“So, are you dating anyone?”
She knew why he asked. He was actually asking Are you moving on? Are you healing? Or are you holding on to the past and staying mired in grief? But that didn’t make the question any easier.
All she wanted was a refill of her sleeping pills, since she had finally gone through the two-week prescription she’d gotten eight months ago. It’s not like she was addicted, but there were still nights when thoughts and memories tormented her and she needed some help to sleep. And with the holidays coming up – not to mention her birthday, and the two year anniversary of her husband’s death – she knew she would need more in the next two months.
She understood that the doctor needed to see her in order to renew the prescription, if for no other reason than to document in her file that he had talked to her. It would have been easier to do it as a five minute phone conversation, but it was probably a good thing for her to see him in person. She answered the expected questions about the medication – had she experienced any side effects, sleepwalking, sleep eating, sleep driving, any instances of not remembering her actions while taking the medication? No, just a couple instances of posting stuff on the internet that she didn’t remember in the morning. Nothing harmful.
And then The Question. “So, are you dating anyone?”
The answer itself was easy. “No.”
She didn’t know if she wanted to. Not really. Not that the idea of being alone for the rest of her life held any particular appeal, but it hadn’t even been two years since her husband had died.
Maybe it was just because it was the third time in two weeks that she’d been asked the same question. Maybe it was because the idea of building a new relationship, of figuring out a complete stranger, of learning to trust, of learning to be trusted, sounded like too much effort. The thought of being in a relationship again wasn’t exciting, it was wearying.
But on the other hand, the thought of not having anyone to lean on, to kiss, to cuddle with, to share secrets and dreams with wasn’t exactly exciting, either. It was lonely. Depressing.
Yeah, it would be nice to date. To feel those butterflies, to look forward to seeing someone and going somewhere and doing something. But the person she wanted to date who gave her those butterflies was gone. And she wasn’t ready yet to see if there was anyone else out there who might be able to reawaken them.