It wasn’t his first time breaking up with a girl and he was sure it was not going to be the last. Mary was just another stopover in his long journey to finding the right one. Maybe she was even the right one, maybe not but this was definitely the wrong time. He knew she was into him so this could be a little trickier than he was used to.
Girls usually went out with him for his looks, or his money or his looks or his money, so withdraw those from them and they will drop off like flies. Mary was different. She looked better than him, many people had testified to this. She had more money than him. He’d never seen her account balance but he knew where she worked, he saw what she drove. She seemed to like him for him but that did not matter. He had a rule, every girl had to go after three months. Mary had stayed two weeks longer than she was supposed to.
He was meeting with her at a lakeside restaurant. He’d found out the sound of the water had a comforting effect, it made things easier. He brought only his most difficult cases here. He was meeting her at night. This way she wouldn’t cry for long till she fell asleep. She would wake up the next morning, hopefully with some perspective. He’d also bought a bowl of Ice-cream, well, everyone knew what that was for. He’d been smart enough to ask her to come on her own. It would be awkward if he had to drive her back home after breaking up with her.
He smiled. He was getting so terribly good at this, he should open shop as a break-up artist.
Ten minutes after he got to the restaurant, Mary arrived.
“Hey dear.” She said to him. “Have you been here long?”
“Ten minutes but it’s okay, you are on time.”
“You know I hate to keep you waiting.” She said. He liked that about her.
“You look beautiful tonight.” He said. Start with a compliment, get her in a good mood.
“I look beautiful all the time.” She said with a smile. “Have you ever seen me not looking beautiful?”
He shook his head. “No, I haven’t.”
It was time to get good food in her; that would soften the blow of the breakup. Hunger fuels anger like a gas leak fuels fire.
“So should we order?” He asked.
“No, not for me.” What! “I don’t want to eat anything. I just came to hang out with you. You order if you want.”
No, he wasn’t the one who needed food.
“Are you sure? Because these guys make the best everything.”
“I’ll like to watch you eat.”
Oh no. He wasn’t even hungry. “I guess I won’t eat too.”
“Since we are both not eating, maybe we can take a walk instead of just sitting here.”
“Take a walk?”
“The sound of the water is making me sleepy.” She picked up her purse and stood. “Come on let’s go.”
“What about this bowl of Ice-cream I already bought?”
“Keep it in your car, you can eat that at home.”
The night had not started well for him. First, no food, no sound of water to sooth her, now the ice-cream?
They got on the highway and walked for a few minutes in silence. He loved this about her, it did not matter if they were talking or just quiet, she was always a good companion. She moved closer to him and put her arm around his. She smiled and he smiled back at her.
No, this night was not going as planned at all. He had to do something.
He opened his mouth to talk, looked at her and the words disappeared. This was bad, he could not believe this was happening. This was his expertise and he was lost for words? He might have to soldier through this one.
“So, we’ve been going out for more than three months.” He started.
“Yeah, I know. All my friends told me we will never get past that three month mark. They said it was a tradition for you.”
He swallowed. “Oh, really?”
“I told them it was because you’d not met the right girl.”
Was that it? That wasn’t it. He was not ready for a commitment, it was not about the girls. Although he’d never had a girl he really liked, Mary was different.
“So you think I’ve met the right girl now?”
He did not answer and they walked on in silence. Suddenly she stopped and looked at him.
“Oh my God, you are breaking up with me tonight?”
“I overshot the deadline by two weeks but you are breaking up with me anyway.”
This was his chance. He could say ‘yes’ and that would be it. He’d done it this way before.
“Are you going to answer or not?” She asked. “It’s okay, it’s not like I’ve told my Mom about you or anything.”
Just say yes, his stupid mind screamed at him. Just say yes, it’s not like you will marry her anyway. But what if he wanted to marry her?
“Give me a second please.” He said and walked a few feet away from her.
This was supposed to be very easy. He’d thought about everything before and he was sure a breakup was what he wanted. He looked at her standing there, hands in her pocket, looking away from him. Maybe it was time to increase his relationship threshold. Maybe six months. Or maybe six years. He walked back to her. Or maybe sixty years.
“So, now you’ve consulted your ancestors, what is the verdict?” She asked.
“My ancestors seem to hate me at the moment. I believe one of them called me a fool.” He moved closer to her. “But they seem to like you. A lot.”
She didn’t smile.
“We are not breaking up. But on one condition.” He said.
“I don’t think you are in a position to be making demands right now.”
“Just something simple.” He said. “Could you tell your Mom about me?”