I Gave Her My Only Olive

She had the most beautiful profile. I don’t mean her dating profile, which is how we connected. I mean the side of her actual face. Her features — from her long brown hair to her flat-tipped nose, voluptuous lips and strong rounded chin — were full of character. And she was smart, firing back funny responses to my conversational crumbs.

She was 36. I was 43. She was new to Los Angeles. I had been here four years. She was recently out of a seven-year relationship. I had never managed anything close to that.

Our quick-fire exchange of messages ended with an agreed upon late afternoon drink in Venice the following Thursday. When she arrived, she was surprisingly guarded, which put me a little on edge, which made me funnier. I don’t think I was what she was expecting. I saw a picture of her ex on Instagram. He was kind of hunky-looking and well-groomed, with hair like a 20-year-old.

She ordered an orange wine. I had a gin cocktail. I made her laugh. She touched my arm. She ordered another orange wine. I had another gin. I wasn’t nervous anymore. I asked if she would like to have dinner. She said yes.

I guess that’s the moment it all started for me. The point of emotional no return. We walked up Rose Avenue to a restaurant called Wallflower. She held my arm.

We sat at the bar, and after a while I realized that my hand was in hers. Somewhere between courses I kissed her on the cheek. We talked about love languages. I touched her leg. We walked outside and kissed while waiting for her car. For a moment we looked at each other and acknowledged something about “potential.”

I told her to text me when she was home safe. I never think to say that.

I replied to her text, saying I was excited to see her again. She replied: “me too xx.”

We didn’t see each other for another three weeks. She was traveling for work. I thought about her constantly.

People say we have too much choice, and that’s the problem with dating these days. But it’s not. When you meet someone special, the idea of ​​going on a date with anyone else feels utterly pointless, an excruciating chore.

It was around this time that the olive fell from the tree.

I had bought the olive tree a few months earlier in Ojai. It was about two feet tall, and still is. The tree wasn’t my first choice. When I took my original pick to the counter, the man said, “Wouldn’t you prefer one that’ll give you fruit? They’re not as pretty, but they’re more fun.”

So I swapped the tree for a scruffy-looking one covered with tiny white and yellow flowers. I planted it in an old terra-cotta pot and put it on a chair, as if it were a guest in my garden.

I’d never had my own garden before. After my last relationship, I moved apartments and created a lush green oasis from what was a lifeless cement passageway. It gave me something to focus on.

I made some benches, planted flowering vines and a couple of cactuses. It felt good to nurture new life. A hummingbird would visit. Butterflies would flicker in the shadows. Sitting out there with my morning coffee and evening gin and tonic was, for me, a spiritual experience.

Every day I would inspect my tree for olives. Its flowers bloomed, then fell, then nothing. Until late April, when I saw a tiny green kernel on a stem.

Over the next few weeks, I watched the olive grow and expected to see others. When none appeared, I began to worry that my precious olive would fall in the night or be eaten by a pest. I felt protective, as if it were a pet.

By August the olive had grown to the size of a fingernail. I imagined having a party when it was time for it to be harvested. Friends would come over and we would pickle it.

It was in September — around the same time she and I matched — that the olive changed color. It transitioned from green to brown to black and its smooth wrinkled skin, and it grew smaller.

When the olive finally fell, I knew exactly what it was meant for, why it existed. I put it in a small jar with a metal lid and, for some reason, kept it in the freezer.

She returned on Saturday, and we arranged to meet the following Thursday. When I picked her up, I had the olive in my car. We went to a gallery opening on Melrose. There was no awkward warm-up this time. No getting a feel for each other.

We joked about the art. A photographer documenting the evening kept taking pictures of us. It felt like we were being immortalized, that this moment was being preserved for a reason.

We left the gallery and walked to a bistro. My arm was around her shoulders. Hers around my waist. As we waited to cross the street, I kissed her. We sat at the bar and ordered wine and some small plates. I didn’t even look at the prices. I’d pay anything to hold her attention, to gaze at her profile.

I couldn’t stop stroking her bare legs, and once again my hand found its way into hers. We talked about everything: her pottery, my carpentry, broken hearts, the state of the nation. It felt as if there had never been a more perfect time for two lives to intersect. I wanted to commit every part of her past to memory, to fast-track my knowledge of her entire life.

When I drove her home, she told me that she was freezing her eggs. She said that the injections might affect her mood over the next few weeks. I was comforted by her openness, as if she were prepping me for the future, and I couldn’t help imagining that maybe one day we might make something from one of those eggs.

I picked up the glass jar from the ashtray and put it in her hand. She jokingly asked if it was my sperm. (I told you she was funny.) I recounted the story of my first and only olive and said I wanted her to have it. She said it was the nicest gift she had ever received.

For a second I thought she might cry.

I walked her to her door. She said she had a friend staying for the weekend. We tentatively agreed to meet the following week. We made out on her stoop. I remember smelling the side of her neck for a moment. I just wanted to hold a trace of her in her absence. I’m never usually like this. Maybe it was a bit weird.

She asked me to text her when I got home. I texted her before I got home. I didn’t want her to think we lived too far apart.

The next day I sent her some recommendations of where to go with her friend. She loved them all. On Monday evening I asked about her weekend. She told me it was lovely. She asked about mine. I made it sound better than it had been. I asked how her week looked, if she was free on Friday.

I sat down while typing that message. It somehow felt like a life-changing text.

It was around lunchtime the next day that I began the get the feeling I had been ghosted. Maybe her friend was more than a friend. Maybe they’d had a romantic time at the restaurants I recommended, and my excellent taste in venues had helped cement their love.

I followed up on Wednesday evening. For closure. It took her 84 minutes to reply.

I was amazing. I was awesome. She had loved our time together. but

I thanked her for reminding me what it’s like to be excited about someone. She asked if we could be friends. I said that wouldn’t work.

I couldn’t sleep that night. The idea of ​​her having my olive kept agitating me like the pea under the princess’s mattresses.

The next morning, I texted her. I just needed to get it out the way.

“Hey,” I wrote. “One final request. That damn olive, if you haven’t already, can you toss it in the trash. It weirdly meant something to me and it was a miscalculation to give it to you so soon. I don’t want it back. I’d just rather it didn’t exist.”

I ended the message with something light. I didn’t want to sound dramatic.

She didn’t reply. Of course she didn’t.

I wonder if she did as I asked.

I kind of hope she did.

I kind of hope she didn’t.

Written by trendingatoz

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

With a Redesigned Car, Mercedes Hopes It Can Unseat Red Bull as F1 Champion

How to Be a Better Grandfather