Stephanie grows up

Here I am, another Friday night, prowling through my empty cupboards again. Just like my life. Why can't I get a handle on things? I'm tired of this. Maybe it's time to make some decisions.

OK let's asses. Career? On the blink. For someone with a college education I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel career-wise; and I'm not very competent at even that. Personal life? Please. I'm still tethered to my mother for food and laundry and the occasional hug and reassurance. At my age? Pathetic. Let's see. Social life? Virtually non- existent. Love life? How do I even classify that? Ever since Dickie, its like things are spiralling out of control. I'm now caught between two men, who at the moment in terms of level of commitment aren't adding up to one good man. What about me? I'm not exactly a catch either. I'll make a terrible housewife or an incompetent employee or…the list goes on. This is depressing.

Ok, Time to deal with it.

I pick up the phone before I have enough time to chicken out and call Ranger.


"We need to talk."

"Is it urgent?"

"It's important."

"Can you come to RangeMan?"

"I don't have a car. Don't ask."

Couple beats of silence.

"I'll be there in half an hour."

I start pacing the apartment putting together in my head what to say to Ranger. I know I need an answer, but I don't know how I'd handle rejection. I guess this is how men feel; doesn't feel good. I try to distract myself with some TV. No luck. I sing: The hills are alive, with the sound of music, on the top of my lungs, but it occurs to me that Ranger might hear me and my next door neighbour might come and shoot me in the head just to shut me up. I'm falling apart by the minute; by the time Ranger gets here I'll bust a blood vessel, I'm so stressed. He'll probably be carrying me out on a stretcher. No wonder I've never had the guts to do this before.

The lock tumbles and my heart skips a beat. In walks Ranger.

"You look crazy Babe."

No kidding.

"What's up?"

"I need to know what's happening between us. I need an answer. I can't live like this. Do we have something or not? I need to make a decision."

He looks amused.

"That's what's had you so worked up?"

"You have no idea."

He laughs softly. He's as gorgeous as ever. That's the problem with Ranger, he's so darn hot.

"Welcome to my world," he says.

"You never look frazzled like me. You're always in control."

"We express our emotions differently."

Sure, under stress I have a brain aneurysm; he's as calm as the dead.
"So," he says, "Have you talked to Morelli about this?"

"I came to you first."

That got a genuine, honest to gosh smile out of him.

"So how about it?" I ask, almost dancing with impatience, "Do we have something or not?"

"Babe, I was waiting on you."

I let out a huge sigh of relief, its like weight is off my shoulder. I feel dizzy from the adrenaline, I need to sit down. He sees me on the verge of collapse and puts his arms around me, kisses me lightly on the lips.

"The decision was always yours," He says.

"But you said you didn't want a relationship."

"Things have changed since then, I'm more stable now."

I'm ecstatic. Maybe now I can move on with my life, tackle some of the things I've been avoiding. I can lean on Ranger, I don't have to be alone. Just one problem: I have no idea how I'm going to break this to Morelli.