And so I found myself back at home, awaiting Hunky Mike's phone call. I'd eaten dinner, my parents had gone out to run groceries, and I'd settled in for a long wait.
My cell phone vibrated on my desk, wiggling wildly around, as if excited by the caller. I answered, and then I was talking to Mike.
"Hi, Tracy," he replied to my trying-to-stay-calm, "Hello."
"Hey, Mike, how are you?"
"Oh, same old stuff. Wife packed up and left. My job is...eh....so, so. You?"
"Oh, same old stuff. No husband to pack up and leave. My job is boring as ever."
"Oh, gosh, Tracy, it's so great hearing your voice."
Our conversation continued, but I'm not sure I heard much of it after he said it was great to hear my voice. My brain was off on its own little adventure, ignoring the fact that I was talking to a soon-to-be-divorced man about a job possibility and not talking to my boyfriend or husband or anyone.
"So, about this job."
"I don't think you should take it."
"Okaaaay. But you're the one who suggested it."
"I know, I know. But I found out a bit more about that particular newspaper, and I think that you'll hate working down there, hate dealing with those people and will be bored in five minutes living in Southern California."
"Is that so?"
"So, here's what I was thinking, because, you know, I have to get out of here."
"Out of...Portland? But I thought you loved Portland!"
"I moved here because of Kathleen. She wanted to be here, and I found a job here so that it would be possible. But I'm not much for Oregon."
My image of Mike's happy life continued to crumble. I had figured that even if his marriage had broken up, at least he had his swell life in Portland.
"So, what's your idea, then?"
"Okay, you'll have to expand on that a little bit for me. It's been a long day at the office, and I'm having difficulty focusing."
"Tracy, I want to move back to Boston, and I think that you should to."
"Huh! Well, that's not something I expected to hear."
"I know, it's weird. I haven't talked to you in forever, and then I call up and tell you to come to Boston."
"Yeah, it is a shocker. I, uhm, okay...again, what?"
"Boston. I have a lead on a job as a managing editor of an online publication, and I'd like to recruit you as our features editor."
"EDITOR?! Uhm, yeah, I haven't written anything publishable since graduation, so I don't know how that will be possible."
"Tracy, I know what you're capable of, and it's an online publication, and the condition of me accepting the job offer is that I get to pick my staff."
"Oh, staff? Okay, so who else are you picking?"
"I don't know yet. You're the only one I know with a job she's willing to leave."
"Can I think about it? This is a lot to take in at once."
"Sure, take it in, call me in a couple of days and let me know what you decide, okay?"
"Yeah, sure. Thanks, okay."
We hung up the phone, and I sat and stared at the silent phone in my hand.
Could I go back to Boston? Should I go back to Boston?
Before another question came into my mind, it was already made up.
"Boston." I said.