“Wow.” J.P. realized that she had never hung up on him like that before.
Kylie had hung up on him in exasperation. She had hung up on him in absolute rage. She had hung up on him because he wouldn’t stop talking in a bad Scottish accent. She had hung up on him because of sexual frustration. (His, not hers.)
But, this time she was just…
And that had him shook.
He had never heard such defeat in her voice.
He knew that he had never been the world’s best boyfriend. He wasn’t terrible, he was just… He was sometimes difficult. He thought it was just part of his charm.
He thought that Kylie felt the same way.
It was their thing. A little give and take. It kept things interesting.
Or so he thought.
When they first met — three years earlier — he had to talk her into dating him. Kylie was “sick of players.” And that was how he likely had appeared to people who didn’t know him.
But, he worked hard to prove that he was not that way at all. Eventually she relented.
J.P. barely looked at other women when they were together.
But, he hung out with his friends. A lot. He watched sports. A lot. And he worked hard. Periodically.
Over the recent months, J.P.’s job had begun taking up more and more of his time. Much to his chagrin, J.P. had fallen ass-backwards into a promotion. It was more of a case of a natural aptitude than one of failing upwards.
Or so he told himself.
He thought that Kylie would appreciate him having more money now. She had endured many take-out food dates early on in their relationship. He thought this would make her happy.
Apparently it wasn’t doing the trick.
Her latest complaint was that he couldn’t go to the house-warming party of one of her work friends the next evening. It wasn’t a case of it being too much of a hassle for him to move things around. It wasn’t a case of him not wanting to attend… well, he didn’t. But, that wasn’t the sticking point. It was quite literally something that he could not get out of. It was his job.
Perhaps once a year, something would come up that he had to take part in. His boss would accept no excuses. And this was the first one since his promotion. Someone would have to mug him and take his spleen for him to avoid it. And even then, he’d be expected to log in on a video conference call from the hospital.
J.P. tried to explain it to Kylie. And she understood it last year. And the year before.
Her call to him this morning was a last ditch effort to try to change his mind.
He explained that it was impossible, but he offered to do ANYTHING that she wanted to this coming weekend. He would go anywhere with her. Out of town for the weekend. Even to the ballet.
And she knew how much he hated the ballet.
She wasn’t even listening.
She just said, “This means a lot to me.”
And then she hung up.
He sat and thought about whether he had missed any way of getting out of the work thing.
There was absolutely no way.
Then he realized that he had a fairly light day today. And that Kylie — according to her Google calendar that she made him study — was free tonight.
Maybe if he planned a special enough evening, it would soften the blow.
He had to do something. He couldn’t stand disappointment in her voice on a good day.
Her sounding so defeated crushed him completely.
To be continued…