Chapter One- Part Two
“I’m thinking of taking the job, Mya,” he says softly, leaning in to search my eyes. His eyes are beautiful, big and deep brown. I want to lean in and kiss him.
I turn my head. “I know,” I whisper.
He touches my chin and turns me back to him. “It’s the same job I’m doing now but you know how I’ve been dying to get out of this city. And Chicago is an awesome place.” He moves his hand from my chin and back to my hands.
“I’m really happy for you, Darrin. It’s what you’ve been wanting.” I am honest in my response but still sad. I stare down at my shoes again.
“You think I should go?”
I hate this question. Does he really care what I think? He already knows this is a great opportunity. If I said no would he really change his mind? Would I only end up looking like a fool for telling him to stay?
I look at him and smile. “You should do what you think is right.”
He chuckles lightly and lets go of my hands. “I knew you would say that. Do you care that this might affect us? Because I do. I don’t want to leave you but if I stay here I don’t want to…”
He trails off and I pick it up. “You don’t want to feel you’ve made a big mistake. You want to know that I’m worth giving up this big chance. That you won’t feel some sort of resentment towards me for making that decision.” I stand up. “I can’t give you an answer. I can’t make your decision.”
There is a long silence, each of us in our own minds. I stare out of the sliding glass door leading to his patio. He has an amazing view of the city. The buildings, the lights, cars passing by, music from the nearby park and their summer concert series. I love his area. When my lease ends in a month I told him I was going to move from my uptown apartment closer to his downtown condo. But I won't be so close after all.
I slide open the patio door and then the screen and step out onto the patio letting the cool breeze run through me, easing the tension I’m feeling. I look at the people below walking about enjoying the warm summer night air. Cars pass by, windows were down emitting music tunes from their stereos. We were supposed to be out there too until he popped this news on me. I’m suddenly angry. Our perfect little world, one I thought I deserved, is coming apart. I had a sneaking suspicion it would come to an end one day but I still behaved as though it wouldn’t. Dared to think that we’d get married, have kids.
I hear Darrin step out onto the patio behind me and I lean on the rail. “Why don’t you come to Chicago too? Apply to a job in the government there. You could transfer. You’re qualified for just about everything. And you hate your job anyway.”
I nod absentmindely. He wants me to move to Chicago but not stay with him. We’ve been together for over a year now and he still won’t make that kind of change in his life even though almost half my wardrobe is at his house.
He expects me to find a job and set up shop there. Do the same thing we’re doing now but in a different city.
And I know I’m qualified for many jobs. My resume and educational background is admirable. And yes, I think I’m being taken for granted at my job but I know it well and have a shot at reaching an awesome position and salary. I’m not upset with the money I’m making now, but it wouldn’t be enough to live well in a big city like Chicago. I tell this to Darrin.
“The government accounts for cost of living.”
He’s right. I could find a position there, transfer my current job and get a salary adjustment.
“Apply for something.”
I did but I just got my rejection notice yesterday. I was qualified but when I called the human resources office this morning they told me there were simply too many qualified veterans who had applied and they get a preference. She apologized and said they’d keep my resume on file.
I’m tired because the situation seems hopeless. My reality is that he is going and I am staying and I don’t know how to make it better.