Moving (and not all in a good way)
As of their one-year anniversary of living together, Nate and Larissa were seriously ready to act upon moving in together officially, most likely in her roomier rental house, with him letting go of his apartment and much of his substandard, cheap furniture (bringing over a few good, old family pieces). There’d been more moments of friction, yet nothing huge, and they both expected it from prior personal experience and general life wisdom of others they’d absorbed over the years (including watching their respective sets of parents handle disagreements).
All this changed about two months after that one-year anniversary.
“Hi Sexy Babe! Mwwwuh!”
“Welcome home, Lovely Lardy Lady! You look especially happy tonight.”
“I am. Got a promotion.”
“Yes it is! They’re setting up a new division in Chicago, and they want me to manage it!”
Tension filled Nate’s body in an instant. “Chicago?”
“Yeah. They’ve redone the old pre-merger Kerfingle facility. Saves ’em money… nice place to live. I mean, yeah, it’s a pain to move, but… Chicago! And we can finally pick out a place together!”
“What about my career?”
“What about it? You’re a programmer: you can work from anywhere.”
“That’s the myth. It’s reality for some of the very best, and with some companies, but ToteSecure is a tight-knit operation. We do security, so it rather defeats the purpose to transfer secure information out of the building, given that no VPN nor other security method is 100% proven unbreakable over time. That’s why you may have noticed I don’t bring my work home.”
“I thought it was because you couldn’t get enough of me!”
“That too!” he answered with a kiss and a hip squeeze. “But also because it’s not allowed.”
Only now was the full reality bubbling through Larissa’s mind, with all the dots connecting. “So you… can’t just work from away?”
“Not at my current job. I’d need to scramble to find something there which pays as well and is as intellectually stimulating.”
“So… well… you’ll do that, right? I mean… it’s Chicago, and me, with better pay and intellectual stimulation of my own!” She hadn’t realized there’d be any issue. Suddenly her generous gut was churning.
So was his.
And so began the beginning of the end for Nate and Larissa as a live-together couple. He did make an honest effort to find suitable work in Chicagoland, but there were only two possible openings and he didn’t interview well for either. Their first real verbal argument was over whether he could or should have done more to prepare for the second of the two interviews.
Larissa’s fat gain not only stalled, but fell back, from the stress of not knowing whether their bond would survive the move. They started sniping at each other occasionally, then a bit more. Often they’d apologize right away, but not always. The fact of the matter was that Nate very much liked his existing job/career and did not want to move nor change jobs. Yet he knew as well as she that her promotion was a big deal, and that she needed to accept it for the best possible path through her life.
Thankfully things never got anywhere near as bad between Nate and Larissa as between him and Deb, yet the tensions and issues were still enough to dull their love. Unfortunately, not enough to keep the eventual parting from still being painful for each of them… especially Larissa.
“I will never forget what we had together” she told him at the moment of parting, her rented house emptied and cleaned, her car packed with its final Chicago-bound load, doing better than she thought keeping all tears at bay.
“Nor will I. There is no other like you.” The goodbye kiss he chose to give her at that moment set off his own tears.
“Nate… Sexy Babe… remember this” she said as she grabbed both his hands to gently shake them, hoping to shake away his tears before hers started. “As long as you’re not committed 100% to someone, you’ve got a girlfriend in Chicago.”
He smiled through his tears and gave her a tight hug.
“If anything changes with you,” she continued, “you know how to reach me… right away!”
She kissed him a final goodbye then got into her car and drove off, before her tears could start and blur her vision. Driving away from him was one of the hardest things she’d ever done.