from the desk of...candidate 4

The night was warm and nearly over and I didn’t want to leave her yet. S, my girlfriend, had spent the evening running around with her friend’s four children and was exhausted by all the action, noise, and activity. I came over to spend some time with her, but ended up spending more time watching the kids with her.

“I’m over-stimulated,” she sighed after we left the house.

Her back was throbbing from an inflamed disc. She needed to sleep, but she wanted just a few minutes with me, alone.

We drove to a nearby steakhouse and bar, the only place in town that looked open at 9:45 on a Thursday. But we found out that it too would be closed at the stroke of 10. So we walked around the building and found a small grassy grotto with a fountain in the middle. We found some rocking chairs on the back porch of the restaurant. I gave her the seat with the best back support and dragged another chair over for her to put her feet on. I sat next to her and we looked out at the spouting fountain, listening to the calm gurgling sounds of water.

“I wanted to talk to you a little more about something,” I said.


“You’ve said before that if I were to get a job in another state that you would come with me, right?”

She nodded her head.

“I’ve applied to every school in the area, and I’ve been rejected by almost every single one,” I said. “It seems lately, I’ve only been applying only to places out of state. If I do get a job, chances are I’ll have to move. How do you feel about that?”

She took in those words and thought a moment. She sighed and looked into my eyes.

“I can’t live without you,” she said. “I want to be where you are.”

“And I want to be with you,” I said. “I’m doing this so I can be in a position to support you and we can be together.”

“I know,” she said. “And to be honest, it scares me to think about moving. But I don’t dwell on it much, since nothing is concrete and we don’t know what’s going to happen.”

“Let’s play pretend,” I said. “Let’s say, I get a job at this school I applied to today in Northern California…”


“We would be up in the mountains, and close to the ocean…”

“Sounds nice”

“…and you would be out of your comfort zone because we’d be living around all these liberal hippies! ”

She starts to laugh.

“Or I might get the job in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, where it’s beautiful and wooded, and we’d be outdoors all the time,” I said.

“That sounds nice too,” she said. “But I would want to get married before I ever moved in with you.”

Admittedly, I’m still a little squeamish at the “m” word. It’s like the feeling some people get by watching a live operation on TV, all the blood and exposed organs is a little overwhelming and I want to put my head down between my knees. But I suck it up. Because deep down, I think I would like the “m” word with her.

“Well, we might be able to arrange something,” I said, smiling. “But don’t call this a proposal!”

She laughs and leans her head back. I squeeze her hand.

“It’s just that if I get a job within the next month, that’s really quick and we wouldn’t really have time to plan anything,” I said.

“That’s true.”

“What if…what if I got a job in another state and I went out there for a semester, just six months, and got settled in, got on my feet, and I came out to see you once a month, and we talked every day, and if things work out, we plan on getting married at the end of that time, and you come move out to be with me? Although, I know you said you couldn’t do a long distance relationship.”

“No, I couldn’t do a long distance relationship if I didn’t know where it was going,” she said. “But being apart for a few months and knowing that it was going to end with us being married, that’s different. No, I think that would be a good idea. I think I could handle that.”

We continued to watch the fountain shoot water from its spout, and enjoy the peaceful serenity of the moment. It was getting late. She needed to go back to her place. I needed to get back to mine. We would be apart for awhile. But I would be back with her again soon.

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