He asked her about the photographs on her refrigerator. The friends photos, the family photos, then the question, “Have you ever been married?”

“No. But I was engaged once.”

“Really? What happened?”

“Well, we dated for a long time. First in California, then when I moved to New York. Long distance for several years. He was a musician in California; I had a great sales job in New York City. We continued like that for several years. I finally moved back to California. We moved in together in Mill Valley, but then things didn’t work out. We split up shortly thereafter. Now I’m in San Francisco, and I’m not sure where he is.”

He paused for a moment, then said, “Wow. That’s a long story.”

Pause.

“Who is this family?”

“Well, that’s our family friends. We used to live next to each other in Pittsburgh, but then my dad got a job in Wisconsin and we moved away. They eventually moved to New York, but we still kept in touch. That was at Christmas last year. They flew out here and we all met up at my parent’s house.”

He again paused for a moment, then said, “Wow. That’s a long story.”

Weeks went by, neither one contacting the other.

He sent her an email. “Hey, what’s going on? Haven’t heard from you in awhile. Want to get together?”

She pondered. Did he really want to get together? Or was he playing the “I’ll write you but you’ll have to not write me back so that I have a clear conscience” game…

She wrote him back. “Things are great. I’d tell you why I haven’t written, but it’s a long story….”

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