So Mike called it quits with the cheating girlfriend and returned his focus to the playing field. And I was standing in the middle of that playing field, trying to subtly wave my arms wildly.
We had a date. And we talked. And we talked some more. And we went out again. And he was seen talking and dating other female members of the playing field as well. So I likewise continued to talk with and date those male individuals still occupying the playing field.
Michael and I continued to spend more and more time together, me trying to read the tea leaves about the other girls vying for his attention. He was charming, somewhat elusive and also showed a penchant for zipping up to my duplex in his metallic silver/green Fiat convertible. As I was saying goodnight to my other dates.
Which made me feel that Michael might be developing a stronger interest in me.
But it was hard to tell. He would call several nights in a row, then wouldn't call for a bit. We would meet for coffee everyday after class, until the days we wouldn't meet and I would wring my hands over what that possibly meant. He would hold my hand during a movie, but never tried to kiss me goodnight.
And this went on for what seemed like a long, long time.
As in, weeks.
An eternity in dating years.
As the fall days clicked away on the calendar, a particular week loomed. Sadie Hawkins Week. That span of seven days in which all protocol was thrown to the wind and, gasp, girls could ask out the guys. And Michael got asked. Boy, oh boy, did he get asked. And he went.
I hate Sadie Hawkins Week. And not just because it's sexist.
Michael had made a few trips up to Oklahoma in the weeks we had been playing cat and mouse and the end of Sadie Hawkins Week was no exception. He called to let me know that he was heading to Oklahoma City for the weekend. I breathed a sigh of relief that at least he was going to be out of town for the conclusion of Sadie Hawkins.
But there was skullduggery afoot--which is a fun thesaurus.com way of saying that there was a bit of intrigue and artifice going on.
Michael's roommate called me later that afternoon after Mike had left for OKC. The roommate told me that he felt a sense of honor and responsibility to let me know that Mike had gone to Oklahoma City to see a girl he had dated some over the summer, a girl he had worked with in the same theater production company. And while the roommate knew that Mike and I had no exclusive contract on the table, he felt that he could no longer sit by and comfortably watch the duplicity with which Michael was conducting the simultaneous conversations between Miss OKC and myself.
And the roommate offered to take me out for the evening to get my mind off of this information he so kindly disclosed.
I kindly declined.
But I was now thrown into a true dating funk, a strange land in which I had been made no promises, had been given no kisses, had simply enjoyed conversation and meals, movies and music. I had no rights to any expectations. Michael had been fair and kind. And elusive.
And now he was in Oklahoma City. Seeing another girl.
A girl who would ultimately go on to win the Tony for her performance on Broadway. A girl who would go on to enjoy success in Hollywood. A girl Michael was seeing again because he felt he needed to make a choice. Because there was this other girl down in Texas, sitting in her duplex. And both girls were coming to a place that it was only fair for each of them to know if Michael was losing his heart to one of them.
Or the other.
And sometime, if someone asks, I'll tell you the name of the girl in Oklahoma City, the one to whom Mike could have easily and understandably given his heart. Which would have changed my personal history.
But I don't remember anyone specifically asking if Michael had ever dated a future Tony winner and what her name is. So I suppose I'll just have to wait until one of you comes up with that question. But for now, you do know a bit more of our story.
A story that somehow includes the words 'Sadie Hawkins' and 'Tony winner'...in the same paragraphs.