Tiffani Jensen stands cutting onions at the kitchen bar. Slicing through the yellow onions, she tries to find words to comfort her son, Eric. “I don’t understand it, mom. Belle and I are a good match. She even admitted it, and now it’s like she wants nothing to do with me.” Tiffani nods and keeps slicing. “Son, it’s better you find out now, than for ya’ll to get married and find out years later.” Scrapping the onions into a pan, Tiffani shakes the onions evenly across the bottom. Placing it on the stove top, she turns and goes to the sink.
“I know, mom. We were good together, you know. I like spending time and money on her and she acted like she felt the same. Then it went from that, to I can only see you on weekends, to I can only stand to see you for a few hours on Sunday.” Pressing her lips together, Tiffani shakes her head. “You have been friend-zoned.” Eric stares at his mother. “How can you say that to me, mom? I’m hurting.” Wrapping her arms around her son, Tiffani hugs him. “I know, Eric.” Tears form in Eric’s eyes, and he tries to blink them back. “Then, how can you….”
Tiffani sits across from Eric and puts her hands over the top of his. “Son, some people think they like you. Then, they would rather do other things, but they don’t want to “hurt” you. They’re trying to protect you, but in the end, they do nothing but cause you pain. Some folks don’t want to lose you, but don’t want to be with you either. There are a multiplicity of reasons, why people do this to others.”
“So, what do I do?” Tiffani shrugs. “You can keep hoping things will get better, that one day you will be enough. It’s not what I recommend, but it is an option. You can break it off and burn the bridge. Again, I don’t recommend that course of action either. You can limit your interaction with her, and just be her friend. I know it’s not what you want, but son, you will never be nothing more than her friend. She has made that abundantly clear to you.”
“Things might turn around, mom. She might love me again.” Tiffani forces a smile. “Yeah, she might Eric.” She stands and smiles at her son, “so, are you okay now? Do you know what you’re going to do?” Eric nods, “yes ma’am, I’m going to wait for her to love me again.” Tiffani smiles. “Okay, if you need me, I’m here for you son. I have to get back to work, this chicken will not cook itself!” Eric nods and hugs his mother. “Thanks for listening, mom. You’re the best.”
As Eric walks out of the house, Tiffani watches from the window as he gets into his car. “Why couldn’t I tell him it’s better to be alone, than to live your life as an option?”