I pull up to Tom and my place and park the car. I head inside and find that there isn’t a single trace of Tom left in the entire apartment. I imagined that if I ever came home to find him completely gone one day, I’d be devastated... Yet somehow at this moment, I feel nothing besides relief. And a flash of happiness too.
Happiness warmly takes over my body because I can tell that Tom is happier wherever he is right now and I am happy that we aren’t putting on a charade anymore, trying to force a failing relationship to endure.
My phone vibrates and I look down to see that it is Langston calling. He must have known that he was just the person on my mind.
“Hello?” I ask.
“Hey. How are you?”
“I’m alright. How are you doing?”
“I’m alright as well. I was wondering if you weren’t too busy at the moment if you wouldn’t mind reading the email I just sent you. For The Daily Edict?”
“Sure… I’ll check it out. Want me to call you back?”
“You aren’t too busy over there at your sister’s house?”
“I’m not at my sister’s house anymore. I’m home.”
He’s silent for a moment but I can hear him clunking around.
“What are you doing?” I ask him.
“Nothing, nothing,” he hastily responds.
“I’ll check out this email you sent me now. Want me to call you right back?”
“No, that’s okay. I’d like to just stay on the phone with you here if that’s cool?”
I pull out my laptop and open up my emails. I see the newest message waiting for me and it’s a submission from an anonymous reader, seeking some sound advice from my advice column.
Dear Daily Edict,
I recently just called off my engagement to a woman I’ve been with for five years. I did this because I am deeply in love with someone else. I fear that I’m too late to be with the woman I truly love and that my feelings for her now will be unrequited. What should I do?
I stare at the words on my laptop screen for a long time. I know the message is from Langston but it still feels too much like a dream.
Some cruel fairytale, placed right in front of my eyes just to fuck with me.
“Did you read it?” Langston asks, after the silence on the phone line between has extended on for a long enough period of time.
“I did,” I respond back quietly. “So, Bill and Pauline and all of the other writers for the magazine weren’t fit to handle this one?”
“I don’t believe so, Lori… What do you think that poor sap should do?”
“I think he should take a leap of faith,” I respond. “The same way I have to.”
“Yes. That’s my answer for this ‘poor sap’. Fit to print.”
I hear Langston turning off his car through the phone and a moment later, I hear a knock at my door.
“That was fast,” I say to him as I open the door.
I drop my phone onto the floor as he embraces me in the warmest and tightest hug I’ve ever felt before in my life.
“As soon as you said you were home I was already in the car.”
“I know,” I tell him, my words muffled in his neck.
“So it’s not too late?” he asks me, in my ear.
“It’s not,” I respond, grabbing the back of his neck to hold him closer. “You are the only person on this planet, aside from my sister, who I was ever able to talk to about what happened to me,” I say to him, backing up enough to look him in his eyes. “Thank you for being there for me, always.”
I wish I could say we lived happily ever after but life doesn’t work out that way all the time. We lived an ever after with Regina hating us, writing us out of the company, and out of our jobs with The Daily Edict. In our ever after we attended Tom’s wedding to the new love of his life… the woman who was truly meant to be by his side the whole time. In our ever after, we planned trips and vacations to places like Egypt and the Caribbean. In our ever after, we both pursued our dreams in the world of writing and English literature and celebrated each other on our many accomplishments as years went by, surpassing any and all levels of success we could have dreamed of if we had remained at The Daily Edict. And I’m not going to say that I never needed to go back to using antidepressants ever again.
Our ever after was our ever after. It was exactly what I wanted from the very first time I met Langston when he turned around in the row ahead of me in that lecture hall and said,
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