"Okay, what about?" I slam a box of race bibs down on the registration table.
"When you're moving out to D.C."
I roll my eyes, audibly laugh in a nonsensical way, like it's impossible to even consider. In my mind, I tell him what our mutual friends have suggested I boldly say: if I do, are you going to take me on a real date?
"What makes you think I'm going to make that move?" I say.
"Lots of things," he twirls a pen between his fingertips, "first of all, we've talked about this--it's your city."
"Why are you pushing so hard?" I ask, hands on my hips. Hard to look authoritative and in control in yoga pants and a neon tank muscle tee. He leans against the table I'm working to clear.
"Oh, come on! There's so much we haven't done yet! So much left to do! Now that I've been there long enough, I've developed some favorite spots and I can't wait to show you."
"I want to. I really want to move there, but--"
"No, sorry, no excuses," he says, waving his hands around. "I'm starting to believe you don't want it at all."
My mind shifts into mayday mode. What if he really believes I don't want it? What if I've played it too cool? Will he stop begging? I like it when he begs!
"Oh, I want it. I promise I want it."
"Then prove it," he says, a devious smile across his face. "Tell you what: you come visit me again this summer, and I'll change your mind. Again." He folds his arms across his chest. "And, hey! If you end up moving out there, might just be a surprise waiting for you."
"Well, tell me what it is and maybe I'll decide right now."
"Oh... Sorry. No can do! Move to D.C. I'll have it waiting."
He grocery shops for M&Ms. Bags and bags of them. Says he's only going to buy one this time, but always returns with more. He plays the piano. Has curly hair that springs just so when he's neglected a haircut. Likes mediocre Chicken Tikka Marsala and when I make biting remarks on his behalf. He's reverent about the American flag and hates the idea of a family dog, something I find strangely intriguing and, uncharacteristically, endearing.
Give me the time and remove my pride, I think I could, very easily, become an east coaster soon.