Was I being punked?
What are the odds of that? Who else does this kind of stuff happen to?
I exhaled and ran through the pros and cons to myself before telling Best Boy:
That's not a problem for me. Is it a problem for you?
[I restrained myself from asking if Best Boy and Mr. Exec had planned this. I also held back from letting Best Boy know that I didn't exactly care to be at a bar with the two of them. I didn't want to sound like I had any unresolved feelings for Mr. Exec when I didn't.]
Me: Should I still have the cab drop me off at Ceiba?
[We had vacillated between meeting at Oya or Ceiba. I figured that he would suggest we now meet at Oya instead. But, he surprisingly didn't.]
Best Boy: Yes, if you're fine being around Mr. Exec…
Me: Of course I am.
[What I really wanted to say: Are you fucking kidding me? This is going to be really awkward! When last Mr. Exec and I talked, I told him off for not being there for me after my concussion.]
Best Boy: Good. I'm just looking to relax and have some drinks without any drama.
Me: That works for me. And, there shouldn't be any drama.
As I hung up the telephone, I realized that there would only be drama if I brought it to the table — or the bar, as the case might be. And, I didn't need to do that. Mr. Exec and I were never serious. We had our problems, but I had never shed a tear over him and had said my peace. I was bound to run into Mr. Exec around DC again sooner or later since my world and this city are smaller than small. And, if Best Boy and I hit it off, I didn't want us to have to sneak around Mr. Exec's back. Why did this have to be a big deal then?
I walked through Ceiba's glass doors, noticing Mr. Exec and his friend, Melinda, at the bar. I had met Melinda when Mr. Exec brought her to my Blog Party, and she's a total sweetheart. I exhaled and felt a bit better. I reminded myself that I could do this without being affected. After heading to the bathroom to try to dry off from the effects of the downpour, I went over to the bar.
Me: Hi! Great to see you both! How are you?
Mr. Exec smiled, although his eyes conveyed a sense of surprise at seeing me. We exchanged pleasantries, and Mr. Exec moved to the chair to his left. I had expected him to let Melinda sit in the middle, but he didn't, kindly pulling out the chair between him and Melinda for me. I thanked him and commented:
So…I guess Best Boy should be joining us soon, too.
Mr. Exec: I just talked to him and he's on his way.
Me: I know. He asked me to meet him here for drinks.
Mr. Exec: Oh! [Pause.] He invited you here?
Me: Yeah. Just to grab a drink. Small town, huh? [We laugh with just a touch of discomfort.]
I sat down and for the next 30 minutes, Mr. Exec, Melinda and I had a really nice conversation. There wasn't any awkwardness, and there was a lot of laughter. I was reminded of how easy it had been to talk to Mr. Exec on our first date.
As I turned my head to face Mr. Exec, I couldn't help but be drawn in to his blue-green eyes. His personality was magnetic, but I didn't look at him in the same way that I had when we were dating a mere six weeks ago. I looked at him in a new light now, and I wondered if it would be possible for us to be friends.
I also wondered how the evening would change when Best Boy arrived. I guess I would find that out soon enough.
To be continued…