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The Final Round

May 26, 2014

I’ve been working out five days a week, and happily heard Round One brag to some friends at a party last night that I have been killing it with bench pressing, which I’ve never done prior to a week ago. I kindly beg to differ because I feel like a sissy when I watch him or other guys (and even a lot of the girls) at the gym pile on all the weights that I can’t.

“I feel like a sissy, hun,” I mutter from the bench as I prepare to do another set. Round One is standing above me, ready to spot.

“At least you’re DOING it. No one can call you a sissy for working your ass off,” he reassures me. He’s a good motivator. And, yes, it’s cliche, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Round One doesn’t drive. He recently got a permit, and while TLTL drove on a permit with me, he already knew how to drive. Round One actually doesn’t know how to drive. We spent some time practicing yesterday before we hit the gym, and he did really well, despite his panic. He even wanted to drive back to my place from the gym. He made it as far as backing out of the parking spot before getting rear-ended.

Yeah. I about died. I figured the damage would be immense. It wasn’t. I honestly don’t know who was at fault, but Round One promised me repeatedly that he checked behind him.

I got out to assess the damage, and the girl driving the other vehicle had also been backing out of a spot. I suspect it might have actually been her fault. We shrugged and exchanged numbers just in case, but we drove off our separate ways. Amazing. And I shrugged it off, telling Round One it was all okay. There’s a little damage to my rear bumper, but nothing significant. It’s no big deal, really, and so I didn’t make it one. Surely he realizes that with another partner, he might not experience the same easy-going nature.

“Hey,” I ask him a little later when the topic of another friend’s “friends with benefits” status comes up, “Are we friends with benefits or dating?”

“We’re friends with benefits,” he says simply. “What do you think?”

“I thought we were dating,” I tell him quietly.

“Well, I didn’t think we had defined anything.”

“We didn’t. It’s not like we’re an ‘item,’ but I thought there was more to us than friends with benefits.”

“Can we call it casually dating?” he asks.

“Yeah… just… quit trying to hook me up with other people. It makes me uncomfortable. If you don’t want us to date, then fine, but I need to clarify what we’re doing.”

I’ve been down this shitty road too frequently as of late, and I want to tell him more about it, but we’re headed to a party “for a little bit” and I decide I’ll bring it up later.

But later never comes. He gets drunk. He wants to keep partying. I cut myself off early in the night so I can drive… and at 1:30 in the morning, I leave without him. Yes, he will come to a family BBQ today, but this is the end of trying for me. He’s made the point clear that I am just another friend, and while it hurts, it hurts less to end any romance now than it will to keep trying to make it work.

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