North American Review 277.6
When he met her she was seeing another man, a playwright.
Two weeks later she walked down the beach to his house by the ocean and they made love on the deck in the sun. It was so good he told her he couldn't see her again until she got rid of the playwright.
Two months later she called to say she had gotten rid of the playwright.
Six weeks later she told him she was going to France for a month to edit a novel-in-progress. She would share a small country house with the novelist, who was an ex-lover. He asked if she was taking her diaphragm. She said she always took her diaphragm when she traveled.
Two weeks later, in agony, he called her in France. The novelist answered. Eventually she came to the phone. It was 4:00 AM her time and she was not pleased to hear from him.
Two months later she moved into his apartment in New York.
Four months later, during a trip to San Francisco, she said she didn't think they could last. He couldn't find the source of her anger and decided to just ride it out.
A year and a half later she suggested they marry and have a child.
Three years later she left him because he couldn't or wouldn't make up his mind about this. Six months later he called to say that nothing would make him happier than to marry her and have a child with her. She cried and said she didn't know what her feelings were anymore.
Four months later she called from a weekend self-awareness seminar. Encouraged by the other seminar participants, she asked him to marry her. "Marry me," she said with terrifying directness and authority. He said, "Let's talk about it."
Two months later he said they could at least have a child, with or without marriage, before her biological clock ran out. She had a new editorial job and said she wasn't ready for the career sacrifice.
One year later he told her he had to stop meeting her for lunch and that even talking to her regularly on the phone was keeping him from getting on with his life.
Three months later she called to say she remembered when he bought her a baseball glove and how they used to play catch so joyfully on the beach and how impressed he was with how well she could catch and throw a hardball. She asked if he had a girlfriend and he didn't say yes or no. She said she was sorry to call but she loved him and missed him. He said he loved her too. They agreed not to call each other.
Two months later through a personal ad he met a woman who delighted him and who became his new girlfriend.
He didn't think about his ex for four months. He didn't call her for six months.