Sharon’s note: My husband and I have been married 15 years, so I feel like I have a little clout to talk about relationships. It gets toted around a lot that communication is the key to a working partnership, and it is, but there are two other elements that are needed to make things work, and those are trust and prioritization. You need to trust that the other person is being honest with you and is not trying to hurt you, so that if they goof up, you know it’s not intentional. You also need to set your partner above some of your other drive, including that little voice inside you that wants to take offense at every little thing and put them on an opposing side. Any problem, you have to be on the same side of. If you can’t trust that person, or they can’t trust you, then I’m not sure what the point is. Warning: This is just the author’s advice. It applies to you, or it doesn’t. Take it for what it’s worth.
I was snuggled up on the couch with my leftover box in my lap, throwing bits of fajita meet to Baskerville. Sam had sent me a text after leaving me at the table for a half hour saying that one of his clients was in crisis, and that he was so sorry, but would have to give me a rain check. I’d gotten dinner to go and came back home, since I wasn’t fond of eating out alone. It was about eleven o’clock at night, and I was just considering going to bed.
My cell phone wrang, and Sam’s name flashed across the screen. I bit my lip while I thought. I was put out by him running off in the middle of our date, but I wasn’t mad. It seemed like someone really needed him, but with his job, that probably happened a lot. Maybe this just wouldn’t work. But I really liked him. He was sweet, and good looking, and funny. Sam was also one of nature’s caretakers, which was both a problem and a draw. Still unsure how I felt, I answered the phone.
“Hi, Jen. I just wanted to apologize again for ruining our date. Al was in a really bad spot, and I couldn’t just leave him.” Sam sounded as miserable as a whimpering puppy.
“It’s okay.” I sighed, and it was. Shit happened, and I didn’t know this was a constant thing. “How is he?”
“Better.” He sighed. “His wife had a miscarriage yesterday. It was the third one. I wish he would have called me.”
“Oh, damn.” Now I felt bad for being annoyed. I wanted to ask if there was anything I could do, but I didn’t know Al or his wife. It would have been weird. A thought hit me. “Should you be telling me about what’s going on with your client?”
“Al’s not officially a client, and I wanted you to know that I wouldn’t have left our date for something that wasn’t important.” He swallowed so hard I could hear it over the phone. “I was wondering if you would give me another chance?”
I threw another piece of meat to Baskerville while I thought. This wasn’t a regular thing, so maybe it was worth a try. “Sure. When and where?”
He let out a breath. “Tomorrow at Kennedy Park? Around one? I’ll bring the food.”
A picnic. That could be fun. “Sounds good. Should I bring anything?”
“Just yourself and,” he hesitated for a moment, “and I figure we can talk about what we want out of a relationship. I . . . I want to be up front about things.”
I supposed second/third date was a good time to talk about that. He sounded nervous about it, but so was I. What if we didn’t want the same things? There were a lot of ‘what if’s’ that could spell the end of things before they began, but that was the best time to end things. Disappointment was better than hurt.
“I’m looking forward to it.” I wasn’t, but there was no need to tell him that.
“Awesome. See you tomorrow. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight.” After I hung up I looked down at Baskerville, who was wagging his tail in anticipation of more treats. “Are you going to wish me luck? No? You lazy hound.”