At some points during my six weeks of radiation treatments, I wasn’t in a lot of pain and actually enjoyed being at the Cancer Center at Sibley Hospital. On my best days, the head radiation technician would play her latest hip-hop mix as we would catch up on the day’s events, and another technician and I would do the moonwalk or running man down the hall.
I had hoped that my last radiation treatment would have been my most celebratory day in the Cancer Center, but that wasn’t the case. I had a substitute radiation technician, and she unfortunately hadn’t been relayed some necessary information about how to treat me. I went into the treatment room with a huge smile on my face, and I left dry-heaving, crying from the pain and cursing like a sailor.
An hour later, I still felt sick, but I didn’t want to cancel dinner with my friends to celebrate the end of treatment. I sent Best Boy a text letting him know where we would be meeting in case he wanted to join us for a drink or dessert.
Best Boy: I have my class tomorrow in Richmond so I’ll let you know.
Me: Umm…as in you’ll let me know if you can make it for a drink or you’ll let me know if you can come over after?
Best Boy: I won’t be able to do drinks because I have a meeting and then I have to be at a networking event. I’ll let you know about after.
Now, I knew what networking event he was referring to, as these regular get-togethers are open to all people in the DC area on Facebook. I appreciate that Best Boy might have planned to meet colleagues at the event, but this was far from a once-in-a-lifetime networking opportunity. I decided to just be honest with him since I didn’t want there to be any confusion about my thoughts.
Me: I get that work is your priority right now, but seeing you tonight to celebrate the end of treatment is very important to me.
Best Boy: K. I’ll do my best.
I had a nice dinner with my friends at Notti Bianche and then we headed back to my apartment. My friends left at around 11pm, at which point I got ready for bed and walked my dog. At midnight, I was just getting into bed when my phone rang. It was Best Boy.
Best Boy: Are you still out?
Me: No. I’m back at my place.
Best Boy: I just finished up and was heading your way.
Best Boy: I have my class early in the morning.
Me: Yeah, I know.
Best Boy: I don’t have another suit so I need to go home before I head to Richmond.
Best Boy: So, I can’t stay long.
Me [pausing as I register what he’s saying]: So, you’re just coming over for an hour or two?
Best Boy: Yeah, since I need to be up early tomorrow.
Me: Umm…I’ll pass then. Thanks, though.
Best Boy: Huh? I’m confused.
Me: I really don’t care to just have you come over for a bang and roll. You never come over here without spending the night. Even when we were just friends and didn’t have sex, you would spend the night! I’m not about to have that change on my last night of radiation.
Best Boy: I’ve never viewed you as something casual. You know that. I wish I didn’t have to get up early tomorrow, and I tried to get out of the event as quickly as I could tonight.
I didn’t ask him about specifics since I knew the event had officially ended two hours prior.
Me: You were the one who said that Wednesday was the best night for you to get together this week. And, once you picked Wednesday, I told you why that night was important to me. If you couldn’t do it, you should’ve told me sooner. I would have asked one of my girls to stay over, but everyone left an hour ago. I had a really long day and didn’t want to spend the night by myself.
Best Boy [pausing]: I’m sorry it didn’t work out. [Pause.] What are you doing Friday?
Me: I’m in New York.
Best Boy: When are you leaving? Maybe we could get together during the daytime?
Me: 10am so that won’t work. [Pause.] I really wanted to see you tonight.
Best Boy: I did, too. That’s why I wish you would let me come over.
Me: It wouldn’t be enough. Not for a night like tonight. I’m only doing this once so this is it for me celebrating the end of radiation. Get home safely, and I’ll see you when I’m back from New York.
I had never shed more than a few tears over Best Boy. Ever. But, that night, after the day that I had, I cried for ten minutes straight.
I was so exhausted that I fell asleep almost immediately after my head touched the pillow. I didn’t give much thought to whether I would see Best Boy upon my return. I could figure that out when I was back from my trip.