Man, that’s gotta be the most dangerous phrase in the English language. And I made the mistake of saying it. She was looking me in the eye, with so much hope and fear. I could not bear to crush her.
I’d been on the wrong end of a similar conversation two years earlier and my heart still aches and my eyes well with tears when I think about it. So, at that critical moment today, when she said to me “I love you,” I remembered. I tried to hold back the tears, the painful memory. And then I heard my voice, choked with emotion, utter that dreadful phrase.
I’m a terrible liar and maybe a terrible person. I did not love her. I doubted that I had it in me to love anyone again. But if I did, I felt certain it wouldn’t be Marcie. She nice, yes. Boring nice. Pleasant and mildly diverting.
I socialized with her. We had coffee. I was a genuinely sympathetic ear. Maybe she thought, “Hey, Jay is unattached. He’s sweet and he seems to like me.” And then she fell in love. Damn love.
So, early this evening, I arranged to meet up with her again, to fix my mistake, to let her know that we are just friends.
Before I could say anything, it happened. I thought the nuclear threat was over. I should know; I work in a silo. Somehow, it caught me by surprise. Anyway, I had Marcie with me at the office. I introduced her to Bob who works with me and has the other key. Next thing I know, the world ends.
Nobody’s left except us three. Bob’s a horny guy and he wants me to step aside but I’ll be damned if I give away the last woman on earth. I think I’m falling in love with her.