She tried to go over and over it in her head so she could stand her ground and not back down. He wouldn't delete his online dating profile, he wouldn't stop checking it everyday. He wasn't there for her. He didn't want to spend his birthday with her. Suddenly waiting for him to arrive, none of it seemed to matter as much. She had to stay strong and go through with this. She deserved someone who wanted to do those things, not someone that she had to ask or force to do. She deserved better.
Piz asked to meet for a meal instead, she was starving and said yes. It was a Japanese infusion restaurant with a lot of weird of things on the menu. She stuck to the things she could pronounce, and they talked about what they had been up to. He talked and talked about school, and how he was about to go into 4 or 5 weeks of intense homework, projects, and tests.
"Maybe....maybe it's time to take a break then. Maybe we should cool it for awhile." He looked at her and his face was hard to read. She stumbled through the rest...how maybe he just wasn't really ready to do what they had set out to do in the first place.
"Honestly...I've been kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop since you told me that sometimes you lose interest and leave people." He grimaced, then nodded his head as if to signal his regret at having said it in the first place.
"I don't want to be the reason that you failed something, or distract you from what you need to do for school. I don't think you need my added neurosis."
"We are still going to be friends though, right? Yeah, I mean, did I tell you that my ex started to text me that she was lonely, suicidal, and keeps saying she's going to kill herself?"
"See? You don't need any additional issues mucking up your life. There's no room for you to provide what I need out of the relationship."
"I think...I think I need too much pressure on myself. I was the second in my class for undergrad. When I'm in school, I have to get A's. I have to. These classes are just so hard...I have to give them my full attention. Maybe I'm overthinking it, I don't need to try so hard. Maybe I need to start taking more breaks, time away from constantly pouring over books." He furrowed his brow.
"If you need a study break, I'm here for you. I don't want to lose you as a friend. I want to let you know that my feelings for you haven't changed at all. I just don't want to wade too deep into what you are clearly not ready for." He didn't need the added stress of her affection. She needed to stick to this.
"Maybe we could try again in a year. I'll be back by October of next year, and then maybe...I know that is a long ways away." He said.
"I'd like that...depending on where we both are of course. I won't hold you to anything. I just don't want to be the cause of any more stress for you, or expect something that you can't give me right now."
They finished their meal and stepped out into the rain. It swirled around them in a romantic fog. She was reminded of the end of Casablanca as they walked to their cars. They stopped at hers and spoke for a little while longer. They made no future plans, but he caught her eye and they starred at each other, rain gathering on the top of their heads.
She stepped forward into his arms and they stood for awhile. They pulled away slightly, and he looked down at her silently, as if asking permission. She silently gave it.
He tilted his head down, and they shared a small kiss.
She watched him walk away into the mist before getting into her car and driving away.