This is what the weekend of a single woman in Nashville really looks like:
Friday night: Leave house in East Nashville with roommate to go to Fashion Week’s final runway show of the season. Arrive and use both of your drink tickets immediately, but not before taking your red carpet picture. After all, you didn’t drop $150 on a new outfit for nothing.
You want a whiskey but you accept the fruity vodka drink option from the bar, scoping the room for beautiful male models. You try not to think about the fact that the one guy you’re crazy about just so happens to be walking the runway at the end of the night, and while doing this you find two discarded drink tickets on the floor. Jackpot.
Two more fruity vodkas, please. You go back to your seat for the final show. All night long you’ve been admiring the fashion, but with the final show being all about the boys, you and your roommate exchange glances and whisper cat calls to one another as they begin their walks. One, two, three male models. That one’s gorgeous, look at him. Four, five male models. You try to ignore your heart beat quicken and your stomach churn, knowing that HE will walk out soon. Four, five, six male models. Eventually Alex walks. And he’s so beautiful it breaks your heart.
You take a video of him like a proud mother, and after the show he comes to find you and you hug him. You think the plan is to hang out at the after party together, like he mentioned last week when you saw him in front of the band boys. You talk for 15 minutes, but he seems off. Distant. He says he has another party to get to, and that he’ll see you guys soon. He leaves. And then you leave, telling your roommate on the way home that it doesn’t bother you because you’re just friends. Friends don’t get crazy.
Midnight: You wipe off your mascara and you unclip the curled extensions from your hair, pulling them out with little tiny strands of your real hair still attached. It’s part of the process. You take off the clothes you only wore for five hours, and you run a hot bath, telling yourself it just wasn’t your night. You go to your kitchen and get the half drank bottle of champagne from hours before, when you and your roommate were getting ready, and you bring it into the tub with you.
You lay there for what feels like forever, tears slowly adding to the pool of water that you’ve been steaming in. You ask yourself, “Why doesn’t he like me?” deepening the wrinkle in your forehead that you already hate so much, the one that shows you’re getting old and that you look just like your mother. What would your mother say about this? “Get over him.”
You’re staring blankly at your feet on the edge of the tub when your phone buzzes. It’s Brad. He wants to know how Fashion Week went, he wants to know how you’ve been, and he wants to know when he can see you again. It’s been three weeks since you last hung out, and he keeps saying how much he misses you.
“How about tonight?” you ask. He agrees. He’s been trying so hard.
Saturday morning, 1 a.m.: You drive to Brad’s big house that’s 15 minutes away, not thinking a single thought on the drive. There’s somehow a cathartic rhythm to the way the lines on the pavement roll under as you drive, getting closer and closer to his house where you know something is about to take place.
You get to his house and he welcomes you in, giving you a warm, strong hug that feels – somehow – safe. He hugs you for a long time, like he can sense your sadness, and he asks you how everything is. You tell him about it all. You tell him about your parents possibly moving away, about you having to leave your own house in July because the landlord wants to sell, you tell him about the photoshoot that went haywire and the fight you had with your best friend Daniella earlier. You tell him about everything. Everything except Alex.
And when he holds you and tells you it’s going to be OK, you don’t think about Alex. When he kisses you and tells you you’re beautiful, you don’t think about Alex. When he touches you and makes you feel things you can’t even write about, you don’t think about Alex.
But when it’s over, when you’re laying together and his legs are wrapped in your legs and your hand is in his hair, his head on your chest and you’re just laying there … that’s when you think about Alex. You picture your hands in blonde hair instead of brown, and you picture long, cool fingers holding you instead of Brad’s strong, warm ones. As you start to drift to sleep in Brad’s arms, your eyes are closed and you imagine what it’d be like if you were in Alex’s bed instead. You think back to the night of your birthday, to when you felt a similar feeling when Brad kissed you – but you wanted it to be Alex. You resolve yourself to just let go of the things you can’t have, and you silently creep out of Brad’s bed and walk out to your car to go home.
Saturday, daytime: You barely slept from the time you got home at 4 a.m. to the time you got out of bed around noon, your body aching from the night you had before. You feel numb, but you have an important music video shoot that night that you’re getting paid a lot of money for, so you can’t mess it up. You drink three cups of coffee and still feel nothing. You think about texting Alex to say, “Hey, great job walking last night,” but you don’t. You can’t.
Instead Brad sends you a text, thanking you for spending time with him and for making his night so special. He really is sweet. He tells you that you are exactly what he needs, and that he can’t wait to spend time with you again. You vaguely agree to some unplanned future date, feeling flattered that the hottest man in Nashville wants you to be his so bad.
You power through the day with only a few tears spilled over Alex, grabbing four Red Bulls on your way to work that night. Work is a good distraction from being heartbroken, from feeling empty, so you drink two out of the four and just make it happen.
When you finish shooting the music video, it’s nearly 3 a.m. That night you sleep harder than you have in years.
Sunday: Among the excitement of feeling heartbroken, overworking yourself and sleeping with Brad Freaking Pitt, you forgot that you have an actual date with a new, nice guy on Sunday. Gus was the guy you met at the bar three weeks ago, the one who’s six years younger than you and is tall, dark and handsome. In addition to work, dates are also a good distraction.
He picks you up at one, and has a whole day planned of being outdoors on his little fishing boat with you, the sunshine and a six pack of beer. He’s nice, genuinely nice. He opens the doors for you, helps you get in the boat, teaches you to fish, and talks to you about your life. He flirts with you, but it’s innocent, almost childlike. He asks you things about your friends, your parents, what you do, and not once does he try to compromise you as a woman. Alone with a girl on a river an hour away from the city and you don’t try to have sex? You’re a good guy, Gus.
The sun is going down and you’ve forgotten all about your bad weekend. He drives the boat back to the dock, and as you’re facing the front you can feel the wind on your face. You close your eyes, and you don’t think about Alex or Brad or Fashion Week or your mom or moving or any of it.
You’re just there, on a river in a boat with a boy who likes you.
Sunday night: Gus drives you home, stopping along the way for a beer at a bar where everyone knows his name. He’s a hometown boy, and you can tell he has a good heart. He asks you if you’re hungry, and when you say you’re staving he takes you to get pizza, your favorite food, opening the door for you when you go inside. You share a few slices, the conversation continuing to move in a sweet and positive direction. He drives you home, it’s about 9 p.m., and you realize you’ve spent almost the entire day with this person and you might actually kind of like him.
He pulls up to your house, getting out to walk you to your door. You hug him, and he kisses your cheek. It’s awkward, but it’s cute. He kisses your mouth next, and you share the moment with a few laughs and a “See you soon.” He leaves. You walk inside and crash onto your bed and think to yourself that maybe, just maybe, there are still good guys out there.
With Love, Lola