The New M.E. Generation

So that’s what I did. I replied by email a week later thinking he would feel upset for my late response and forget about going out. But, no, he replied rather quickly saying to call him.

I didn’t do it right away. I just didn’t want to come across as desperate. Besides, I wasn’t that excited of going out again. I know many months have passed, but I still had an uneasy feeling about him.

So when I thought it was time, I called and he answered right away (maybe he’s the one who’s desperate). He was also driving and coming back from some event.

“Well, hey, you, what’s up? What have you got to tell me?” asked he.

What is he saying? He doesn’t sound ‘normal’. Definitely not the voice I remember from before.

“Fine,” said I, “just moved south to a new place last weekend.”

“What?? Why the heck did you do that for? Your previous location was great and closer to me.”

“Changes.” (Seriously, it’s not your freaking problem.)

“But, look, man, what, why all the way there?”

“What are you complaining about? It’s done!” (What’s his problem? That this area is not up to his standards?)

He kept rambling on about questioning my move. It sounded to me he had a few too many drinks.

“So, yeah, girl, when are we meeting up?”

“You tell me, you’re the one who contacted me.” (And I’m not into it as we speak.)

“Let’s do a drink or something.”

(More than what you probably have had?) “Sounds fine with me, but now if you want to see me, you have to come this way.”

“Girl, damn, shoot, whoa, you’re making it difficult for me.”

(Why does he have to use so much wording?) “That’s how it goes. Why don’t you come over and then figure out what to do next?” (Like getting yourself together.)

“Yeah, chica, hey, great, what’s your address?”

Maybe this is not such a good idea. Letting him into my space is a risk, but if he gets annoying, out you go!

Yeah, dude, well, this girl rules!

I did what Dina told me to do. I put it to rest, and I did rather quickly. In a few weeks he was totally out of my existence.

But it seemed I was not all out of his mind. From time to time I would get this weird (yes, weird) texts or email messages always around the early hours of the morning.

They were basically composed of one or two sentences to the extent of asking me how I was and he mentioning what he was doing.

For example, “hey baby what’s up? Isn’t this singer great? (I know you girl. I’m getting back at you for what you did to me!)”

OK, let’s rephrase what I said before; it’s not weird but creepy.

Depending on how freaked out I felt and/or how upset I was for him waking me up (oh, did I say that the messages were sent any day of the week?), I would respond or not.

If you feel he probably had too many drinks, well, I do the same.

After a while I would read them, laugh and then go back to sleep. Wasn’t worth stressing out over it until I received an email that was sent at 3:44 am (and read about 8 hours later) asking me if I wanted to go out again.

Oh, boy, here we go again.

It’s been a while since we went on that bad date and I’m wondering if it’s worth the effort of a second one.

I’ll think about it. Besides, I’m not obliged to answer him. Maybe I’ll do what he does.

I’ll send a response a week from today at a quarter to 4 am.

Naaah, not during my beauty sleep.

After meeting him on the beach and eventually developing a crush on him, I would always look forward to seeing him in school somehow like in between classes switching rooms, at recess or at a distance during daytime school events.

At the beach he was sociable with me, but at school he was very much into his studies as he was focusing entering college the following year. He was a very good student with high grades, interested on medicine, law or engineering for a career. For me he was one of those people who already knew what they wanted out of life and how to get to it.

Me, I was an average student in spite of my efforts to improve my grades and had no clue what I wanted to do with my life, which made me dislike myself very much. I kept wondering why I couldn’t be like him.

Still, I would look for a way to cross paths with him without much success as I felt he was pretty much ignoring me. After a while I took a hard look at myself and decided I wouldn’t pursue him and more into leaving things to chance whenever they happened, if that.

And it did. One night my mom and I were visiting her friend from the beach at her apartment building. The kids from her other guests and me were hanging out in the parking lot when I see him pull up in a Fiat convertible. (I think I first saw it when he drove it to school one day.)

I stared at him from a distance and debated whether to go over to say hello to him or not. After all, chances were he would ignore me and I would regret it. Or, I would let him drive away and regret not having the courage to approach him. I gave it a try.

“Hey, how are you?” said I.

“Hey, nice to see you. What you’re up to?”

“My mom is with some girlfriends upstairs. We’re all hanging out here. What you’re up to?”

“I have to take my mom somewhere.”

“Well, good, nice seeing you. I should be around this coming Sunday.”

As I was walking away, he asked, “What are you doing later?”

(What?? Did I hear right??) “Aah, I’m going home when my mom is done here.”

“OK, I’ll call you later,” said he.

