Eric couldn't stop thinking about Olivia. It had been with him for weeks now, thinking he'd left so much unsaid. Things he should have told her that he never did. Of course, he wasn't sure where to start with her or how, but they needed to talk. Somehow.
He wouldn't admit he'd been stalking her, as of late. It was more like moments when he'd get himself ready to see her, and then he wouldn't. He wanted it to be an accident. He guessed. You know, they'd see each other, have coffee, talk, make up, make out and well, she'd forget Roger. It was a nice thought. He'd spent more energy in getting to these moments in his head than actually having them.
And then he spotted her with this blond dude. He wasn't expecting that. Why wasn't she with Roger? They weren't intimate, her and this guy, he could tell. Good friends. The way they smiled to each other. And he gave her a hug at the end of lunch as if he might be a brother of some kind. Probably a friend of the family. A missionary. Yeah, that's what Eric thought. The guy was talking Olivia into going to some third world country. So he missed her at lunch. He waited around until she got off work. That's when he made his move when she was walking toward the library.
"What are you doing here?" She looked surprised to see him.
"Research. Yeah, I had to come all the way to the library." Eric shrugged with a lie.
"You have time for coffee?" He looked at her as if he might be begging. Maybe not. He didn't want to look desperate.
"Not really." She shook her head, no. Told him she had to get home. "We try to have dinner together when we can. And I help with Charlie, sometimes."
"Yeah, Ellie and Lon have a baby now." She said not thinking how she said it.
"A baby? You never said anything about a baby?" Eric felt stabbed in the heart hearing talk like that about Ellie. That was not suppose to happen. In a far off dream he always thought, some day they might get back together. Like in their thirties or even later in life when they were old. He still found himself growing old with her, or Olivia. Some day.
"Oh, uh, Charlie is Lon's son. Lon has a son." She looked at him, seriously. "Do you want to talk about Ellie? Is that what this is about?"
"No." He squinted hard. "This has nothing to do with her. I want to talk about us."
"But we have nothing to discuss. Clearly, we don't." She was bitter. "You'd rather talk about Ellie. I can see it. Always has been. She came first. I don't think I come anywhere near there, do I? I'm not special like she is and yet, I am special ed." She gave him a mean smile and went on her way.
"Wait," Eric looked at her. "I feel really bad about everything. About how, you know, it was. I didn't mean it to be that way. I love you."
"As a pen pal." She sighed.
"What do you even see in Roger?" He had to know. "He'll turn on you, you know." He said it as if she had a pit bull for a pet. "Some day, he'll just go, and he'll leave you for some guy. How can you even trust him? He's gay."
"You're really making this so easy," Olivia smiled. "Lets try this on Amanda, why don't we? You know she's marrying Elliot. Maybe she's going to have your baby. Hmmm, maybe you should be worried." She walked away then as if she'd cut him open and left him to bleed on the pavement.
Eric didn't know what to say to that, but just to watch her walk away.