August 29, 2014, weeks before they ever met in real life.
Him: But that’s the problem – and this might sting a little – no you can’t. I enjoy you, I think maybe I could fall in love with you, but I don’t know yet. But hear me out before you throw your phone or whatever… 12:38 AM
Her: “We accept the love we think we deserve” 12:39 AM
Him: You wanna know what guy gets a reputation as a “heartbreaker” (or more recently) a “chickenshit”? A guy who is easy to like (or love) too soon, too much. I’m that guy. I don’t want to be that guy any more. It’s far too much pressure. Casual dating becomes so much more so quickly, long before I’m ready for it. 12:40 AM
Her: If I only walk into Mc Donald’s, kiss you like you’ve kissed me virtually, then walk out… 12:41 AM
Him: I hope you can hear what I am saying and not let it become something different. I want to get to know you. I enjoy our talks, chats, etc. bit I need time. Maybe I need more time than you. 12:42 AM
Her: Don’t you even want to know? 12:42 AM
Him: Explain to me what you think my reaction would be to the McD’s thing? 12:44 AM
Her: You’d follow me out…and all the workers would cheer ; ) 12:45 AM
Him: If you walked out, I would be fine with letting you. Haven’t you figured that out about me yet? 12:48 AM
Her: No. 12:48 AM
Him: You want to know I’m safe – that I’m there with you forever. It’s simple: I will worship you for the rest of my life if I just fall in love with you. 12:49 AM
Then He fell in love…
His ancient coffee maker died. Not only did he no longer have groceries, he couldn’t make coffee either. He intended to pick up both over the weekend, but had no ambition to do so. He drove the two miles to McDonald’s to grab two of theirs and an Egg McMuffin.
The next evening, He was asking Her out for the coming weekend by text. Her response perplexed him.
“You want to go out for coffee?” He replied not catching Her meaning.
He called. What are you talking about?
“Why two coffees? I know you sometimes get two cheeseburgers, but why two coffees?”
Of course it had been for one of The Others and of course She knew.
He drove home today happy because this time, both coffees were for Him.
So this happened…
I went this morning around 9am to pick up breakfast at our fine local McDonald’s. Two Egg McMuffin meals. As I approached the counter…
“You gonna pay by credit card?” the stubby woman behind the counter inquired. I figured their credit card machine was down. “No, I can pay cash.”
“OK, what do you want?”
“Two Egg McMuffin meals, large coffees.”
“Wait a minute – Doris, give me that paper. How much are Egg McMuffin meals?” looking back at me “You said ‘meals,’ right? Not just the sandwiches?”
Doris, handing her a blank piece of paper, “$4.79.”
Stubby looking at Doris: “I can’t do that math, I’ll just charge him $5.”
Me: “Um, I’m not going to pay extra because you can’t do math. How about you charge me $4.50?”
Doris: “Here, I have a calculator!”
While Stubs is looking at the calculator in bewilderment, I grab the paper, write down “4.79 x 2 = $9.58” and hand it back to her. “It’s $9.58.”
Stubby, still perplexed by the technological wonder that is the modern calculator, looks up at me: “But what about the tax?”
Doris then butts in to save our little Stubs. She takes the calculator, punches in the $9.58, multiplies by the tax percent and gives me a total – ten dollars and change.
I hand stubby-wubby a $20. Bewildered again, I told her what my exact change should be. She slowly counted it out.
My two piping-lukewarm EggMc’s arrived somewhere in the next 10 minutes while I watched the stubinator repeat this procedure with an elder gentleman who was only bewildered by Stubby’s lack of synaptic connectors.
I looked over at him. We both smiled. We had shared a special moment.
He missed her.
He always missed her when she traveled, but this time was longer. Five weeks. Maybe more.
“Let me miss you” she had asked.
Missing her wasn’t painful. It gave him a chance to think about her. Her smile. Her eyes. Her voice, touch, smell. Her quirky habits. Even how she enjoyed her McDonald’s.
It gave him peaceful joy.
So he smiled as he took another bite of his cheeseburger, ketchup only.