Will They or Won’t They?
They’ve been through it all. That first, fleeting moment when their eyes met that bright September afternoon. The first flutter of a heartbeat.
The affair, a fling that turned into much more, until they couldn’t hide the connection any longer. The exuberant love, one that neither were sure they’d ever find again. They’d been hurt before, both of them. They’d been through breakups and they’d been to the bottom. They found and saved each other. It was a storybook romance, right on through to their big day, and after.
Sure, they had their troubles along the way. What couple doesn’t? Sure, he’d stay out a little too late sometimes and, sure, sometimes he’d gamble a piece of the farm in a backroom bourbon-fueled card game and lose. But deep down they kind of loved him for it. He’d always find a way to make it better. Or failing that, it was always exciting as all get out. You have to admit you love the excitement, they’d tell themselves. You have to remember it wasn’t always this way, they’d say. And in the end he always showed up, always there for Sunday service.
And sure, sometimes they’d try setting him up with new friends, the sort that might borrow money and not return it or drag their muddy feet all over the dang carpet. Sometimes they relied on him too much, or trusted him with the kitchen renovations and came back surprised when all they had left was a 10 gallon water cooler (not filled with water) and a charcoal grill. They had their moments, same as anyone else.
We watched them through it all. It wasn’t perfect but it was close sometimes. And who else would have them, these two star-crossed sides? They’d be together forever, we all figured.
And then they broke up, and, being the combustible parts they were together, things got messy during the drawn out separation. Words were said and feelings got hurt. They made some mistakes. We all took sides. We all tried to protect ourselves in our bunkers.
They were trying to move on. They’d found someone new, someone who is still pretty great.
On his own he made a few regrettable attempts at new starts. He looked to technology for an outlet. That really didn’t work. Nothing was working. Fresh starts ended in familiar fashions. So he left forever, least that’s what he said. He said he was gone, heading South, maybe gonna grow a beard or something. Lift some weights.
Time passed. Time healed. They’re doing just fine. Turns out their hunch on that someone new, well, that’s all working out. He was doing some work in the community, seemed to be doing okay. He grew that beard and lifted those weights after all, that’s for sure.
We always wondered if the old pair would ever get back together again, if only for a day, just to catch up. For awhile never, no way, that’s what we thought. No way they’d ever be on speaking terms again, not how all that ended. Shoot, you can’t even bring that up in some parts. That kinda talk’ll get you in an argument quick and, believe us, you don’t have the time or the energy.
Then we heard they were talking again. Only every once in a while, but things were going well, they’d say. He might even come visit real soon, they’d say, when he’s not so busy. He’s been pretty busy these days. We thought, hey, maybe they’d make up for old time’s sake. We didn’t always think we’d want to see this, but now thought maybe it was best they did, someday.
But, man, the twists and turns with these two, right? We’ve seen our share of stories, have our favorites. Now word was they didn’t think it best, bringing him back so soon. Weren’t sure how we’d take it, they said. See, he’s got some big meetings coming up in 2015 and ‘16, and they’ve said they got a cool present for him they want him to have before then, a token of their friendship, of burying the hatchet once and for all.
Well that sounded pretty nice, we thought. But now, right when you think we’d see that reunion, seems they’re getting cold feet. They were waiting for the right time, wanting to make everything perfect as can be. Wanting to make sure everyone’s on their best behavior. It’s a really nice gift, you guys. Don’t wanna ruin it.
Then he says he doesn’t care about all that, says he’s not worried about things like behavior. He’s never been much for formality, after all, or doin’ things the way other people think they should be done. He sounds like he wants to see us all again. Sounds like he wants to get back together, even for a day.
For now we’ll just have to keep waiting, we suppose. Wait and see if the two can advance the plot next time. Wait and see if they’ll tell him thanks, for being there so long. He may have burned a corn silo or two down to the ground in his time, but he did build that nice addition over there, the kind only he could’ve made, because there were no instructions. It was a fun place to be.
We’ll have to wait and see what they decide, since we’re only the ones who’ve been following this story for so long. We’ll keep waiting on, and wondering about, the timeless question.
Will they or won’t they? We can wonder about this standard plot device, used in stories like this one all the time, and how it works up to a point, and we can wonder when and where that point is, and then we can wonder how far we’ll all go past that point before there’s a resolution, and an overdue turn of the page.