Here is a short story for you: Shielding Susan. There is more of me in this than I would care to admit. Hope you enjoy.
Susan felt like she was shielding. She was safe to look from here. There were all sorts, a wide variety, but nothing caught her eye. At the same time, she was not looking for anything in particular.
Going in without a game plan was typical for Susan. Planning was not her strongest suit, and execution was even weaker. She was more of a go with the flow type of person. Susan didn’t like getting locked into things too definitely. That was part of her problem. She may be shielding herself, but she sometimes knew what she needed to do was open up.
“What’s the latest thing now, Susan,” her friends would ask her.
Mad Susan, crazy Susan, she didn’t mind those names. Flighty Susan, that one stung. Not that she would admit that. For the most part, though she pushed their opinions and words out of her mind.
Susan sat on her sofa, scrolling past the would-be suitors. Most were fine. Like most things in life, they were fine.
Susan resented having to seek them out. She missed the days when the suitors would come to her. Those days were long behind her. The flow had encountered a dam.
Or so Susan thought.
There was a potential contender. He was tall, Susan liked tall.
Gary was not tall. As good as Gary was, he was a bit too short for her. She liked to wear her heels. With Gary, the heels lived in the wardrobe. Now her heels seldom saw darkness.
Susan swiped. The words “MATCH” flashed before her. An unexpected surprise but a welcome one all the same. Susan liked his smile, Tom, that was his name. There were images of Tom. The right kind, with a dog, out with people. He wasn’t a complete pariah. This was looking promising.
Then Susan saw it right there in digits. Tom was practically on the other side of the world. He seemed to be in a completely different time zone. How would she cope with that? How would they make that work? Would she have to move? Hopefully, he would move for her if he really loved her. Susan wanted to have a traditional wedding in her hometown.
Susan looked at the image of Tom a little longer.
The more Susan thought, the more advantages she could see. This would work out for the better. Susan liked having her own space, she liked downtime too. Time zones meant that they wouldn’t have to speak for too long. And if she really didn’t want to speak to him, she could always blame the time difference. She could say she had to be up or go to bed or…something.
They wouldn’t have to see that much of each other either which again suited Susan. If they argued, she could hang up. She wouldn’t have to listen to “his side” if she didn’t want to.
There were advantages to a long-distance relationship. Susan looked forward to embracing these advantages. She would be shielding herself. This was smart dating, and the two of them could make things work. Now she would have to send him photos from her encrypted file to make sure she didn’t turn him on and send him off. She’d have to maintain a balance. It hadn’t worked before, but the theory was sound.
Susan noticed Tom had not messaged her yet. It was becoming a concern. It was the evening where he was. Tom should be on his phone.
Susan was well aware of how entitled men had become. Susan was a woman of experience. What was wrong with him? He was married already, that’s what it was Susan thought, or he’s in denial about something. When he eventually messaged her, she would have to bring it up with him. It was up to Susan. Up to her to establish her boundaries and expectations within the relationship.
Who did he think he was?
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