He came later than usual tonight. Not that there's a "usual" time, per se. Just a general observation I've made. When there wasn't a soft knock on the door by 7:30, I inhaled sharply and tried to decide what I felt. Was this what I wanted? Some part of me must have decided that it was and my breath whooshed out in a long sigh. It's best this way.
But at 8:32 his soft knock echoed loudly through the house. His hair was still wet from a shower. He looked unsure and a little flustered, but his eyes lit up when they met mine. I kept my hand on the handle of the glass door just a second too long. He could see I was debating letting him in or not. "Please. It's been a long day."
I opened the door.
"Sorry I'm late. We got a call just as my shift was ending. It was a bad one, Meghan. . . . " I listened as he went on telling me about the fire. The people they saved. The one they hadn't. And as I listened, I realized something I should have realized the day we met.
"I'm just someone else for you to save. I don't know how I didn't see it before." And though I wanted to say the words aloud, I'm not that girl. All behaviors at 2 in the morning aside, that's not who I usually am. I avoid drama and deep meaningful conversations. Those are best left in your head. I just looked at him through new eyes and with better understanding.
I'm just someone else for him to save.