It had been a hard couple of weeks for me. So I was happy to be taking a car to Richmond, and just had a good feeling in my gut that this time I would catch up with Karen. I had not seen her since she left Indianapolis, and I needed some of her loving friendship. Badly.
I arrived in Richmond the day before I was set to deliver. I went straight to the Garden Of Eat'n Cafe, and I looked in the window to see her. My heart leaped to new heights, and I felt so good all over. She didn't see me, but I stood there for a moment just watching her. Enjoying her glow, her sweet and simple beauty. And yes, her shiny blonde hair. I love this woman.
And then something completely unexpected happened. Her ex-girlfriend Cheryl stepped out from the kitchen door. They spoke for a minute, and laughed together. Then Cheryl leaned in close and kissed Karen on the lips. Suddenly, my heart sunk.
When Cheryl walked back into the kitchen, Karen turned and looked out the window. Her face lit up and she ran to the door to greet me. "Hey you!" she said cheerfully.
"Get over here quick and give me a hug. Its been too long."
I walked over and hugged her, though I must admit that she was hugging tighter than me. "How have you been?"
"The question is, how have You been? I thought you would have come to visit me before now."
"I did come, several times. You were either gone the days I came, or the Cafe was closed."
Karen looked down at her feet for a minute. "Uh, yeah, well I made a few trips back to Indy. There was some stuff to take care of."
"Yes, Cheryl, is that a problem?" she asked in a defensive tone.
"No, no. I'm just a little confused. I thought you moved here partly to get away from her."
"I did, partly. But she... I mean we... Bill, she wrote me poetry. No girl has ever written me poetry."
"I used to write you stories all the time."
"You're not a girl, silly."
"Thank God for that."
Karen looked at me with an odd expression. "Am I detecting a little attitude from you?"
I shrugged. "I just thought we'd have more quality time together."
She nodded. "I think I know what you thought. What did you think, Bill? That because I broke up with my girlfriend I wasn't gay anymore?"
"Clearly you haven't broken up with your girlfriend."
"We did, but... well, she missed me. And I guess I missed her, too."
I shuffled my feet around. "Does she live here now?"
She shook her head no. "She is just here for an extended visit. She doesn't like it here. I think she wants me to move back to Indy."
"Are you gonna?"
"Would that be a problem for you?"
"I don't know, Karen, would it be a problem for you?"
She gave me an appraising look. "I don't like you like this. Your kind heart just flew out the window."
"No, I don't think you are. I was going to invite you in for a bite, but I don't need the negativity in my Cafe."
"Alright, then." I began to walk away.
She stepped towards me and grabbed my hand. "Hey." I turned around. "Get this crap out of your system then come back and see me. OK?" She paused. "You know I love you, right?"
"Love you, too," I mumbled. And then I got into the car and drove away.