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The Most Eligible Bachelor Bella Winters 2022/7/22 14:15:35

I nod slowly, completely shutting down myself. It was so obvious that he would have paid it, there isn’t anyone else around who would know or even care enough to pay. Plus, I don’t know another living person who has enough money to do so. All I want to do is thank him for his generosity and to work out a payment plan so I can get the money to him, but clearly, he doesn’t want to talk. About anything.

I need him to go. That thought hits me hard and like a thump in the face. All day long I’ve wanted him here, but the person I’ve wanted is my Brandon. The sweet guy who comes to watch me play, who helps me in the hospital, who comes to visit the lake with me. This cold version of him sucks. I don’t like it one bit. I need him to leave.

I decide to keep my lips shut. Maybe I don’t want to talk now either. I’m not the sort of girl who will take his bullshit lying down. If he wants to act like an asshole then let him. I don’t have to try and be all sweet to win him around. I’d like to be nice to him, to make him feel good, but not if I won’t get anything back.

I fix my eyes downwards and concentrate only on eating. Once I’ve consumed all that I want to, I jump out of my seat to grab a sweater to throw on over the top. I’m not about to make myself freeze just for someone who doesn’t even care.

“I suppose you’ll want to get back then?” I ask him in an icy tone that matches his. “I don’t want to stress you out anymore than you already are.”

His face tightens. “Don’t be like that,” he shoots back. “It isn’t that way at all. Like I said, I’ve just had a stressful day.” When I don’t say anything, he continues. “Look, I know that I’m useless tonight. I’m just dealing with a lot of stuff. None of it is your fault.”

“I’m dealing with stuff too.” I point towards my father’s home. “But you don’t see me taking it out on you.”

“No, I don’t.” He offers me a one shouldered shrug. “But clearly you’re a much better person than me.” I roll my eyes and turn away from him. “Look,” his tone becomes calmer, as if he’s dealing with a hysterical person rather than just an upset one. “I don’t want to be a dick, but I suppose we both need to think about this coming to an end soon. It isn’t going to be easy, but soon we’ll both be back to our real lives and all of this will have to end.”

My mouth runs dry with nerves, although I’m pissed off I know that it’s now or never. I have to say something or I’ll regret it forever.

“Does it?” I say softly. “Does it have to end?”

“I mean… yeah. It does, doesn’t it?” He gives me a hesitant look which suggests I might just be about to get through to him.

“No, it doesn’t.” I step close enough to him so we’re almost touching, but not quite. It’s an electrifying sensation that’s highlighted by how tense this is. “We could make it work with a bit of effort. I could come and see you, you could come to me, we could talk on the phone, text, we could… I don’t know. It isn’t that long distance, it isn’t worse than other people have done.” I take his hands in mine, breaking through the walls he’s put around himself. “We could just be together, if we both want it enough. It isn’t impossible.”

Please say yes, please want this as much as I do…

I’ll admit it, she has me shell shocked. Her words, her promise of a future where I could actually make it work with the first girl who’s ever captured my attention is too much. I know it wouldn’t be simple, but I also know that it’s possible. I could work less, I could make the journey back and forth whenever I can to see Lola, and she can always come to see me. Yes, it’ll cost a lot but what’s money when it comes to love?

I can feel myself getting misty eyed as I think about how with a bit of effort we could really make this happen. I could actually just fall in love…

But then my dad’s face comes into mind and I imagine how scathing he’ll be if I tell him that I want to make a long distance relationship work. He won’t be impressed when I keep letting him down on projects because I want to see Lola. He’ll give me crap all the time, I’ll never hear the end of it. He’ll start pushing me back in the company because he knows that I won’t be fully focused. This is a classic case of love verses career and I don’t know what to do. I know my father made mistakes when he picked career, but I can’t exactly do nothing.

“I don’t know.” I snatch my hands away and run one of them through my hair. The stress is back, rolling through my shoulders and neck, making me feel sick. I should have stayed in tonight. “I don’t think that’s a good idea, do you?”

“Well… why not?” All the color drains from her face while she waits for me to answer.

“Because that was never in the plan, was it? We never went into this as a long term thing. It was going to be fun for the both of us, just while I’m here. Then we go our separate ways, no questions asked.” I wave my hands around a little manically as I talk.

“We never discussed that,” she says with a head shake. “And things can change anyway, can’t they? We can develop feelings for one another.”

She has feelings for me. I don’t need to question that, I can see it written all over her face. I have feelings for her too, but that doesn’t make any of this less complicated. This is a mess.

“I don’t know about that,” I reply in a hollow sounding voice. I gulp, I can barely think right now. “I don’t know about any of it.”

“You don’t know if you have feelings for me?” Lola falls backwards, looking incredibly hurt. “I see, I didn’t realize. I just thought… with all the nice stuff that you’ve been doing for me… I thought that we were on the same page…”

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I shake my head, but not because I disagree with her, because I can’t believe this is happening. I knew I shouldn’t come out, I could feel it, but I got sucked in because of Lola’s sweetness anyway. I got dragged along by her and now we’re stuck in this awful row.

“I don’t know what page you’re on, and I don’t know what page I’m on either. This is all just too much. You’ve thrown this at me without me being prepared at all. I don’t know how you expect me to react.”

Lola’s cheeks turn a funny shade of red and I can see that I’ve pushed her too far. “I’m pressuring you now? I thought that we were just having an adult conversation about things. I didn’t realize this was the sort of thing where I cannot say how I feel.”

I roll my eyes. The fire is back, but now I can’t be dealing with it. I just want something in my life to be easy. “It isn’t that. Don’t be that way, Lola…”

“I think you should leave.” She steps back even further away from me and indicates towards the door. “You didn’t want to come tonight anyway, so why don’t you just leave.”

I part my lips, desperately wanting to say all kinds of different things but nothing comes out. Maybe this is the best way. I don’t want to end a magical few months with an argument, but I suppose it creates a clean break. It’ll certainly be much simpler than trying to navigate a long distance relationship that’s doomed from the start.