Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Great Whatever (blog Story) 17

     The idea that no news is good news is nonsense. Good news is good news. The lack of news just means things are the same. You were relieved though that when you and Heather went to spend a Saturday with your parents your mother looked fine and didn’t act sick at all. No one broached the subject and you didn’t ask, but still you had some lingering suspicions.
     Whether or not your mother was well did not seem to have an impact on your money situation. It did not seem to make as much difference as your living situation. You felt wholly justified in wondering why Heather had to have her own place. It made sense that if the two of you were going to get married you should combine your resources. You waited till you were alone at diner to discuss the subject.
     “I want us to move in together.”
     She gives you a quizzical look. “We do live together."
      “I mean really. I think we should just have one place together. Not you with your place and me with mine. We share my place, but you still have your place on the side. If you got rid of your place we could live together in our place.”

     “Are you trying to confuse me?”
     “No. I just feel like if we’re in this together then we should be all in. Having your own place means you still have a foot out the door.” You wonder if you should have said that. It seems like the kind of thing that could backfire. Fortunately, she interprets it as vulnerability, which it primarily is.
     “I live with you all day, every day. I’m not going anywhere. I have to keep my own place. My parents insist I have it. I don’t know why, but they’re paying for it. We can use it as a storage locker with a view.”
     This does make you feel better even if it only solves half of your problem. You decide to put all your cards on the table. “I might need help with rent.”
     “My dad. He didn’t cut me off. He cut me back. Work doesn’t really pay me much. I have enough to cover everything important, but not for anything else. I figured if we split some of the costs I’d have a little more wiggle room.”
     She begins to suspect that what she thought was you exposing your feelings may be just an excuse to ask her for money. “Are you broke?”
     “No. But, take for example this diner in a nice restaurant is going to cost about eighty dollars. I can do this. We eat out like three, four times a week. I should really only do this once a week or maybe every two weeks.”
     You are losing badly. You struggle to find a way to save the conversation. “I kinda hoped that if we were together and shared everything I wouldn’t have to tell you. I don’t want to make you stay at home because I can’t go out.” You hang your head a little bit for affect and think, well played.
     “Oh, Mark. It’s alright. We go out way too much. We need to stay at home more. And, I can start helping out with the bills. I’ll learn to cook.”
     You give her a smile. “Better you than me.” It worked.
     That night instead of coming home with you she decided to go to her place and pack up more stuff to bring over. Lying alone in bed with the dog you felt the self-satisfaction of a man who got what he wanted. Then again, you were alone, so it was more like a partial victory.

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