Single In The Suburbs, Installment 34

Our writer has a hot romance percolating with Kevin…but is there someone else in his life? Maybe it’s time to find out.

By Sara Susannah Katz

To read the entire series of articles from the beginning, click here.

ur columnist has had a couple of hot dates with Kevin, a guy she’d dated once before but stopped seeing after he said he just wanted to be friends. Now, things are steaming up between them…but she has reason to believe she may not be the only woman in his life. And now she’s determined to find out the truth.

Monday, 5:47 p.m.
Kevin picks up on the third ring. “The lovely Sara,” he says. “How are you, sweet?”

“Fine.” Oh, this is hard. How to begin? “Sort of fine. Um. There’s something I’ve been wondering about.”

“Hang on. Call-waiting.” Click.

Of course I immediately assume that it’s his girlfriend on the other line, the one he
Which is it? Either he has a girlfriend or he doesn’t.
mentioned in the middle of sex. How did he put it? Oh, yeah: I love how passionate you are, Sara. I wish my girlfriend was passionate like you. And while I tried to convince myself that he was referring to this cold fish in the past tense, I can’t help suspecting that she is very much part of his life right now.

“I’m back. What’s up, you luscious thing? I haven’t stopped thinking about you, by the way. I can barely concentrate on work.”

I feel this warm full-body flush, and my heart is hammering. All I really want to do now is suggest we meet for “coffee” but my left brain tells me to stick to my original plan. Just ask him, Sara.

“Hey. Listen. You, um, said something in the middle of, you know, sex.”

Kevin laughs. “I did? That’s weird. I’m not usually that vocal.”

“You don’t remember?”

“Can’t say that I do. I was a little distracted at the time.”

I find this weird but not impossible, I suppose. I guess good sex can be like a powerful drug and some drugs do, in fact, affect memory. Or am I just rationalizing?

“You mentioned your girlfriend. You said you wished your girlfriend was passionate like me. Does any of this sound familiar?”

Long pause. And then, finally, “I said that?”

I tell him that he did indeed utter those words and, more to the point: “Do you have a girlfriend?”

An even longer pause this time. “It’s complicated.”

I sigh and tell him it’s really not that complicated. Either he has a girlfriend or he doesn’t. Then he explains that “Gina” lives and works in Seattle. They own a house together. Their relationship hasn’t been good
Why would the universe have put Kevin in my path? I’m about to find out…
for a very long time. Joyless, is how he put it. And they almost never have sex.

I realize that I have stopped breathing and force myself to inhale. It sounds like a gasp. Which, I suppose, it is.

“Deal-breaker?” Kevin asks.

Now it’s my turn for a pregnant pause. “I need to think about it.” Honestly though, I’m not sure there’s anything to think about.

Tuesday, 9 a.m.
Just got a call from Henry Eller, one of the higher-ups on the search committee. They want to bring me in for one more interview, this time with the boss, Bud Jackson. If I understand correctly, I am the top choice. If the boss likes me as much as the search committee does, I should have a brand new job by the end of the month. My interview is at 3 p.m. I’ve got to go home and change my clothes!

Tuesday, 2:30 p.m.
Given all the drama with my evil co-workers, you’d think this would be a no-brainer. In truth, I am stubbornly loyal to my current boss and I feel sorry for her; she’ll be completely unmoored without me and will do everything within her power to retain me, including matching Bud Jackson’s offer. The one thing she probably won’t do, however, is fire Brenda McAleer.

Tuesday, 3:05 p.m.
I am sitting across from Bud Jackson in his spacious corner office. I guess he likes me because he’s listing all the reasons why I should be working here. Bud is charming and smooth, with a quick wit and rugged good looks and an athletic build. If I’m not careful I think I could develop a crush on my boss (assuming I get this job) rather quickly.

Tuesday, 3:30 p.m.
Bud says the job is mine if I want it. He even showed me my office, a bright space with two huge windows and sleek cherry furniture. I’d make $10,000 more than my current salary, I’d have three supporting staff members and a virtually unlimited budget. I’d be crazy not to take this job.

But as I make my way back to my office I decide that I want to stay where I am. As much as I hate Brenda, I really like my job. I don’t mean to be overly mystical, but maybe the universe put Brenda McAleer in my path so I could learn to get along with difficult people instead of escaping them.

The question is, why would the universe put Kevin in my path? I suspect I’m about to find out.

Sara Susannah Katz is a writer in the Midwest.

Read Single In The Suburbs, Part 35

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