I walk into the bar and she’s there before I am, something that isn’t shocking to me. Adena always seems as if she is early to everything, punctual more so than myself. I smile when she looks up at me smiling that captivating smile of hers, “hello,” she sings, standing up from where she sat to give me a hug, kissing me on the cheek.
“Hey,” I chime, “what are you having, soda with a lime?”
“Yes, thank you,” I order our drinks and feel her hand on the small of my back, “I am going to find us a table.”
“Lead the way,” I chime, paying for our drinks and following Adena closely. We end up at a small table near the front windows of the bar, sitting across from each other with small smiles on our faces as we sit in silence, not an uncomfortable one, but still silence.
“Are you okay?” She asks, playing with the wedge of lime on the side of her glass.
“Yeah, it’s just been a long week.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“You sound like you’re in my profession,” I tease, causing her to laugh.
“I have a lot of respect for your job, but could never see myself doing that kind of work.”
“You need to be creative, I see that about you. I can say I know that very well about you.”
“Have you ever analyzed me?”
“In a fully professional context?”
“Yeah, have you?”
“No?” She asks, sitting back in her chair a bit, cocking an eyebrow.
“I don’t always analyze people. The ones I have an interest in are the ones I don’t want to look into clinically. I want to learn about them properly.”
“I see,” she says, sipping her drink.
“Why, would you?”
“I don’t think so. I would want to learn about someone like you do. There is something about learning about a person, really learning about them, that I find to be the most beautiful thing.”
“It is beautiful. You see the true beauty in someone when you aren’t looking at them under a microscope.”
“What are we, Kat?”
“What do you want us to be?”
“Something. Something more than this.”
“Something more than friends?”
“Yes. I have feelings for you, Kat.”
“I feel like I have feelings for you, too.”
“So then what are we going to do?” Adena asks, leaning forward a bit, resting her arms on the table, “are we going to move forward in a romantic way, or take time?”
“Can we take time?”
“How much time?”
“However much time I feel I need to make sure things are right. I don’t want to waste time on something that could fall through.”
“It won’t fall through. I want to give you my all, Kat. I’m fighting for you and you don’t even know it!”
“I didn’t know that. You didn’t make it obvious enough for me to know that.”
“I knew you weren’t going to realize it.”
“Did you want me to?”
“I don’t know… but I know you would realize your conflicts.”
“That’s a clinical way of putting it,” I laugh, taking a sip of my drink.
“I want this to work. I’ve never wanted to make something work so much in my life.”
“So you’re going to settle?”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Settle your life, not travel so much, or just pick up and go as often as you want to. You’re going to rearrange your life aren’t you?”
“If you’re willing to give in to me, I’m willing to give in to you.”
“We’re going to have to take our time.”
“I know, but I don’t have all the time in the world, Kat. I can’t waste time either. I can’t waste time, taking time.”
“I know and I don’t want you to.”
“So we’re at a standstill?”
“So that’s it then?”
“Adena, I didn’t want this to turn into something like this, I just wanted to enjoy time with you,” I sigh, watching her face fall.
“I’m sorry, Kat.”
“I’m sorry too. I just want things to happen at their own pace. I don’t want to rush anything, or make this something it shouldn’t be before we’re ready for it.”
“I know, I do feel the same way. I just also feel like if I don’t make the effort, the opportunity will slip away,” she says, giving my hand a squeeze.
“I don’t believe it will.”
“No, we have a connection, that much is evident and there is a way we can make that into something with the right about of effort and timing.”
“There you go, talking about timing again. Have you ever lived a spontaneous day in your life?”
“No, I haven’t,” I sigh, bowing my head.
“So, be spontaneous. You have one life, are you going to waste it being closed off and just live in this one city for the rest of your life?” Adena says, playing with her glass, “if you ask me, you’re just wasting your own time at this point, and have been for years now,” she says as she reaches into her bag, she pulls out some cash, dropping it on the table and walking away without another word. I sat there for a minute, not knowing what to do as I look into my glass. I take a deep breath, finishing the rest on my drink and throwing some money down on top of Adena’s, making my way out of the bar. I step out onto the curb and look to see Adena was leaning against the wall not far from the door, a smirk playing on her lips, “I thought you were going to take a bit longer.”
“This is me diving head first.”
“This is you diving head first?” She asks, a teasing tone to her voice as she walks towards me, pulling at my waist.
“Out of an airplane without a parachute,” I whisper, looking at her curiously.
“So dramatic,” She laughs, kissing me softly.
“I’m going to mess this up,” I whisper against her lips.
“Don’t be so depressing.”
“I’m not sure about how this is going to go, I just know that I’m not all that sure about it, like, I don’t know if I’ll be good at this, I’ll probably mess it all up.”
“You’re going to be great at this, don’t be so hard on yourself. Everything will be okay,” she says, caressing my cheek, “I would like to see you tomorrow if that’s alright with you.”
“Tomorrow doesn’t work for me, I have a conference tomorrow and then I’m going out of town.”
“How long are you going to be gone for?”
“A few days, I have another conference out of state.”
“Would you oppose me coming with you?”
“You’re a very forward woman, aren’t you?”
“Somewhat,” she shrugs, “I’m surprised you haven’t caught on by now.”
“Oh, I have. Don’t flatter yourself.”
“So, am I allowed to come with you?”
“You’re not going to let up, are you?”
“Probably not,” Adena chimes, leaning in and kissing me softly.
“I wouldn’t be around if you came with me, I do have to go to work.”
“That’s fine, I’ll use the opportunity to explore.”
“You really want to come with me, without knowing where I’m going.”
“I want to go just to be with you,” she smiles, “I’ve told you before Kat, I’ve never felt so connected to someone before I met you. There is something about you that I can’t seem to get over that feeling,” she explains, looking at me with a small smile. “So where are we going?”
“The middle of nowhere?”
“It’s not the middle of nowhere, St. Paul is a decent city, not like this one. But still,” I shrug as she starts to laugh.
“Where are we going there?”
“I’m speaking at the university’s school of psychology.”
“You’ve built up an impressive name for yourself, haven’t you?
“You could say that,” I smile, “we’re both respected in our professions.”
“It seems so,” Adena smiles, leaning in to kiss me.
“We leave the day after tomorrow, just so you know.”
“I need to book it.”
“I’ll take care of it, don’t worry.”
“You’re welcome,” I smile.