Her name is Debbie, and as of two weeks ago, she is my new friend. I am still very apprehensive about the whole thing. Debbie happens to be from my hometown, and we went to the same middle school and high school. I had a few people I did spend time with while at school, but Debbie was never a part of the group. Debbie has also already met Jose since I was waiting for him when she approached me.
Jose and I were meeting up at the same coffee shop as before. And, like always, I arrived early. I ordered my coffee, grabbed some cream and sugar, and sat myself down. There wasn't much time between me getting settled and Debbie coming over. Debbie is the typical looking popular girl. She has a thin body, with curves in her hips; she had curly, long blond hair. She wore more natural makeup than I remember from high school. She was just beautiful.
"Lorraine? Is that really you?" Debbie asked. I looked up from my coffee and smiled.
"Yeah…" I answered.
"Wow, it has been forever. I think the last time I saw you was graduation."
"Can I have a seat?"
"Sure." I said. I really didn't want her to take a seat, but I didn't see how being rude to her could've helped.
She took the seat across from me.
"Have you seen anyone else from school? Kept in touch." Debbie asked.
"No, not really."
"I still talk to many people, but I am also on the alumni council."
"That's great," I said.
"I know you had some issues with bullies, but you had some friends at school."
I couldn't believe how nonchalantly she claimed I was bullied. It sounded like such a natural thing to say.
"Yeah, I had a few friends, just not good enough to keep in touch." I said.
"Just to be honest, I felt terrible anytime I saw you get bullied, but I could never get the strength to intervene, and I'm sorry."
It was strange how sincere her apology sounded. I also couldn't understand why she was apologizing for the bullies.
"It happens, don't even worry about it." I said.
"Well, I have been here for several years at college now, getting ready to graduate and start teaching soon."
"That is great." I said, "I've been mostly traveling."
"Wow, travel sounds cool. Any place exotic?"
"I did see Niagara Falls," I said.
That was when Jose finally arrived.
"Hey Lorrie, " I heard Jose say.
I knew I didn't want him to meet her, but there was really no stopping it.
"You're boyfriend?" Debbie asked, looking back at me.
"Just a friend."
"Jose, and you are?" Jose said. He stuck out an arm to shake Debbie's hand. She stood up and shook his hand.
"Debbie." Debbie replied.
"I didn't know Lorrie had any girlfriends living here."
"Well, we aren't really friends. I just know Lorrie from middle and high school. I mean, a lot of people remember her. We all felt bad." Debbie said.
"So…" I said. I was mortified that Debbie would just openly speak about me like that. "Did you order?" I asked.
I looked up at Jose, hoping he would pay attention to my question and not Debbie rattling on.
"Yeah, should be ready soon." He looked over at the baristas. "What were you saying, Debbie."
"She has to go," I interjected before she could answer. "But, I would like to talk to her later, here," I took my napkin and a pen from my purse and wrote my number. "You should text me later," I said. I handed her the napkin.
"Oh, yes. Of course. I would hate to interrupt," Debbie said.
"Well, we were just gonna hang out. You should join us." Jose said.
I looked at Debbie, hoping she could hear my inner thoughts telling her to go away, and I would explain later.
Luckily, before she could speak, someone called her from across the shop.
"I gotta go. My friends are heading out. Almost forgot we are watching a movie. I will text you." Debbie said to me. She gave a smile to Jose and walked away.
"Trying to get information," I said to Jose. I gestured for him to take a seat, and he did.
"Can't blame me for trying. How can I be sure you are telling me the truth? If I ask what she meant about everyone feeling bad for you and I ask you, who will tell me the truth."
"We aren't there yet. It's bad enough that I talk to you so normally."
"Well, with the guys I date, I try to be very bubbly. Besides that, I have sad emotional moments, but they are part of conveying a philosophical message.
"You're dating seems very calculated."
"Again, this most people do in relationships. We make up emotions and conversations that are insightful for the people we want close to us."
"You have a strange idea about relationships. Long term, those things can't work. Oh, but that is right, you can just leave when it gets too real."
"Why are you mean?" I asked.
"It's called truth. You're like a guy that sleeps with a whole bunch of girls just cause you need something new and cannot commit."
"Woah, I have relationships, not one-night stands," I said.
"Well, how are those girl's feelings, hurt by the guy, any different from how you leave those guys?"
"Okay, wait. Why are we arguing?"
"I thought we were having a lively debate about how fake you and your relationships are." Jose said. He gave a smirk that made me want to slap him.
"Never mind," I said
"I touched a nerve, didn't I?"
"I just thought we were gonna hang out, not debate about my dating life."
"Yeah, I'm sorry." Jose said.
"Why are you so angry about what I've done?"
"Well, I told you. I've heard these guys part, and they all seemed confused and hurt that this perfect girl just disappears from their lives."
"In all honesty, I had hoped they would understand, but there isn't much I can do now," I said.
"Why not contact them? Let them know you are okay and that things just didn't work out."
"That isn't part of what I do."
"Well, then you need to know you are doing a crappy thing."
"Yeah, like a guy has never hurt anyone before and not cared."
"Don't make this a gender thing. Guys do it to girls and, as in your case, girls do it to guys."
They called Jose to get his drink. As soon as he left to grab it, I took all my stuff and left. I didn't want to continue arguing whether what I had done was good or bad. Plus, I realized that Big Baby probably needed another walk, and I had to get home.
The things Jose said hurt me. I hate arguing with someone about the way I live my life. I also worry that he will reach out to Debbie and get the real story about my past. He is acting like a detective.
Later that same day, I reached out to Ryan. We hadn't seen each other much because he worked 3 part-time jobs and was doing a full-time load at school. I didn't tell him everything Jose and I talked about. I just used my emotional moment to get closer to him. I talked about love and relationships with him, but it was more like I was conveying philosophy phrases I had read up on. I guess Jose was right about me calculating things. But most people do.
Ryan and I did have a romantic picnic during one of the two weeks since I have written. He came to my work and asked my boss for a 2-hour lunch without telling me. He had a whole picnic packed with food he made at home. It was simple sandwiches and potato salad, and some fruit, but it was delicious. We were located just outside of San Antonio, and we had a great view of rolling green hills. It was the perfect weather, and all the Bluebells were blooming.
He found a perfect roadside picnic area and set up a nice tablecloth with a vase with flowers. He brought along his guitar and played a few tunes for me. He didn't do the romantic serenade, really, but he did sing "More Than Words," which is one of my favorites. I took his guitar at one point and sort of serenaded him with the song "Wake Me Up Before You Go" it was a joke, but he really enjoyed it. We had so much fun that I actually stayed two and a half hours on lunch and had to apologize several times to my boss.
During that time, Jose tried to text me and call a few times. He told me he was sorry that he just let the bad him get the best of him. I found out Jose already has a girlfriend. As he explained, if his girlfriend took off, he would be upset. I'm not after Jose, but it does bug me that he already has a girlfriend. I just don't understand why.