The Lawyer, Part Three

J spent the weekend in Paris, and I spent the weekend freaking out.

I didn’t know if I liked J as much as he liked me; I certainly didn’t talk about him as much as he talked about me—or, as much as I gathered he did from the regulars at his favorite bar. But I did like J, and he was exactly my type. I wanted to get to know him better.

I decided I needed to ask him on an actual date. It would be unexpected for me to do the asking, and maybe we’d find out that we’re perfect for each other and get married and adopt some children, and I would walk around with that Prada bag I always wanted but couldn’t afford.

“I decided we should go out when you’re back,” I text him.

“Ok!” he texted back. That was it: Ok.

I spent hours deciphering what “Ok!” meant, because I am a crazy person. I finally responded, “Monday? 8? Mickey Spillane’s?”

“Ok!” again. My anxiety level went through the roof.

We got a table, ordered two frozen margaritas and settled in. “I have something to tell you,” he said, beaming.

I leaned forward, pursing my lips. “Yes?”

“I’m falling in love.”

My mouth fell open. “Really?”

“Yes. At first, I thought it was just the slender frame, or the bright hazel eyes, or the blonde hair.” I ran my hands through my well-conditioned hair, glad that I did my roots over the weekend. “But it’s so much more than that. I…” He looked me in the eyes. “I’m in love.”

“I didn’t expect that,” I said. The waiter brought our drinks.

“Me either! I mean, what, am I going to go visit Paris every weekend to see him?”

My heart dropped. He wasn’t talking about me. I sucked on the straw of my margarita as hard as I could. “You fell in love this weekend?”

“Yes!” he exclaimed joyfully, like a child talking about a new toy he wanted. “He’s the one; I know it. Well, maybe not THE one. That’s some blonde boy I’ve known forever, but he’s married. He and I are perfect for each other, he just doesn’t know it yet.”

“…Have you told him?”

“Of course not! I was at his wedding last year.”

I had a sneaking suspicion that J didn’t love Paris boy, or married boy, or me. J loved falling in love. And I fit the young, blonde mold that he’d become accustomed to.

I shook my head. “I’m glad we’re friends,” I said. And I meant it.

“Me too. You know, there is another boy who I think loves me, in Texas. Maybe I should go there next weekend instead.” I took his hand under the table and squeezed it.

“Only if you tell me all about it,” I smiled.

Ian-Michael Bergeron

Iowa-born writer Ian-Michael Bergeron has written his weekly column in Get Out! Magazine since 2015, as well as editorials and interviews. He lives in New York City in a one-bedroom with two cats, Alexander and Thomas, and spends most of his income on shoes.

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