Episode 1182: One More TimePaul jogged further than he would have on an ordinary day. For one, he didn’t want to return home and find Curran still waiting to have it out with him. For another, Paul wanted to exhaust his own desire to have it out with that entitled tyrant, acting on that would only make things a bigger mess.
So Paul jogged and he jogged some more, reaching one of his favorite parks in the city, admiring the lush green grass, the happy array of flowers blooming along the pathway and watching the light breeze ripple across the creek.
As Paul breathed in the tranquility of it all, it hadn’t occurred to Paul that this park happened to be located near his ex, Lucy’s neighborhood, until he spied her in the park not far from where he stood.
With a blanket spread out on the lawn beneath her, Lucy sat in jeans and a pink blouse, her knees drawn up and a picnic basket beside her. This was a conversation he’d avoided for a while now, but running into her like this seemed too close to fate to avoid any longer.
“Hey,” he said, stopping in front of her. “How are you?”
“Oh, hi,” Lucy replied. She glanced around them as if expecting someone else. It would make sense with the picnic basket that he might be intruding on her plans with someone. But also, she just never was pleased to see him anymore. Understandably. He reminded her of a different life she may have chosen just as she reminded Paul of that, too. The life he now fought to reclaim. A choice he figured she should be made aware of, especially if she wished to join him in the fight, though he suspected her position on the matter hadn’t changed. Certainly the other times he’d approached her with the possibility, she’d backed away from it.
“I’m glad I ran into you,” he said. “I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something.”
“Could we do whatever this is some other time?” Lucy said, not unkindly. “I’m expecting someone in about ten minutes. It’s a date. A first date. It’s really important to me and I just don’t want it all clouded up by having to delve into the past with you beforehand. So no offense, but-”
“This isn’t just about the past, Lu, it’s about making things right in the present.”
“Paul.” His name spilled out of her like the most exasperating word on earth. “How many times have you come to me with this and done nothing anyway? All this does is mess with me, make me think about things, make me worry and.. and like I said, I really don’t need that right now.”
“I haven’t meant to upset you with this, not before and not now. And this time it’s different, this time I really am taking action and you’re welcome to join me.”