Those two words were the beginning of the end of my blink-and-it's-over relationship with Brian.
It all started when he picked me up from my apartment at 8 sharp, perfectly on time. He came all the way to my door instead of just pulling up across the street and texting me or honking his horn. I was a little breathless when I answered the door; I wasn't used to guys actually being on time so I was running a little late myself.
He smiled at me when I opened the door, looking dazzlingly put together. Then, his expression changed a bit.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"Oh, nothing," he sighed, looking at my scarf. "It's just that coral's not really your color. You know, blondes and all." He paused for an awkward silence as I just stared at him. "Never mind. You look just as stunning as I expected." He smiled again, easily.
We walked out to his car, a Mini Cooper. Not really my usual type, I'm more of a pickup truck girl, but my usual types were usually assholes so I guess some change is good.
He drove us a little bit outside of town to a French place, Le Petit Something-or-Other. It's amazing how far my French skills have slipped since college. I could barely read the menu, but I didn't need to. Brian read off our orders flawlessly. I wondered for a moment if he was batting his eyelashes at our (insanely hot) waiter, but I told myself to get a grip and save my crazy jealous rages for a few months from now when I have him hooked and he can't leave me.
About halfway through the meal, I excused myself to the bathroom so I could fix my hair, which had surely mutinied by now. When I walked back into the dining room, I saw Brian leaning in a little too close to the waiter. Brian slid him a small slip of paper and they both giggled. When they saw me coming, they both quickly straightened up. Brian launched back into our discussion of Audrey Hepburn movies as I sat down, talking a bit too quickly. I mean, I know I'm the super jealous and occasionally unreasonable type, but something was definitely weird here.
I know he sensed my suspicion because I was definitely not trying to be slick about it and he seems to have pretty good interpersonal skills. I just wanted to watch him squirm a bit.
After a few more minutes of sizzling under my mild glare, Brian sighed and leaned back into his chair. "Okay, Anna, I'm sorry," He started, then hesitated.
"Whatever for?" I asked innocently with slitted eyes.
"I haven't been completely honest with you," he said.
Here we go, I thought.
"I, um, well, gosh. I really don't know how to say this. This isn't who I am. I would be more open about it, but I don't know how my mom would react, so... Okay I'll just spit it out. I'm not really into you, Anna. And it's not you, it's me."
"Oh, that's original," I shot back.
"Hey, I'm trying to be honest here!" he almost shouted.
"Wow. Okay. You know what would have helped? Maybe if you'd been honest with me earlier! And why the hell can't you just say it, Brian? You. Are. Gay. Just fucking say the words."
I hadn't meant to scream that, nor had I meant to take the last of the baguette and hurl it at his stupid face. Nonetheless, the restaurant manager wasn't all that concerned with my intentions and briskly escorted me out in the worst Walk of Shame I've ever endured in my life that ended with my being banned for life, with Brain trailing behind sheepishly.
Unfortunately, the night still wasn't over. I stalked off in the general direction of downtown, knowing that it was several miles away.
"Let me at least give you a ride back!" Brian shouted after me.
"Fuck off!" I yelled, and started walking faster. He got in his car and pulled up next to me on the street.
"Please get in."
I scowled at him. "I said no. Now get away from me."
He continued driving alongside me for another minute, but eventually gave up and drove away.
The walk home took two hours. About forty minutes in, it started sleeting. I shivered and pulled the offensively-colored coral scarf tighter around me, starting to regret my stubbornness. Until I saw the beckoning glow of an ABC package store looming before me.
I bought two fifths of Fireball, knowing it would be gone in just a few days with the way my life was going at this point. I started on the first bottle to get me through the rest of the walk.
I don't remember getting home, but I woke up in my bathtub with a pounding headache and a fever of 101. But I will literally let myself die before I go back to the Minute Clinic where that unbearable Brian works, so I'll just have to make the forty minute drive to the other clinic tomorrow when I'm not so damn hungover.
I wish he'd given me a sweatshirt or something so I could set it on fire and leave the ashes on his doorstep with a note threatening to kill what he loves.