Waiting

Waiting for your…
Call I’m sick, call I’m angry
Call I’m desperate for your voice…

The car stereo sings softly as I wait in the emptying parking lot of the Best Buy where I work. The glow of the dashboard illuminate my face as I sit patiently, watching my friends and co-workers filter out in their blue, yellow and white shirts. They smile and wave to me as they pass by, sometimes stopping by the window to invite me to join a small group of them for drinks and burgers at someone’s house.

Nah, it’s late and I’m going home soon, I was just enjoying some last minute peace.

They don’t argue. They smile and say “maybe next time.”

Maybe indeed, but probably not. Social settings give me anxiety and sweaty palms, so I wave goodbye to them and promise to consider it next time.

The parking lot empties until there is only a scattering of cars. Two or three in the vast space, I’m beginning to look increasingly oddly placed. Finally, the last two employees walk out as I begin to grow weary of waiting any longer and debate leaving.

He spots me and walks up to my car before I can change gears to get away. Immediately, I regret waiting so long.

There is nothing spectacular about him. He’s 30 to my 19, shorter than me by an inch and kind of mean to me. To this day, I don’t know why I waited. But I did.

“Wanna go get coffee?” he asks. He tries twice to get me to enjoy it, but I don’t. I never drink coffee again. He takes me to see movies I’ve mentioned I wanted to see, we go to Border’s on our days off and sit in the cafe reading. In the afternoons, we head out to eat something before saying goodbye. He 30 to my 19. He’s also married.

This passes without incident for two months. I get tired of hearing his complaints about his wife. I get tired of feeling like a little child when we’re together. He gets fired for sexual harassment, but we continue these meetings for another 2 months.

Chris starts working while my life is consumed by men I can’t stand. A boy I just broke up with won’t leave me alone; my ex who I gave a second chance after he joined the Marines, which turned out to be another mistake; and him. After he is fired, Chris and I begin to talk more. More flirting. More laughing. Just more.

I turn 20 and he insists on seeing me. I go, knowing I’m wasting my time, it’ll be the same thing it always is. I get frustrated. I leave. A week later he calls me, expecting me to want to see him. I have plans, I tell him, and it’s true. I don’t talk to him again. He calls and texts me for days afterwords, proclaiming love and desire to be with me. They go unanswered.

December of 2008, a year and a half later, I’m noticeably pregnant while Christmas shopping with my husband when I see him, walking behind us into a store. Our eyes connect for a brief moment before his dart down to my expanding stomach. He walks away without a word.

Stripped and polished
I am new, I am fresh
I am feeling so ambitious
You and me, flesh to flesh

Two more years pass, the car stereo sings softly as I sit in a crowded parking lot waiting. Two babes too impatient to wait any longer scream in the back seat as the Spring sun begins it’s descent into the horizon. I watch as people filter out of the store and make their way to their cars. I debate gathering up the kids and taking them inside to stop the crying, but he sees me before I can turn off the ignition. He loads the bags into the back before joining me in the front. We start to discuss meal plans for the week as he puts the car in drive and we head home.

He is nothing spectacular. He’s 4 months younger than me, several inches taller, and can sometimes have a mean streak. But he is mine and I’ll always wait for him.

Prompt: A sound or smell that takes us back
Mine is the song “Your call” by Secondhand Serenade

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6 Responses

  1. I’m not surprised at all that once he saw you pregnant he didn’t have the manners/balls to address you. Though I did want to yell, “Grow a pair!”

    I loved how almost matter of factly this piece was written, and though I appreciate the device of bringing, “He is nothing spectacular.” back in the end, particularly highlighted with your description of you husband I would argue that he is in fact spectacular because you will always wait for him.

  2. I thought this was a very well written piece. I just think saying that “He is nothing spectacular” sounds like you don’t think your other is not spectacular (when I’m sure he is, to you). But if you put “There is nothing spectacular about him” (mirroring the beginning) then it might tie in together better.

    Does that even make sense? Anyway, I really do think you did a great job with this memoir piece. Thanks for sharing!

  3. What a jerk he was. And how young you were.

    I agree that the tone on this piece was very effective–it helped convey how flatly you feel about him now.

  4. There was so very much depth to this post! I learned so much of your story- past and present.

    I loved how things come together in the end and I love the flow of time throughout the post.

    My favorite line: “The parking lot empties until there is only a scattering of cars. Two or three in the vast space, I’m beginning to look increasingly oddly placed.” simply for its poetic wording.

  5. I really liked the ending. I thought that it was very strong.

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