It was mid-way through dinner before Goose and I began to relax just a bit in each other’s presence. He was trying so hard. Trying to regain all that he’d let walk out of his life. He wasn’t ready for me back then. I wasn’t what he wanted. And I feel sort of silly even sitting here with him now. Looking across the table at his smiling mouth, I feel out of place. As if I’m under the hot lights of a police interview. Wondering which piece of imformation it is that Goose is wanting to hear from me.
After the bread. And after the salad. Once the steaks had been eaten, that’s when his question came.
“So are you dating anyone?”
A complicated question with a very simple answer.
I didn’t feel the need to go into the various meet & greet contacts I’d had. Since I knew I’d be writing about it at some point, I figured he could read about it along with everyone else. Yes, I’ve grown a cynical side. Finally.
Unfortunately, Goose hadn’t noticed it yet. So he took my answer as an open door.
The car is cold and the door even complains with a groan when I open it. Once inside. Goose starts the engine to warm up the car.
“I should have come out and warmed up the car before we finished eating. It would be warm now. Are you in a hurry to get home?
“I’ve got a little while.” I explained.
Goose dug right in. “I’ve thought about you every day. What you’d be doing. I do love you.”
That’s pretty big line for the lead off to a conversation. I just listened and Goose talked. It was as if he’d pulled out a prospectus on a flip chart. He was working hard to make this sale. I have to admit it sounded pretty. When he was finished, he put his hand over mine. I gave his fingers a little squeeze. That was the lead off to my rebuttle. I was cut throat.
“So where is the Minneapolis Girl in all of this?” I asked.
I should have made it a multiple choice question.
A) I told her I no longer wanted to continue contact. I haven’t heard another thing from her since January.
B) She moved to Siberia.
C) She lives in my basement with her daughter and her pimp.
D) She gained 50 pounds and they fired her from her dancer job.
He didn’t choose any of those answers. Instead he had his own and I could tell he’d practied his delivery of that information several times in the mirror.
“She’s in the very distant background.”
Seriously, he could have lied. So I do appreciate his honesty. However, his offer, even though it was very well presented, is still the same offer I declined in January.
Then it was my turn.
“Goose, I appreciate your openness and honesty. That means a lot to me.” I continued, “It’s a very fine offer, but not one that I can accept. I”m sorry Goose.”
I love you Jeannie, can’t we just take it slow.. very slow. And see what happens?”
“I already know what will happen. I will get hurt, because you won’t ever let her go. I would rather stay out-of-the-way and you two can find your way without me. Good night Goose.”
This is where things ended between Goose and I. It was very simple, I got in my car and I drove home. There wasn’t a text or a call. And I could hear Tammy sighing with relief, “Now it’s done.”