Letting Go and Hanging On

I wonder if she’s going to call…

He kept thinking those same words over and over again. He didn’t like to admit that he was obsessing, but that’s exactly what Tim was doing.

Tim had gone out with Cindy just once and he hadn’t seen her or heard from her since. But that wasn’t for a lack of trying. He tried calling her at home and on her cell phone the day after their date. For the last week he had spent a great deal of his time hanging out in the coffee shop in which he had first met her. Nothing.

Cindy hadn’t returned any of his messages and she hadn’t stopped in for coffee even once.

“She’s not interested, dude.” Comforting words from Tim’s closest friend, Dustin. They were both, once again, sitting in Tim’s favorite coffee shop. Dustin was getting sick of watching as his friend would crane his neck toward the door every time the bell rang signaling a new customer. He was sick of watching Tim constantly look at his phone and putting it back down only to be disappointed when there was no new text or voice message.

Tim just looked across the table. “Thanks for instilling that bit of confidence in me… means a lot.” The door opened and, predictably, Tim turned around. It was just some guy in a flowery shirt. Tim exhaled, part sigh, part huff.

Dustin couldn’t help but roll his eyes. “It’s been a week. You haven’t heard from her. Obviously, she’s moved on. Time for you to do the same.”

Tim knew he was right. Cindy was just some random girl that he had met in a coffee shop. He had seen her there a few times and decided to ask her out. Sure, she was pretty and she seemed nice enough on their date, but she’d left him hanging now for a week. Why was it so hard for Tim to just let things go?

“All right, dude, I’m getting outta here.” Dustin stood and picked up his newspaper from the table. “You can stick around and keep punishing yourself or feeling sorry for yourself if you want, but I can’t sit here and keep watching you do it.”

Dustin walked away while Tim just sat there. He drummed his fingers against his cup and looked around the shop. He grabbed his cup, got out of his chair, and finally followed his friend outside.

Dustin was still standing just outside the door when Tim joined him. “I knew you’d come around eventually.”

Tim smiled. It was forced, but it was a smile. But just as he was about to apologize for being so pathetic for the last few days, Cindy walked up. She looked as if she had been crying.

Tim didn’t know what to say to her. In the span of a few seconds a million notions entered his mind. Cindy put her arms around Tim and hugged him tightly. She buried her face in his shoulder and he could feel the warm moisture of her tears through his shirt as she began crying all over again.

He just looked over at Dustin who simply nodded and walked away. Tim just had no words for the moment. All he could do was put his arms around a woman that, only a few minutes before, he was certain wanted nothing to do with him. He rubbed her back and tried to offer as much comfort as he could, considering he had no idea why she was so upset.

Now his mind went to another place. Instead of selfishly wondering why she hadn’t been calling him, he began to wonder what could be hurting her so badly. He began to wonder just how he could help her.

Feature Photo by Clifford on Unsplash


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