Go back to the beginning or back to Part 4?
On our next date, a beautiful summer Saturday, I invited Captain Midnight to go on a picnic with me up the canyon. He readily agreed. I fixed up a lovely pic-a-nic basket, fetched my beloved, and we drove way up the canyon until we reached our destination: a spacious clearing, filled with wildflowers and surrounded by quaking aspens. There we ate our lunch and smiled and talked and smooched and generally behaved like two happily infatuated geeks in love.
Eventually -- this all being part of my evil plot -- I steered the conversation around to the question, "What would you like to be doing a year from now?" CM suggested a few things he'd like to have happen in the future; then, as I'd hoped he would, he turned the question around on me.
I took a deep breath. "Well," I said, "to be honest, that all depends on you." (This may not sound like a big deal, but for someone as shy as I was, a comment like this was as blunt as I got.)
Captain Midnight looked at me, and for the first time in a while I couldn't read his expression. "Well, Sooz," he finally said, "I've got to be honest with you. I do love you, but I just don't see marriage in the near future."
I tried very hard to keep my face neutral and pleasant. I thanked him for being honest with me. There really wasn't much else to say. I tried to make additional small talk, and failed. So I gathered up the remains of the picnic and suggested we drive home.
Something interesting happened to my feelings as our elevation dropped. In our picnic spot, I simply felt as though my heart had been shattered. But as we drove down the canyon (and presumably as I grew less and less light-headed), heartbreak gradually gave way to indignance. So what exactly was I to him, then? Good enough to fall in love with, good enough even to meet the family, but not quite good enough to marry? What was wrong with this man anyway? I knew he was in love. Couldn't he commit? Was he scared, or just indecisive? Dammit, I wasn't going to take this crap lying down!
By the time I'd dropped off CM, I had a good mad on. I went home, smacked down the car keys on the counter and declared to my mother, "That's it, I'm going to England! I've wanted to go for ages, I've got the money, and Captain Midnight doesn't seem to want me... maybe he'll appreciate me more when I'm in another country for a few weeks. RASSNFRASSN GRACKNBRICKN stupidfrackn man..." and so on for another 20 minutes.
I had my passport ready. I had been squirreling away money ever since I'd been hired at WordPerfect, originally with the intent of visiting England, but later with an eye toward funding a possible wedding. Now all my old plans came roaring back with a vengeance. Was that how he wanted it? Fine. If he didn't see marriage in the near future, he wouldn't see me for the foreseeable future either. See how he liked that. Grrr.
But Captain Midnight didn't know what I was up to yet. He was busy executing a few plans of his own.
The end is in sight: read Part 6.