TITLE: I WAS A SUMMER REALITY STAR
GENRE: Women's fiction
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"I’ve got something to do 2night, but u can spend the night if u want to hang."
Hours later, this was the text I got in response to asking my boyfriend if he wanted to go out to dinner? He’d taken so long to reply that I’d not only eaten a sandwich, I’d also bought an umbrella, tried on half a dozen pairs of shoes, and walked 10 blocks to get home.
Plus, I could sleep there if I wanted to “hang”? Gee, how romantic!
But, still, I hadn’t seen him in a week or so…
You shouldn’t let yourself be at his beck and call, I told myself.
I’m not! I insisted. I am a strong, liberated woman who would like to spend time with her boyfriend this evening. I was the one who suggested getting together at the last minute.
It didn’t take long to pack a bag. A short walk and three Metro stops later, I knocked on Dominic’s front door.
I strained to hear if he was coming, but couldn’t make out anything over the rain and the wind. Shivering, I rubbed my hands on my arms as I waited. What’s taking so long? Maybe I should ask if he ever found that key he made me. Oh, well. At least my new umbrella kept me dry.
Finally, the door swung open. “Hey, Jen!” Dominic greeted me with a smile and a kiss. His stubbly chin scratched my face. He knew I didn't like that. His dark hair was tousled, as if I’d gotten him out of bed. I wondered if he wasn’t feeling well.
“Is everything OK?,” I asked.
“Sure thing, babe. Come in, come in.” He wore tattered gray sweatpants and a dirty white tank top. He must be sick. Or he needed to do laundry.
I hung my coat in the hall, then followed him into the living room. I plopped into my spot on one end of the sofa. Dominic usually sat in the middle.
“Thanks for coming to keep me company. I need to finish this level.”
What? Then I noticed the video game controller lying overturned on the other end of the couch. He set it aside to let me in. That’s what took him so long to get to the door. He’d played to a good spot to save his game. This was what he “had to do?”
Pizza boxes, beer bottles, and sandwich wrappers littered the room. “Dom? Did you leave the house today?”
“I gotta beat this level!”
Seriously? “What about your job?”
“You know we get personal days to use whenever.”