Dating cancer guy
Work was the realm in which her success was unqualified. She liked to hire single women and mothers because she could remember how it felt to be alone, with one child and another on the way, after her first marriage broke up.
That he happened to worship at her church, Mariners. And he told her that she stopped his heart, she was so beautiful. Her last serious boyfriend had wounded her, in parting, when he said she wasn’t. She thought this was moving a little fast, but she decided to allow it. She brought John back to her penthouse, just up the block. She thought, “It’s just a mattress.” She became uncomfortable. He just didn’t want to leave, and she had to insist.
She called them “approachable dreams.” They were like glossy ads in upscale lifestyle magazines — purged of kids’ toys and dirty dishes and other real-world complications. She didn’t mind his idiosyncrasies, like his habit of wearing his faded blue medical scrubs everywhere, even to a formal-dress cancer benefit she invited him to.
In her big Irvine warehouse, among the vases and mirrors and other decorative bric-a-brac, stood shelves of color-coordinated hardback books — aqua, navy, gray, brown — because books made nice furniture in perfect homes. The titles didn’t matter, as long as they omitted the words “sex” and “death.” Her perfect rooms were like the face you presented on dates, inviting people to fantasize about the piece that may complete their lives. Some people snickered, but she thought, “Busy doctor.” “So you are the real thing,” she texted him after one date.
If your eagerness or loneliness or desperation showed too soon, you were done. “Best thing that will ever happen to you,” he replied.
He began spending the night regularly at her Irvine penthouse. She was convinced that her kids would understand how wonderful he was once they got to know him.
She had been on three other recent dates, but the men were less handsome than their profile photos, and the talk was dull. He showed keen interest in the details of her life and business.