We had a bet about what the man would say. She wasn't optimistic, I thought he'd just ask for time to absorb it all. He had started seeing someone, but it didn't sound all that serious.
Well, he called to tell her he'd pick her up at the airport after the trip so they could talk. We sat together on the plane. We talked. We parted ways when we landed. She thought it would be awkward to have to explain me to the man. He knows about the past, but he didn't know we were together on this trip. As I was walking out past security I saw a man. I was sure it was "the" man. He was standing, holding the security rope, leaning forward, almost on his toes. He looked like he was so excited to be meeting her. I was convinced he would say yes, lets get married tonight.
I got in my car and drove home thinking about her, and the man. What it would be between her and I. I know it would change the relationship we have. I knew she would want to really get into life with the man. I was torn. Not big torn. I knew I couldn't do the things for her that she needs, and I want her to be happy. But I started missing her. It was an interesting ride home.
I got the call in the morning. It was not the man. The man was outside baggage, circling in his truck. The man said no. He said too much time had passed. He still loved her. But not in that way. They could be friends. He knows all of her family. He was her dad's friend, that's how they met.
When she got to the office I went down and gave her a big hug. She had been crying. She needed to know about the man, and now she did. She felt better, and she felt worse. We spent a lot of time talking. She's OK. Kind of. I'm OK. Kind of. It was a big week. For both of us.