Elsewhere in the city, June was hanging with her longtime friend Douglas Lee. Lee, best known as a stylist for the wealthiest women of New York City, had recently abandoned the Big Apple to live in Washington, DC. Both he and June were debating moving their friendship toward a more romantic one, but both had significant issues to overcome first.
The two had started their day together visiting a gallery in Georgetown, then having lunch together. Then Doug dropped his bomb.
“June, we need to talk,” he said as the waiter cleared their plates.
The restaurant was one that clearly catered to the movers and shakers in town and favored small, sheltered booths, which were great for private deals and conversations.
June held her breath.
“Wow,” said Doug. “This is going to be harder than I thought.”
June felt her stomach leap. He seemed to be proposing, but what?
Doug swallowed. “Look. I know we’ve talked about getting more of a relationship going. And I still would like to. But, here’s the thing, June. I have no idea who I am right now. I thought this move to DC would help me figure it out, but it hasn’t. I’m still confused and I don’t want you waiting for me to get my head together.”
“Oh.” June thought it over. “I wasn’t exactly waiting. It’s not like there’s anyone else in the wings.”
“But there could be,” Doug said. “The thing is, I’m leaving DC. I’m not going back to New York, but I’m going to start traveling. I have to. I need to move out of my comfort zones. I’ve never been anywhere except here and New York and I’ve gotta go check things out. You know what I mean?”
“I suppose,” said June, wondering how she should respond.
“Anyway, I’m going to be traveling – kind of all over the place. I don’t even know when I’m going to be back.” Doug began running his thumb over the handle of his fork, back and forth. “I don’t want to say this is the end for us. It’s just that I’d feel terrible if you were back here waiting for me. What if you gave up someone really good for you because I was off trying to find myself? That would be horrible.”
“Okay,” said June. “I won’t wait for you. It’s not like I don’t have issues of my own to work out.”
“So when are you leaving?”
“Tonight. I’m flying to Paris.” Doug suddenly slammed the fork onto the table. “Wow. I can’t believe how nervous I am. You gonna be okay?”
“I guess. Listen, let’s get the check. I probably should be getting back to work.”
“Yeah. That would probably be good.”
The two left the restaurant together but then went their separate ways with barely a kiss on the cheek. The discreet SUV pulled up next to June and the Secret Service agent watching her that day stepped up to open the back door of the car for her. June settled into the back seat feeling numb and wondering how she should be feeling.