After being an asshole to The Ex Fiancé (re: essentially called his new boyfriend an idiot), I knew I had to try to make it up to him. I waited a week after our run-in at Therapy before asking him out for dinner and drinks: to my surprise, he accepted without persuasion. I felt like Elizabeth Bennet, trying to make amends for all of the awful things she said to Darcy.
We met at the Blockheads on 50th Street: it had burritos, it had jumbo frozen margaritas, and it was outdoors—what more could I want? The Ex Fiancé joined me and we got a table.
I didn’t know what to say: I practiced something beforehand, but now that he was here, in front of me, all I could say was “I love margaritas!” and when the server came over “What’s the biggest size margarita?”
We sat in silence until the drinks came. I drank mine greedily. “I’m sorry,” I finally said.
“I know,” he said. And then we drank more.
By our second margarita, we started actually talking. “You weren’t entirely wrong,” he said.
“About my ex-boyfriend.” My ears perked up at the word ‘ex.’ “He didn’t have any motivation, or whatever. He already moved back to Minnesota.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” I said, practically grinning.
We kept drinking. I told him how hard New York had been, what it was like couch surfing for two months, still not having made any friends. I told him how hard it was being away from my family. He gave me all the details on the now-ex-boyfriend, how he pouted and complained the entire time he was in New York, how he applied for very few jobs and was upset when he didn’t get any interviews. He admitted it was kind of a relief, that he knew it wouldn’t have gone anywhere anyway. We paid our bill and continued our conversation down 7th Avenue.
“You know what bugged me the most about him?” he said, suddenly stopping. By now the sun had set, the streets lit by billboards. “He wouldn’t hold my hand. And I just kept thinking, God, I just want someone to hold my hand.”
So I held out my hand; and he took it; and my heart stopped. We walked to his subway, the uptown N/Q, my downtown C an avenue away. “I’m gonna go down there,” he said, “and you can follow me, or you can go home. It’s up to you.” Without another word, he turned and descended the steps.
I stood there a moment. I knew I wanted to follow him; I knew I would regret not going. But what would it mean? For him? Or for me?
After all they’d been through, did Elizabeth and Darcy really stand a chance? Do I have a chance at being completely, and perfectly, and incandescently happy?
After taking a deep breath, I raced down the stairs to catch up with him.