Learning to Say “I Love You”

It’s been almost a year since she left me. I’m not over my anger yet.

A.T. Thomas
Age of Empathy

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Two hands — one white and one black — reaching up and holding pinkie fingers.
Photo by Womanizer Toys on Unsplash

The last time I was at a gathering of Monica’s friends, I noticed they stood together in four little groups — colleagues, neighbors, members of her Southside Baptist church, and those from her North Shore church.

I knew no one.

There was no easy explanation for how we’d met. I had to tell the whole story. Most didn’t even know she’d once been an aide to one of Illinois’ US Senators.

I explained that the manufacturing company I worked for planned an event to celebrate its investment in Chicago. I had sent invitations to the media and many politicians.

Monica called me and said the Senator couldn’t make it, but she’d attend on his behalf. She asked if I could find her a ride.

When I picked her up to take her to the event, I was thrilled to discover we were both animal lovers. As I recall, we talked about our pets nonstop both there and back.

That shindig was my first big event as a new lobbyist. The governor, several congressmen, and local newspaper reporters attended. I think it was successful. I honestly don’t remember much. All I really remember is how much l liked her.

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A.T. Thomas
Age of Empathy

Skeptical lawyer/former corporate lobbyist. Concerned about biodiversity and climate change. Ally to people with ME/CFS, Long Covid and similar diseases.