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.Her hours were reduced, so she only aided me on campus and in running errands outside my usual pattern.The rest of my routine I had down, other than an occasional bump or scrape due to an unexpected obstacle.“A checklist?” I stepped around the bush I knew grew too far out over the edge of the sidewalk—the one I’d barged into a couple of times before.“You should’ve done it before you slept with him.It’s a pro/con list to make sure you really want to take that next step.” She added dryly, “It’s worked so well for me in making my relationship decisions.”“I think it’s a little late for a list.” Because I already felt far too much for J.D.“It’s never too late for a list.Watch that gum.” She guided me around a wad on the pavement.“So you’ve already hooked up.This will help you decide if there are grounds for a long-term relationship.”“All right.Let’s do a list.” There were a lot of things to weigh and consider before I tumbled even more head over heels in love than I’d already allowed myself.“One—and this shouldn’t even be top of the list but it is—is he attractive to you? Clearly a check on the pro side.”I laughed.My cane tip, an extension of my hand, touched an uneven spot on the pavement, and I stepped over it.“Two, is he respectful and does he listen to you when you talk? You have no idea how many of the men in my life have failed number two, yet I’ve dated them anyway.”“J.D.is a good listener, and he pays attention,” I said.“But three, have you ever caught him in a lie? Check on the con side.”“Was it a lie, really? Does not mentioning something count?”“Girl, you know the answer to that.And if he can keep quiet about something so minor, what else might he keep a secret?”I sighed.“Fine.A check in the con column.”“Four, does he make a decent living? You have to consider if a guy has direction, ambition, and a plan for his life.If he doesn’t know where he’s going, how can he be any good for you? I’ve dated too many shiftless bums to think it doesn’t matter and love can conquer all.”“Wow, you’re tough.Maybe J.D.doesn’t have a solid plan right now.Neither do I.Besides, I think the guy deserves a break while he figures out his life after all he’s been through.”“Granted, but if he’s stalled and spinning his wheels, you’re going to be stuck right alongside him.I think that has to be one on the con side for J.D.”“Hey, he’s a bartender, a security guard, and a sometime cage fighter.He’s working.” I spoke jokingly, but I meant it.Even though this pro-and-con list was sort of a game, I was anxious for J.D.to end up with a solid row of checkmarks on his side.Gina laughed.“Okay, we’ll mark that one unclear and move on.Five, does the guy have any serious issues? This category includes heavy drinking, drug use, STDs, and emotional problems.”I felt for the bottom step of the building we were going to and began to climb the stairs.“No STDs.” We’d shared test results, belatedly, after that first time we had sex.Gina had verified J.D.’s for me.An annoying but necessary step in modern dating.“He’s a social drinker, and he takes a couple of prescription drugs.That’s it.” I didn’t mention that the prescriptions were for symptoms of posttraumatic stress.That wasn’t Gina’s business, and it would put a check in the negative column even though J.D.was managing all right.“Number six.” Gina opened the door and held it until I’d entered the building.“Can you imagine a future with him?”“This is your checklist to go through before sleeping with a guy?” I asked.“So you don’t believe in casual hookups?”“Weighing the pros and cons is more hypothetical than something I actually practice.I don’t usually get much past question one.”I laughed as we entered our classroom and never answered the question aloud.But inside, I responded absolutely.I can’t imagine a future without him.All this talk about pros and cons made me ponder the checklist J.D.could make concerning me.Was I worth getting involved with? Sure, we were very compatible overall and the sex was good, but there were plenty of cons J.D.could mark.Since the accident, I tended to be moody and irritable, although he hadn’t yet seen that side of me.I was all over the place about what I wanted my future to be, and I might never be a good wage earner because of my disability.We could struggle financially [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]