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  • Lindsey sat in silence starting at her cell phone. Waiting for a sign of life. She'd been dating Jason only two months. But that was long enough to be owed an explanation. An explanation for his silence.

    She wasn't dating anyone else. She often wondered whether he was, but tried to brush the painful thoughts away. What she didn't know couldn't hurt her, right? Plus, he wasn't her boyfriend. At least that what she told everyone, mostly to protect herself.

    Then, she found herself crying in the car on her way home from class. For reasons, so much deeper than anything Jason could ever do or not do.

    She dated her last boyfriend, Greg, for six months. They met on a hot summer's night, and the night only got hotter. She feared if she slept with him on the first date, he'd never come back. But he did. Again and again. By the second date, he had left a toothbrush, casually next to hers on her stark white sink. She stopped counting the dates. He even bought her whole family dinner to celebrate her sister's engagement. Then came the silence and finally a conversation she forced the coward to have.

    "Why did you buy my entire family dinner if you were just going to break up with me?" she asked trying to hide her tears on the telephone. She was so embarrassed.
    "It felt like the right thing to do for your sister. I'm not perfect, but it felt right," said Greg. He had met her sister several times, but would never see either one of them again.
    "Well, it wasn't the right thing for ME, and I was the one dating you," Lindsey said sharply as she hung up the phone; her younger sister's engagement forever marred by the nicest thing anyone's ever done for her before breaking up with her.
    Earlier that night, she had overheard her future brother-in-law say, "Maybe, next we'll be celebrating you."
    "If she plays her cards right," Greg said with a smile as he put his arm around her. Lindsey pretended she didn't hear and just smiled to herself. Greg had everyone fooled.

    Then, the cycle repeats. Except Jason never met her family. She was more careful this time. She was sick of everyone calling Greg an "asshole." While it was true, it hurt to hear.

    Lindsey had been on countless dates with Jason. She met his friends, but kept him at distance from hers. It was the only way she knew how to keep going.

    She secretly feared that when she left for Bermuda, a trip she had planned long before she was seeing anyone, that Jason would disappear. As she lay, her tan glistening under the fierce Caribbean sun, she thought the worst. But she came home, one week later, to flowers on her doorstep with a note from anonymous, "Glad you decided to come back." She saw Jason a few days later, and everything was normal. He kissed her passionately; they went to a romantic seafood dinner. The next morning, he showered at her place. That's something Greg never did.

    A week passed, and their contact was intermittent. Something didn't feel right. He was busy training for a 10K/40 mile bike ride, and she had a weekend away with the girls.

    "How was the Broad Street Run?" she texted.
    "It was great! 1:17. Way faster than I expected," he said. It had been almost a week since they had seen each other
    "Awesome! Go you! Miss your face--what's your week like?" Lindsey sent that text at 9:17pm Sunday.
    It's now 10:38pm on Tuesday. More than 48 hours, each one more agonizing than the next, and no response.

    Thoughts of that terrible saying, "He's just not that into you," raced through her mind. So did a handful of excuses, none which seemed valid enough to warrant such deafening silence.

    Her birthday is Saturday; he's well aware, said he was coming several times before the silence. But will he show? That would be the first time he'd meet her friends and her sister.
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