I jumped out of bed full of energy and excitement. I was ready for the day. Adam was bringing me along to shadow him at an event doing a job I aspired to do. It was going to be a great learning experience and I was going to meet important contacts for my career. I was so excited.
Before Adam came to pick me up, I got a text from Maggie: “Have fun today.”
This was weird, she never texted me. I couldn’t decide if the text was sarcastic or she was actually excited for me. We didn’t have much of a friendship, or any relationship at all. I replied back: “Thanks!”
Next thing I knew there was a knock on my door and Adam and I were off to the event.
“Are you excited?” Adam asked as we got onto the highway. He was focusing on the road and didn’t have much of an expression on his face.
“Oh my god, I am so excited. I couldn’t sleep last night. I can’t wait to see you in action today!” I said with a giant smile across my face. I couldn’t hold it together. Adam replied with a forced smile and silence. There was weird tension in the car. This wasn’t how we normally acted together, but it was becoming normal recently.
We had been drifting away from all the flirty comments and texted significantly less in the past few weeks. We still hung out, but when we did Adam was slightly more standoffish. Even though things were weird, I knew I still had a shot with him and I was holding onto that with all I had.
“This will be really good for you,” said Adam breaking my thoughts. “You know what you’re doing and if you were to do my job today you’d be great.” He opened up a bit more with the conversation.
“Thanks,” I said.
The rest of the car ride got better the further we drove. We even joked around a little bit but mainly focused on the day ahead.
Once we got to the event, things happened quickly. There was a lot of moving around and Adam was coordinating a lot of different things. I really did look up to him career wise and how far he was at such a young age. He did his job well and he owned it.
Next thing we knew it was our lunch break. We had an hour off-site to grab food, so Adam and I escaped to a pub a few blocks away.
“Did you see that guy who was trying to tell me what to do when he had no idea what he was doing?” Adam said as our food arrived.
“Oh my god he was out of control!” I laughed. We were joking around and gossiping about the other workers. It finally felt like we were on the same page again.
We talked a bit more about work but then drifted into a deeper conversation.
“I really feel like things are going well for me right now though,” said Adam getting really serious.
“Why do you say that?” I said.
“Well with work moving along so quickly, I have a lot of good gigs coming in, and with Maggie and everything,” he said but kind of trailed off.
I froze. He was talking about Maggie? He never talked about Maggie. I didn’t know what to say.
“Uh, what do you mean?” I said. I was nervous for his answer.
“Well, I feel like things are going really well between us right now. I feel really good about her and we’re in a good place,” he said. “It just feels right, you know?”
My mouth hung wide open and Adam could definitely pick up on it. I have never heard him, in the almost year of knowing him, talk about Maggie like that. Talk about Maggie at all, let alone like that. Why is this coming up now?
“Oh right. Well that’s good,” I said with a weak voice. I looked down at my food, then around the restaurant, then back at my food. I tried really hard not to show emotions, but I was clearly upset. Adam felt it. The entire restaurant felt it.
We continued to eat but our table remained silent. My mind was running more than it had in the past year:
So he’s really not breaking up with her. They are really staying together, after everything he’s said to me. After everything that’s happened. They are really not breaking up. Why is he saying this now? Why not the moment we met? Why not weeks ago? Why not months ago? Why. Now.
I had no right be upset, I knew he was dating her. He is not obligated to break up with her to be with me. I had no right to be upset, I thought.
I grabbed the bill off our table once it came.
“I got this,” I said with a forced smile.
“Seriously you don’t have to,” said Adam who looked upset as I took my first look at him since he last spoke.
“No seriously it’s my treat. Thank you so much for bringing me along today,” I said.
“Ok thanks,” he said.
I paid the bill and we went back to the event. The rest of the day went by so fast I didn’t have a second to process what happened at lunch. Next thing I knew, we we’re in Adam’s car on the way home. He joked around like things were normal but my feelings from what he said at lunch were at the back of my mind.
Once he dropped me off and I said thank you and ran inside to process what was going on in my head.
I had come to a realization: I can’t do this anymore. I need to move on and stop hanging out with him. I told myself this was just fun and I wouldn’t let it affect me, but it has. But I had a concert in a few weeks with him and his friends. It was planned for months, I couldn’t back out. What was I going to do?
One more hang out, I thought. I decided it would be the last.