So I’m just about at the point of giving up on Khaled.
I mean, he’s my best friend, but maybe that’s all he supposed to be. We flirt and we have more romance interactions than some married couples, but we’re still no more than… what’s a good word for it? Lovebirds. We’re not even friends with benefits. Just friends who flirt.
In one of my endless efforts to get him to see me more as more than a flirty friend, I invited him to the flea market. It was the perfect time to go because the contractor was on my property, working on a small building. I couldn’t afford anything more than a room for a bed and a bathroom, but I had to start somewhere.
Going to the flea market was not very romantic, I know, but we were there to shop for cool pieces for my house. I was hoping that thinking about me in a house might lead to thinking about me in a bed. Stupid, I know.
We met up by the flea market, and he was in full friend mode.
He even called over one of the sales ladies so I could meet her. So much for my plans for flirty banter followed by exploring furniture hand in hand.
She was actually a nice lady. She was dressed how I dress for work. After seeing multiple women in those clothes, I decided that this past Friday would be the last time I’m ever wearing those threads.
Khaled saw another one of his friends and went over to say hi, so I ended up exploring the furniture by myself. I saw a pretty cool armchair that could work. I wasn’t sure of my color scheme yet, but the chair could be easily reupholstered to match any décor.
I headed back to find the nice if poorly dressed flea market saleslady. I haggled with her and she agree to give me 25% off. She wanted to do something nice to help “the cute newlywed couple furnish their new house.” I wasn’t about to correct her and lose my discount.
I went to claim my armchair and another cute outdoor chair, and felt heartened. Khaled and I must have hope if a complete stranger thought we were newlyweds after spending just a few minutes with us.
I wanted to celebrate my first furniture purchase of my new life. In my other life, furniture purchases had to be approved by the interior decorator, and they never agreed with my taste. I hated the way my childhood bedroom looked, and I wasn’t very fond out how it looked through my teen years either.
I looked around the flea market for something that could accomplish my goals of celebration. I was feeling rebellious because of the memories of life before Windenburg, so when my eyes landed on the corner of the flea market, I knew I’d found my celebration activity.
I walked quickly over, beckoning Khaled to join me. I wasn’t sure if this behavior fit his image of me, but I was ready to try something I’d never had the nerve to try before: the bubble blower.
He didn’t say anything when he arrived at my side. He simply grabbed the bubble blower and took a hit.
He clearly was no novice at this. I was impressed at the way he blew out the bubbles. And I was no longer worried about my image.
I took another hit, but I think I inhaled too deeply that time. I did not look as cool as Khaled when I exhaled.
We decided to call it quits on the bubble blower. We headed over to the basketball court and shot a few hoops. That didn’t last long as the effects of the bubble blower settled in. I would not recommend dazed basketball to anyone.
I spent the whole day with Khaled and he didn’t flirt with me once. So I put some space between us and went to meet some interesting strangers.
The contractor told me not to head home until after sun down. I decided to leave the flea market, and I headed to the library to finally file some reports for work. I was close to another promotion, so I figured it couldn’t hurt.
When I arrived home, it was jarring but excited to see my flowered hedges at the front of my property. And there was a building!
I just stood there for a moment taking it all in.
I don’t have anyone to share this space with yet, but in that moment, I didn’t care.
I’m sure when Daddy emptied my trust fund, he thought he’d force my hand. I’m sure he thought I’d be back home, begging him for a warm bed, a Birkin bag, and three chef-quality meals a day. But I’d managed to stay afloat and take care of myself. I had the equivalent of a studio apartment with a lovely outdoor space.
I don’t know if I’ll get back to the life I grew up in before I die, but I’m certainly going to setup my descendants to have it. And they’re going to grow up without all the requirements I had. I’m changing what it means to be a Duvall. Starting today, it’s going to mean working hard to accomplish your dreams, whatever those dreams are.