“Sounds good.” (Yeah, like, you’re actually going to do that.)

I went back to hanging out with the other kids and watched as he later drove away.

I wished it was I driving in that car, but I gave myself credit for what I did.

Hey, that was a big step for me back then. Kudos to me!

I woke up the next day feeling very upset about what happened last night. For being just 23, he was surely a handful, and definitely one I didn’t want to be associated with this way.

I took my time to wake up and do what I usually do on weekends. I needed to go through my routine before I called him. I had to calm down or otherwise I would knock him hard over the phone line.

I only needed to tell him that I was very upset for him naming me a bitch, and for repeatedly calling when I didn’t wanted to talk to him.

He will probably not answer the phone, but I will still leave him a message. To my surprise, he did pick up my call.

“Hey, what’s up?” said I in a ‘we need to talk’ mode. His tone of voice was more of, ‘am I in trouble?’ and of not totally sure what the nature of my call was.

“You know,” said I, “you were very rude for calling me a bitch last night.”

“I said that to you? I don’t recall; sorry.”

“Obviously, especially when you kept calling me and I wouldn’t pick up my phone.”

“Again, sorry. I hope I can make it up to you.”

“For now, let’s keep it this way. It’s going to take me some time to get pass this.”

Reality is, I don’t know if I want to get pass this. Dealing with a twenty-something who’s behaving more like 13 doesn’t interest me at all.

Maybe he’ll feel so bad today that he will realize it’s better just to leave me alone. It’s the best grown-up thing he could do.

“Hey, what’s up?” asked I to Ivan.

“Working, working. It’s non-stop,” said he in his usual exhausted tone of voice.

“Whatever…Hey I get it. You don’t have space in your life for me or I’m not the one for you. I’ll be fine. You’re not the first guy that has been in my life and disappeared for some reason. Online dating or not, it had the same result.”

I started talking too much and my emotions came afloat, and almost started crying while talking to him. This is exactly what I did not want to happen.

“Emma, I hear you. I’ve been in your shoes too. But you know it is not that I have no interest in you. It’s my job. I promise I will make an effort to call you.”

You promise? Yeah, right! I nodded my head side to side and sighed in frustration because I knew it was not going to happen.

“If you say so,” I concluded.

And as usual, the conversation didn’t last very long. There was a dinner being held at his employer’s residence and he was in charge of the whole event. Meaning, this day was to end very late into the night, like so many others for him.

The phone call ended and I was very sad. I had a feeling this was the last time we would speak on the phone, and probably the end of whatever we shared.

Should I give him a last chance to prove himself wrong?

Between you and me, no, I don’t think he will.

I’m walked inside the station through the garage and the first thing I come face to face with is the fire truck. I think this is the first time I’ve ever been this close to one and its presence of respect and powerfulness was quite impressive.

The station was actually housed in exactly that, a house, meaning there’s no sliding pole. (Darn it!) It had the usual layout of a residence with a kitchen, rooms, living room, etc.

After the quick tour is over (five minutes or less), Al offers me a drink and I sat with him and other firefighters in the dinning table. He then asked one of them to try to contact Brian. The firefighter makes the call and leaves a message for him.

While I had my drink and waited for Brian possibly calling back, I talked to Al about being divorced, how I met Brian and not getting his number, and how embarrassed I felt doing what I had done. Oddly enough, he sat there and listened to everything I had to say.

The firefighter who tried to contact Brian receives a call on his mobile. I kept talking to Al, trying not to show my obvious anxiety waiting to learn if it was finally him.

“What’s up bro’?” said the firefighter. “Listen, there’s somebody here looking for you. (Pause). Emma. (Another pause) Emma! The one you met at the party. Want to talk to her?” He hands me over his mobile.

My mind went blank; I didn’t know what to say. “How are you?” I asked. (“Good and you?” Brian asked me.) “Hmm, nothing, hmmm,” is all could say. I was so nervous I honestly don’t remember what else I told him over the phone.

I do remember the following. “Do you want to meet at the coffee shop on 57th in about 20 minutes?” Brian asked.
“Yeah, I can do that. See you in 20 then,” I concluded.

The place is not that far away from the station, so I decided to stay there briefly before finally exiting. I’m still nursing my drink and talking to Al. I’ve been hoping for this moment and now I couldn’t bring myself to seeing him again.

The time came for me to leave and I thanked Al and the rest of the firefighters for their hospitality.

Al walked me to my car, and just before I drove away, he looked at me and, with a caring voice, simply said, “you’re a nice girl and he’s a great guy. I hope things work out for the best.”

et cetera