe you’ll meet some hot math nerd…”

He was feeling awkward. Really dorky. He interrupted her, “No, they don’t make ‘em that way.”

But she wanted to have fun with it, “They might…” she began again.

Looking at her again from the driver’s seat, he interrupted her. Did she really think he was hoping to meet a girl through an advanced mathematics course? She was clearly bemused by the prospect. It irritated him and he was defensive.

“Whatever! When I do start dating someone, you are totally going to lose your toast.” He noted.

“No.” She replied in an unnaturally matter-of-fact tone, “I have to let go. I just don’t want to hear about it if you date someone. I’m still mad at you…”

He dismissed the idea. “No, you’re not. You’re not mad at me anymore.” He almost whispered to himself.

Her voice rose a bit, “Then why do you think I’d be upset if you dated?”

He was silent. He tried to ignore the question.

“Gate C is coming up quick,” he said.

Ignoring the question was a waste of time. She wouldn’t let it go. She was stubborn. Always had been. Always would be. That’s why she had given him so many chances to make it work in the past and why he would get no more chances with her in the future.

She pressed further, “Why?!”

He remained silent.

“WHY?!” Then she mockingly chuckled as she answered her own question, “Because I want to be with you?!”

Imperceptibly shaking his head, “No. I don’t think you want to be with me right now.” He paused for what seemed a long time.

“Then why? Tell me.” She insisted.

He relented, “Because you’re still in love with me.” They approached the Gate C turn off.

For a very long three seconds, she was quiet.

“Oh wellz.” She managed.

He burst out laughing. Then she did. They both did. They laughed the way an old couple in love laughs.

He saw her off. She looked back twice. But she still boarded her flight.
triumphanddisaster triumphanddisaster
31-35, M
Sep 22, 2012