Lenny wasn’t what you call a morning person. He usually didn’t get into to bed until two or three a.m., so he didn’t get up until ten or eleven. And when he did get up, he wasn’t exactly a breath of sunshine. It was a quirk of his mostly otherwise affable disposition.
Of course, Trish knew this. So on her days off, she usually waited for him to call.
On that day Lenny got up a little earlier than usual. He went through his typical morning routine:
- feed Griffin
- clean the tank, feed the fish and count them, top off the water
- dust, sweep and vacum
- do 50 crunches and 100 push-ups
- eat a bowl of Cap’n Crunch or Coco Puffs cereal
- check the Ranchero GT for bug splatter, polish if needed (it didn’t)
- take a shower and call Trish if she was off (she was)
Lenny let the phone ring and ring. She didn’t answer.
He didn’t think too much of it. There were plenty of things for him to do, so he did them. A couple of hours later he called her back. She still didn’t answer. So he drove to her apartment.
On his way, he worried. Was she okay? Did she trip getting out of the tub and hit her head on the toilet? He had a friend who did that and died from a blood clot to the brain.
And he thought about things, like why she never gave him a key to her apartment? And why she wouldn’t move in with him?
When he got there he bounded up the steps to her third floor apartment. There was an envelope taped to her door with his name written in her slanted, swirling script. He ripped it open. Inside was a letter.
I’m sorry. It was never my intention to hurt you, though I knew from the beginning that I would. Well, almost from the beginning. At first you were an indulgence, like a second piece of cake. But you were so much more than that…You are so much than that.
I was selfish. You made me feel alive. It felt so good to care, to laugh and to share things. It has been so long since I felt anything. I was relieved to know that I could.
There are so many things I wish I could tell you…I know you just want to know why. You deserve to know, but I can’t tell you…But I want you to know this…You are a nice man, Lenny. Not a nice guy…You’re not just some Joe Blow I met while slinging drinks…I’ve never really known a nice man before.
I wish I could be a nice woman because that’s what you deserve. But I can’t be what I’m not. I wish I could stay with you. I want to stay with you. But I can’t.
You told me some things about Rachel…She wasn’t a nice woman either, Lenny. I don’t want you to end up with someone like her or me. You deserve so much better. You deserve someone who will share with you…Someone who will walk down a two way street with you.
That’s what I want for you. That’s what I hope for you.