Wednesday was long and tiring. I spent a large chunk of the day in a meeting with the top executives and was grilled about some issues in the development department. Thankfully it wasn’t a problem with any of my teams, so nobody was pointing at me, but since I was acting for Kunhal, the buck stopped at me for the day. I sent a few random texts to Lyndsey and she responded in kind. I was hoping for a good conversation with her in the evening. I needed it.
The beginning riff from Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” shouted out from my cell phone.
“Hi Lyndsey,” I said.
“Hey Gill. How’re you doing?” she asked.
“Much, much better now that I’m talking to you. It was a very long day.”
“You’re filling in for Kunhal this week, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, and today was just rotten. If I hear another word from one of those Jackasses… Anyway, I’m sorry to be rude. How was your day.”
“Uhm…” There was a pause.
“What’s wrong? Is it that project you were working on?” I asked.
“In a way. Gill, I’m in Silver Springs right now.”
“Maryland. Just outside of DC.”
“At your new headquarters?”
“Well, not this second, but yeah, they flew me down today. On Monday, they offered me a new position, a huge promotion.”
“Great! Any more details?”
“Yes. It’s the department head for the Research Department.”
“Wow, just what you wanted. Très cool!”
“It is the perfect position, something I’ve been dreaming about for years, my whole career.”
“I’m getting bad vibes, though. What’s up?”
“They want me to move down here.”
“You can’t telework from up here and visit, say, once a month?”
“I doubt it. This seems very involved. A lot of networking. They want me in a place where I can see what is happening, touch the lab tables, so to say, and meet important people on a daily basis.”
“Damn. This just…”
“Sucks. Yeah, I know.”
“You took the position, I assume?”
“Not yet. The offer isn’t 100% official. I’m going to be down here for the rest of the week, spend the weekend, and then talk to the vice-president above me about it next Monday. I’ll be meeting a lot of people, attending a lot of meetings, seeing a lot of works in progress. You know that type of stuff.”
“OK. I just wish.. anyway, there’s nothing you can do?”
“Gill, I’m not any happier about it than you. Damn, that’s the wrong way to put it. I mean, this is my lifetime dream, even before I dreamed of a Prince Charming sweeping me off of my feet and carrying me away. I remember when Dad did this type of work and that’s what made me want to be an engineer. It’s been my dream as long as I can remember. And us? We’ve only had two real dates and we’ve never had sex, so… Damn, who am I kidding? Damn. I’m just… damn.”
“I’m sorry. I know this is huge news for you and I don’t want to drag it down. But…”
“No, it isn’t anything you said. I’ll be perfectly honest. The reason I didn’t want to talk to you yesterday is that I knew that I would break into tears if I heard your voice. I did cry myself to sleep last night. I want to be with you so bad that it hurts, but, damn it, this is my life’s dream.”
“Lyndsey, we’ll work something out. Believe me, there is something that will work. Go in there and knock them dead. Show them how competent you are. As for us, we’ll figure it out. It’s more than just two dates, and the bond is deeper than sex. We’ll make it through.”
“You’re more optimistic than I am. You’re about to get your own promotion. Are you willing to throw it away to move here? Throw away the life you’ve built? Your house and friends?”
“I haven’t thought about it.”
“Obviously. You keep saying ‘we’, but you seem to think it is only me that has decisions to make.”
“That’s not what I meant. This is all new to me and I haven’t had time to think about anything, really. I’m caught off guard.”
“I’m sorry, your right, I am being unfair. But, damn it, life is being unfair! I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life, and then I get the job offer of my life, and I have to choose between them! It’s not fair..”
“Lyndsey, I love you. Do what you must, OK? What are your plans?”
“Please don’t make me cry again.”
“As for plans, I don’t have to make any decisions until Monday, at the earliest. I’m going to spend the week down here. I have a lot of friends in the area, people I used to work with that moved here and a college friend I want to look up. I’ll spend the weekend split between DC and Baltimore. I’ve talked to Trish, one of my best friends. We’ll spend most of the weekend together. I was her bridesmaid and she was in my wedding party. Remember her? The petite blond? Of course she’s still married and has a couple of kids, but it’ll be fun hanging out with her again. Best buddies like old times.”
“That sounds nice, catching up with old friends and all. I don’t know Baltimore, but DC is cool. It’ll be fun.”
“I’m sure it will be. Here’s the thing, though. I don’t want to talk to you until Sunday. You can send the odd text, but I know I’ll lose it if I talk to you before then. I need to keep my cool and concentrate on this. Stay 100% in the game.”
“That’s a pretty strict rule, harsh. I can do it, I guess, but it doesn’t make sense.”
“I know, but remember, I’m punishing myself as much as you. God Gill, I don’t remember ever being this much in love. It scares me. But it feels right. I usually trust my feelings, but now they’re twisted. But, yeah, you and me. It’s so intense that I’m afraid it will drown out reason when I’m trying to do work.”
“But doesn’t that tell you something?”
“It does. Don’t worry, this isn’t a cold, ‘we need time apart’ thing. It’s just three days so I can keep my eye on the ball. And you can send texts. But for three days, I want to try to do this.”
“I guess we can try.”
“But you have me all to yourself tonight, OK?”
“Hey, you were the one that said we can work something out. We will. I have no idea how or what, but it’ll work, OK?”
“And Sunday, we can talk like old times.” She laughed. “’Old times’ meaning two days ago and hopefully two minutes from now. But hey, let’s stop moping and start talking. You said you spent last night studying. What all did you find out? Any clues how to free Martha and Jess? Help the babies? What’s up with that bastard Thomas? Has that Barbara person been sniffing around any more?”
We talked for over two hours. At the end of it she said she was sure she wanted to try the three days away thing. Some texts, but not every two minutes. And then we cried. I’m embarrassed to say, but it was both of us. Strangely, it was bonding. I felt closer to her even though we were as far away as possible. There came a point, though, that we knew we had to say goodnight.
“Hey Gill,” Lyndsey said. “keep your chin up. Sunday will be here before you know it. And in the next three days, remember that I love you.”
“Good luck, Lyndsey. I love you too. More than I can say.”
“Goodnight. Love you.”
And then the call was over.