All day Imani waited for the email from Dan. About last night... It didn’t come. She checked and checked and checked, like she could make an email message appear by refreshing the page. Her mood sank with every passing half hour. She was happy to take on stupid tasks as long as they kept her from checking her email for fifteen minutes at a time; every time she got up from her desk to do something, she thought, well it has to be there by the time I get back. And then it wasn’t.
She grew angry. What was he doing? How did he spend his days? What did he do for money again? She couldn’t remember. Had they ever discussed it? Something at Columbia. Something related to journalism. What did he do? And what kept him from emailing her? Was he not thinking about her? He had to be thinking about her. With the amount that she was thinking of him, it was impossible that he could not feel the psychic pull. He must be playing a game, she thought, and she hated his guts for a half hour. She would play the game right back, she would show up at group next week like nothing had happened. She would ignore him and he would be miserable. Then another fifteen minutes passed with no email, and she thought she might go crazy, she thought she might spontaneously burst a blood vessel in her brain. She wished something terrible would happen to her physically, she wished she would collapse and stop breathing at her desk so that Benji could come rescue her, and then the group could hear about it next Wednesday when she didn’t show up, and she’d be in the hospital recovering from her near-death incident, and wouldn’t Dan feel awful then?
It was a good thing it hadn’t gone any further than a kiss. He was an asshole, such an asshole. She hated him. And she loved Benji. She was going to go home tonight and make Benji some steak and potatoes, and then she was going to suck his dick right there on the couch, because she loved him so much and was so grateful for him. She pulled out her phone and texted him – Sorry I’ve been such a cranky bear lately. I love you, boo. Then she felt great for fifteen minutes. Then she checked her email again and there was nothing and she felt awful. And Benji didn’t return her text.
And she wondered what life would be like if she were single. Not if she left Benji for Dan, but if she had nobody. If she woke up alone and went to work and went home alone at night. What would she do? Hang out with her friends? She hadn’t made one-on-one plans with any of her friends in months; she had to do that right away, start putting friends in the bank. She was afraid to be single, and that disgusted her. She had to make some serious life changes right away. If nothing else, this experience was helpful because it had showed her that. And then she checked her email again. And there was still nothing.
Furious, she started to compose one herself. Dan, I’m not sure what happened last night, but I think we need to talk about it. She kept adding sentences – As you know, I’m committed to my relationship – and deleting them – was she? That remained to be seen. I don’t know what these feelings are that I have for you – delete. Nita hovered, waiting for Imani to stop composing her private email so she could ask for something inane, and Imani wanted to kick her in the shin.
“When you get a second, Tomas needs hard copies of the monthly reports.”
I’m not sure what happened last night, but I think we need to talk about it. Send. The end.
She opened the monthlies, hit “print,” and strode over to the printer, sighing. Now what. She felt better for a second, then she felt worse. Now she was waiting again. Her phone buzzed in her pocket. Benji. He loved her too. She felt sick. She dropped off the “hard copies” at Tomas’ desk, sat down and checked her email. The day would never end. Life was way too long.