Donna dropped Toby hints for weeks. They’d been dating for two years. It was time for the next logical step. She smiled as she placed the L down to spell LOVE.
Toby sighed. She wasn’t sure what that meant. He looked at his tiles, then at the board. He didn’t make eye contact with her. Donna started to get worried. The silence was killing her. Toby picked up his apple and took a bite. Ugh, the crunching of the apple was enough to make her want to throw hers at him. She’d rather have the silence.
“I’ll be right back.” Donna went to the kitchen. She felt defeated. After a few minutes she walked back into the living room. The game was cleaned up, and Toby was nowhere to be found.
Donna finally found him on the porch. “What are you doing? It’s freezing.” She shut the door and stood next to him.
“I’m ready to move on.” He didn’t look at her.
She started to blush, and she knew it wasn’t from the cold. “Yes, Toby.” She moved closer to him.
He looked down at his chest. “I think we should see other people.”
Donna opened her mouth ready to shout for joy. Instead some strange sound came out that she didn’t recognize. She quickly closed her mouth and wrapped her arms around herself. “What?” was all she could mutter.
“I’m sorry. I want to see other people. I’ve gotten all of your not so subtle hints. I don’t want to get married.” He still wouldn’t look at her.
She didn’t say another word. The tears fell as she walked in, grabbed her things, and then headed back out towards her car. “Good-bye, Toby,” is all she said as she walked by him.
He didn’t respond. She cried for days, agonizing over his reasoning. He’d never talked about seeing other people before. She’d always thought they’d get married. Something must have happened, but she had no idea what it could be.
Donna needed to talk to someone, so she called her best friend, Judy. Judy listened, and offered her support. “Do you think you could come over and hang out? I could really use some company,” Donna asked her friend.
“I wish I could,” Judy replied, “but I have to work early. I’ll call you soon.”
After a week passed, Donna hadn’t heard from her. She called, but could never get a hold of Judy.
About a month after their breakup, Donna went to dinner with a coworker at a place Toby loved. She secretly hoped she’d see him there.
“Would you quit looking at the door,” her friend teased, jabbing her arm.
Donna smiled guiltily. She took a bite of her food. When she looked up she saw Toby walking from the back of the restaurant towards the exit. With him, holding his hand, was Judy. They both saw Donna and quickly rushed out.
Donna put her fork down. “I’ve suddenly lost my appetite.”