“Hey, babe.” Rembrandt materializes out of the blue, a huge yawn splitting his face. He’s wearing a robe, and he ties the belt before slipping an arm around me.
“Hey, boo.” I kiss him on the cheek and am surprised to find my cigarette has burned out. I light another one so I can have a few more puffs.
“You had a pensive look on your face when I came out. What’re you thinking about?” It’s a simple question, but I’m not sure how to answer. Do I give the safe answer of that I was thinking of that man? Or do I tell him about my feelings about us? I decide to start with the former and work my way to the latter; it feels safer that way.
“That man. The imposter. I can’t stop trying to figure out why he did what he did.” I take a draw on my cigarette so he won’t see my face. I’m not lying to him, exactly, but this isn’t the more pressing issue, if I’m to be honest. Rembrandt looks at me for several seconds before answering.
“You may never know,” he finally says. “He’s dead, and his wife seems pretty clueless.” He hesitates and adds, “What is really on your mind?” I don’t respond. Do I want to get into it with him or do I just want to shine him on? My impulse is to equivocate, but he deserves better than that.
“I want to go on a date,” I blurt out, blushing as soon as the words leave my mouth. It’s not how I wanted to phrase it, but it’s what I’m thinking, really. “Don’t get me wrong. I love that you cook for me, and I feel so spoiled by it. It’s just, we kind of went from dating to limited cohabitation very quickly. I know it’s been stressful and weird because of that psycho woman, but I want to date.”
“Let’s go on a date then,” Rembrandt says. “Saturday night? You pick the restaurant. I’ll come and pick you up and everything.” Irrationally, the fact that he’s being so sweet about it makes me feel even worse. Am I spoiling for a fight? Is that what’s going on here? I should be thrilled that I have a sweet, sensitive, talented, hot man who wants to be with me. Instead, I’m moping over stupid girly shit like going on a date. I am my own worst enemy, and I need to grow the fuck up.