Only one

He runs his fingers through his hair and looks out his window.
Everything is covered with a good five inches of snow.
He didn’t know it was coming.
He never pays attention to weather forecasts.
Why worry about things you can’t control?
Still… it is a lot of snow.
Pure. White.
He loves it.
It covers imperfections.
Clean slate.
Well, not completely.
One set of cat tracks meandered all over his backyard.
It was as if the animal was searching.
For something.
He glances at the sky.
He’s done enough sailing to know what a red sky in the morning means.
He’s unsettled.
Then he starts thinking about last night.


She finally climbs out of bed, after hitting snooze four times.
She opens her blind and sees the snow everywhere.
The sudden urge to make a snow angel strikes her.
She doesn’t think she’s ever made one before.
She really should.
She notices her cat sitting on her deck.
She slides open the door and the cat runs in and over to his favourite spot near the radiator.
She realizes that Mr. Whiskers is her longest ever relationship with a male.
She laughs.
But, not really.
She loves that the pretty pink sky is making the snow almost look like the surface of Mars.
Or something.
Looks gorgeous.
Like someplace else.
Then she thinks about last night


“I NEVER do this,” she said.
She was lying.
“Oh, me either,” he replied.
He wasn’t.

Their relationship backgrounds couldn’t be any more different.

He’s had long-term girlfriends back to back (to back to back) since he was fourteen.
He doesn’t know what it is like to be single.
His parents are still together.
He has a good example to look to, but feels like he needs to do more before settling down.

She’s never had a relationship last more than a month.
She’s “given her love too freely.” She knows this.
Her parents divorced when she was ten.
She won’t let that, or the thing that happened to her at sixteen, make her jaded about love.
But, these days, she’s seeing the world through cracked rose-coloured glasses.

When the bar closed, they went back to her place.
She was (overly?) eager and adventurous
He was generous, but passionate.

And it was good, by any measure.
Probably even very good.

He was kind afterwards, but she wanted more.
She was fairly non-clingy, but he wanted even less.


He is getting ready to go to breakfast with his friends.
Shit-shooting, discussing UFC pay per view, and diner french toast.

She is getting ready to go to breakfast with her friends.
Gossiping, discussing meeting an actual nice guy, and chai lattes.

He holds his cellphone.
He stares at her number, his finger hovering over the delete button.
Her sweetness, and brokenness, coming back to him.

She stares at her cellphone.
Debating whether she should bother taking it to breakfast with her.
His kindness, and warm smile, feeding her optimism that he’ll call.

He was looking for experiences, life and freedom.
She was looking for the beginning of a meaningful and lasting connection.

Someone is not going to get what they were looking for.

14 thoughts on “Only one

  1. Okay, be strong! I used to be you. It may have been a Catholic thing for me…anyway I had to make a concerted effort to unlink The Act and The Longterm Relationship. You can do this–and, yes, you’ll feel a little yucky at first, but that will clear up and then….soooo liberating! Good luck with your decision.

  2. …If you change a few things, you more or less just described the beginning of my relationship with GDB. He was that guy, and I was that girl. Scary, Peter. Very scary.

  3. I love that I said I would read it the second I got home. I did, but it’s 2 am (3 am your time).
    I’m very much in love with this piece, though I hate the name “Mr. Whiskers”.

  4. This is really good. And really true for a lot of people. A lot.

    Though I agree with Caitlyn, “Mr. Whiskers” is a horrible name for a cat.

    Oh, and the Pats won EVERY game this season…I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it. I’m totally taking away from your beautifully written blog so I’ll stop now.

  5. beautifully written post peter- seriously beautiful.

    and like DS said, with a little tweaking this was how FF and i started off. funny how these situations never seem to work out in the long run…

  6. Does anyone ever get what they want?!
    Well, sometimes, I guess they do.
    This was awesome. You make me sick – in a good way.

  7. I read this over the break but never commented, because apparently I suck.

    But you know I just eat this shit up.

    Have you ever read Amy Hempel? This reminded me a bit of her writing.

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