‘You Can Be a Bit Intense’

My final weekend in Europe.

I’d imagined I would spend it somewhere romantic with C. A sixth country. Somewhere new; somewhere that could be ours. Some use for all that money I had saved, after months of living simply in New York and London. I would buy her ticket, I had told her in Lisbon.

“Be present!!” she’d told me in response, before spending the afternoon shopping for a washing machine and pointedly ignoring the yawning tension between us.

“I have three weekends left in Europe,” I’d told her on the phone. “Come meet me somewhere. Let’s not let things end the way they did.”

“I’ll think about it,” she said.

I hung up, went to bed with a smile on my face.

The next a.m., I woke up to a text: I don’t quite understand the point of the request. My answer is still no.

So I went to Brussels to see an old fling.

Someone much better at ‘keeping things light.’

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