The Meeting (Part 6)

You deserve to be happy.

You deserve to be happy.

You don’t have to stay in a relationship that you know will fail in the end.

You don’t need anyone in your life to be happy.

These are things that I needed reminded of. N was in town, having returned from a trip with his brother to Vegas, and I was in my apartment, alone, wondering what I should do. Of course I was going to see him. He made the trip back to Portland and we had a lot to talk about. R wasn’t home wondering where I would be anyway. He was out. He didn’t care. He hadn’t mentioned a word about what happened in Austin. And I didn’t care.

A couple of my work friends were meeting at bar 15 later, and I was supposed to join them. I’m not sure why I keep saying “work” friends because they are the only friends I’ve got. And I chose to have these people in my life, they weren’t forced on me. Maybe that’s why I never feel alone. I’m confident in the choices I’ve made here, friend and career wise.

I glanced at the clock. It was after 9 P.M. Shit. He would be in his hotel by now. I need to just get up and go meet him. It was only ten blocks away. I was so nervous my hands were shaking as I grabbed my yellow flowered clutch and headed to the door- that still hadn’t been fixed yet.

I stepped onto the sidewalk from my front door and the cool breeze and mist of rain made my hair sticky, but felt amazing on my skin. May in Portland. I took my time walking the ten blocks and was there in no time. I didn’t have anything planned to say. My head was rocked that I had actually started thinking he flew in all this way just so he didn’t have to end things on the phone. I walked through the entrance to The Governor Hotel on SW 11th around 9:20. I half ran through the lobby, hit the button for the 5th floor with my elbow, and followed the signs to room 501. Just around the corner. I knocked on the door.

Holy shit this place was nice.

He answered the door beaming. I hear Damien Rice playing from somewhere.

“Hi!” he said.

Holy shit this guy looks and smells amazing. My knees shook.

“Hi.” I was struggling to make words into sentences.

He held the door open for me, and I rolled my eyes at myself and walked in. It was a corner suite, with windows almost completely around, and everything was white or navy blue (including the carpet). There was a sitting room with a TV and white double doors with brass knobs that lead to a bedroom. The view of the city was amazing, and the sight made me feel a little less queasy.

“Wow, you got a good room.” Good job, you made some sense. Keep it going.

“I booked last minute, they only had a couple rooms left because of the parade and everything this weekend.”

Shit. Totally forgot about the Rose Festival. MAX is going to be a nightmare this week.

“Oh, yeah.” WHAT?! Stupid. Stupid. Think of something else to say!! Quickly…Come on now!

“So, how was your flight?” YES. Wait.

He laughed.

“Good. It was fine.”

He sat in the white chair across the room and was just looking at me- smiling. I smiled back- a closed lip, awkward smile. Should I take my shoes off?? I walked to the chair opposite him and sat down. Decided against taking my shoes off.

“Oh. Good.” UGH. Why do I even open my mouth?

“So. Are you happy I came back? Or is this just too awkward?” He wasn’t the slightest bit nervous.

“Of course I’m glad you came back.” Yes, Hilary, keep it going…

“I just don’t know what to say right now.” This was true, but he was looking at me like he expected me to go on…so I did.

“No one has ever done anything like this for me- flown back from a family trip after I tried to end whatever it is we have going on here over the phone. And, and-” I was having trouble just saying what I wanted to say.

“I just feel like there’s still so much to clear up, and sort out, before we say we can try to make this into something. Not to mention, I’ve planned an entire wedding- just two weeks ago- and I have no idea what I’m going to do about that scenario. I wish everything was easier, but it’s just that we’ve got two other people to think about as well. You are engaged, and I know that I don’t think I am anymore, but he’s still in the picture.”

He paused and looked at me with a hard stare, then took a deep breath before speaking.

“I know, it’s not the best situation. I knew the minute I saw you that I wanted to be with you for the rest of my life. This is what I want. I’ll do whatever it takes to make it work. I want you to come to Ireland, I’ve told you that. And I know that your family may find it hard at first, but they’ll understand. They don’t want you to marry someone out of convenience.”

This man clearly doesn’t know my parents. But he was so sincere. And he was right.

I still didn’t say anything, so he continued.

“Look, let’s just say we want to make it work, and just go with it. Let’s just sit back, and see what happens. If we commit to being together, then everything else will just fall into place.”

He grinned and I laughed.

“You really aren’t worried about anything, are you?” I asked.

“Just you.”

I laughed again. His smile faded, and he looked at me with a straight face.

“I mean it. I’m just worried about you. From here on.”

My smile faded.


He got up from his chair, walked over to me, knelt down, took my face in his hands and kissed me.

I’m not quite sure how I left that hotel room later that night, but I did. And I was elated. I was so happy. N was the person who made me happy. And I made him happy.

I walked the ten blocks back to my apartment in the rain, and my hair had pretty much taken the brunt of that decision. I jumped in the shower and tried to think about where things go from here. I couldn’t have been in more than five minutes when R walked in the bathroom, flushed the toilet and turned off the light.

“I hope that burns!” he yelled as he slammed the bathroom door shut.

I exhaled, closed my eyes and let the cold water run over my face.