Another Life – Chapter 20

I already liked my roommates; after Sam had breakfast with us the next morning, I absolutely loved them. Laurie and Rose acted as if it was the most normal thing in the world. Ron was still snoring in his room.

I phoned Barbara, and she agreed to see me again. She was more than understanding; she was downright amazing.

– “I’m not sure what to tell you.” I admitted. I didn’t want to embarrass Sam any more, in case Barbara met her again.

– “It’s alright, Joe.” she said. “You don’t have to. Laurie told me … a few things.”

– “Ah.” I could well imagine which stories Laurie had passed on. “I want to be completely honest with you. But I’m also wondering how I would feel, if the roles were reversed. I’m not so sure I’d want to hear about your unusual ex-boyfriends.”

Barbara laughed. “There weren’t so many, and I’ll spare you the details.”

– “Thanks.”

– “I am curious, though. How did you and Sam get together in the first place?”

I couldn’t quite believe that she wanted to hear that story, but Barbara persisted. So I told her about Marty and Caroline … and just went on from there. I explained about Sam’s unfortunate nervous episodes – without providing any specifics.

That was what made me feel better about re-telling the story: Barbara had known some of it when she first agreed to go out with me. It wasn’t a deal-breaker.

– “I was just as surprised as you were, to find her sitting on our step.” I said.

– “But you were very kind and understanding to her.” said Barbara. “You didn’t yell, or make a scene. I was quite impressed with how you handled it.”

I shook my head. “I was more impressed with how you handled it. And for the record – I was really angry. Who knows what might have happened, if she hadn’t been there.”

– “Oh, I think we both know what would have happened. We would have ended up naked, in bed together.” Barbara flushed slightly; I don’t think she was used to speaking so directly.

– “Do you think that might still happen?” I asked her.

– “It depends.” she said. “What are you doing on Friday night?”


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