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“Come in,” she calls.

I open the door and poke my head around it.

“Are you ready to go for lunch?” I ask.

“I just have a quick call to make and then I will be,” she says.

“Ok, how about I go on ahead and grab us some food and meet you in the park on the next block and we’ll have a little picnic?” I ask.

“Yes, that sounds good,” she says smiling at me. “Can you grab me a roast beef sandwich and a Coke please?”

I nod my head and go to the elevator. I go down, cross the lobby and step outside into the warmth of the sun. I go to my favorite little place just down from the office. I decide Summer’s choice sounds good so I order two roast beef sandwiches and two Cokes and then I make my way to the park.

I find an empty picnic bench beside what, in the winter, becomes the outdoors ice rink, but what, at the minute, is just a circle of concrete. It’s perhaps not the best view but I sit facing it so Summer can sit opposite me and have the view of the trees and the pretty flower beds that grow between them, their soil alive with reds and oranges and yellows that seem to dance in the sun their fiery colors making them look almost like they are a part of it.

I look up as a shadow falls across me and Summer is slipping onto the seat opposite me. I hand her sandwich and Coke to her and then I open my own sandwich and take a bite. The beef is juicy and tender, and I definitely made the right decision copying Summer’s choice. Summer opens her can of Coke and sips it and then she begins on her sandwich. She’s about halfway through it when she drops a bombshell on me.

“This is nice Tyler, really it is, but it can’t happen again,” she says.

“Huh? We can’t have lunch together anymore?” I ask when I’ve swallowed my mouthful.

“Not just lunch,” Summer says. “Any of it. I’m sorry Tyler, I thought it would be ok, us fooling around, maybe even dating, but I was wrong.”

I feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach, but I keep eating, trying not to show Summer how much of an effect her words have had on me.

“I’m sorry,” she says again after a moment of silence.

I shrug my shoulders like it’s no big deal and finish my lunch. Summer finishes her sandwich just after me and she sits and plays with the bag it came in, looking down at her hands and not at me.

I could just let this go, just put it down to Summer telling me before she wasn’t looking for anything serious, but I feel like it’s more than that. I feel like there has to be a better reason than her just not being actively looking for a relationship.

“Can I ask why?” I ask.

“Why what?” Summer asks me.

“Why us dating isn’t ok,” I say.

She sighs and keeps fiddling with the bag, but eventually, when I don’t rush to fill the silence, she looks up at me.

“I fucked up big time at work today. I forgot I had a meeting with one of my top clients. I’ve appeased her now, but I could have lost her. I’ve worked too hard to throw my career away,” she says.

“There’s no rule to say we can’t date Summer. You’re not throwing your career away,” I say.

“No, it’s not that,” she says. “It’s… look I can’t stop thinking about you, ok? About us together. And I’m so distracted I can’t concentrate on my work or on anything. So, I’m sorry, but I have to put my career first.”

I burst out laughing at that. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it. Summer frowns at me.

“What’s funny?” she says.

“You are,” I reply.

“What, you think me risking my career that I have worked so hard for is funny?” she says.

I shake my head.

“No of course not,” I say. “What I think is funny is your logic.”

She frowns again and I just smile at her. I can see she is dying to know what I mean but I don’t make it easy for her. I wait for her to either ask or drop the subject, knowing that she won’t be able to resist knowing and that she will ask. She doesn’t disappoint me.

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