It is going on 7:30am. I and Rosa are walking through downtown heading back to my house after eating breakfast. It was a long weekend and we didn't get to see much of each other and I relish this time with her. It is a cool and blustery morning bespeaking of winter's past. A backdoor cold front blew through yesterday upon the heels of thunderstorms. We needed the rain badly.
"How was your meeting with your daughter?" I ask as we walk past the convenience store.
Rosa, her daughter, and granddaughter spent time together this weekend.
"Oh, I was a nervous wreck," Rosa replies. "But I didn't make a fool of myself. My granddaughter is precious. I cooked all weekend and we drove up to Atlanta and ate at The Varsity."
"I am so glad things went well," I say sincerely.
"I just wish you could have been there," she replies.
I pull out my pack of cigarillos handing Rosa one. I light up and then hand Rosa my small box of wooden matches. She struggles to light hers in the blustery wind.
"I thought we were finished with winter," she says of the weather as she pulls on her cigar after finally lighting it.
"I know," I reply. "It feels like fall, not early May."
We walk quietly for a few hundred yards. I can tell Rosa is in deep thought. I finally break the silence by speaking up.
"A penny for your thoughts?" I ask.
"I am just thinking about you and this chick you are enamored with," Rosa says. "George keeps carrying on about it. Says you call her the Celtic beauty. That is a pretty affectionate term."
"We are not dating," I reply, defensively.
"Yet?" Rosa asks. "Would you date her?"
I don't lie, but answer in a roundabout fashion.
"They say you can't date in A.A. during your first year of sobriety," I reply. "I am supposed to stay single for a long time and so is she."
"That didn't keep you from dating Carolyn," Rosa says, rightly.
"I know," I reply. "I am only human."
"And that is what I like about you," Rosa says. "You don't bullshit and I get a feeling you are bullshitting me about this woman."
I grow quiet as we walk just a few minutes from my house. Rosa was right. I usually pride myself on my honesty with my friends and I was being deceptive.
"You know I love you, don't you?" Rosa finally says as we walk through my neighborhood. "Just don't play games with my heart."
I grab her hand and keep walking. I am faced with a terrible dilemma – an overly feminine young woman with whom I am attracted to physically and an overly homely looking much older woman with who I am enamored with her personality. I am worried I will lose Rosa's friendship if I start dating the Celtic beauty and I don't want that to happen. I don't envy myself of the choice. I realize I love both women deeply. A conundrum indeed!