Things with Adrian had been going well.
So well in fact, that I found myself feeling a bit of anxiety. Thinking about it made my head spin; Was I headed towards a real relationship without the complications of the “grey area“? Was I willing to move forward with Adrian? Was Adrian ready and willing to move forward with me?
The answer seemed to be yes, to all of the above. Adrian and I were spending time together, he was calling regularly and he was even doing things like making plans for a month away (in the early dating stages, suggesting something for “next month” feels like a huge commitment). But I was anxious in other ways too; this Adrian situation was rolling out so smoothly and unfortunately my life never quite seems to work out that way. There’s always a snag… so as much as I tried to stay in the moment with Adrian, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Adrian left me a message on Tuesday. “Hey CeCe, I’m going out of town for work on Thursday and I’d like to see you before I go. Are you free tonight? Let me know….”
Normally I would have rearranged my schedule to see him, but Robert and I were going to a concert and we’d had the tickets since before Adrian was even in the picture. I called Adrian back, “hey mister, I can’t do it tonight but I’m free Wednesday night or, I can just see you when you get back”
“No,” he replied. “I need to see you before I leave.”
We made plans to meet up on Wednesday and he arrived at my door looking adorable in grey slacks and a blue button down shirt. He swept me up in a big long hug, “you smell so good” he said, and we headed out for dinner. As we walked to the train, he took my hand. “I got a last minute assignment from work, yesterday. I’m leaving on Thursday to Turkmenistan to work on a project with the endangered snow leopards.”
Adrian is an environmental consultant and I kept meaning to brush up on my National Geographic, but I hadn’t. So what he was saying didn’t mean much to me. I didn’t even know the snow leopards needed help and I wasn’t exactly sure where Turkmenistan was.
“Okay. When do you come back?”
Adrian took a deep breath, “I’ll be back in a month.”
I stopped in the middle of the side walk, speechless. I looked at him to see if he was joking, but he had a pained look in his eyes. He reached out to grab my hand, but I pulled away. “A month?!” I asked incredulously.
“I know, I know” he groaned. “This is like, the worst possible timing.”
I stared at him for a few moments before I continued walking towards the subway. His hand rested on my lower back as we walked and he talked, “This is why I tried to see you last night, I didn’t want to tell you over the phone but I wanted to spend as much time with you as possible before I left.”
I was stunned. I felt like the other shoe had dropped… right onto my head.