Before my trip to Dallas, Austin and I got into another fight. We talked on the phone one day when clearly, we should not have. He was being a dick because I didn’t call him when he wanted me to. So when I said I’d let him go so he could work, he got pissed. It made me remember why we broke up and why I wasn’t always happy during our relationship.

My plan was to ignore him the rest of the day, but of course I didn’t. I told him I was excited about my interview at Duvic’s the next day—a job I’d wanted for a long time—and he said, “Oh my God, why would you want to work there? It’s trashy.” I was starting to notice a trend with Austin that he couldn’t just be happy for me. So then I unleashed on him saying that I wasn’t even going to answer the phone because he was such a dick to me the day before.

He, naturally, claimed he wasn’t and that I needed to chill out because I was just being a bitch. I said I was sick of hearing him complain about how much he hated talking on the phone because if he didn’t want to call me then DON’T CALL ME! He said I should realize how much he wanted to talk to me since he still called even though he hated talking on the phone. I said I didn’t want him to do anything he didn’t want to do, so he said he’d let me go and that was the end of that.

At that moment, I decided to limit the amount of time I talked to Austin, and headed off to work.

A few days later, I was packed for my big move into a new condo with two of my friends. Although things with Austin continued to be rocky, I was packed and ready for Dallas. I figured we just needed to see each other in person, finally.

My coworkers were advising me not to sleep with Austin during my trip. I agreed with them. I felt like Austin and I were both just waiting for one of us to find someone new. My plan was to just get to Dallas and have fun, while trying not to analyze everything.

I had a lot on the horizon: a trip to Dallas, a trip to Los Angeles—both would be telling of my future.

A week later, I was in the Houston airport, writing notes on a new pad of paper that had red chili peppers around the edges. I had just finished my weekend in Dallas and was waiting to get back to New Orleans.

After a fun weekend, I was very sad to leave Austin. I had been wrong about so many things.

I ended up really loving Dallas when I thought I wouldn’t really care. The whole trip was a reality check. I thought I wasn’t really going to be excited to see Austin or even sad to leave him, but I definitely was. We definitely have our moments—the good and of course the bad. I was so proud of Austin for moving somewhere new, finding a great job and a nice apartment. I was already trying to figure out when I could get back to Dallas.

We did so many fun things. Before I went on the trip, I was so worried about having a talk with him to clear things up. I was so worried about figuring out what the big picture was: why did he really want me to move there? Why did he call me? How did he truly feel? Did he love me? Did he want to marry me? But instead of having a talk with Austin, my time in Dallas answered most of these questions on their own. I may not have known if he loved me or wanted to marry me but I didn’t think he would do all of these things for me if he didn’t sincerely care for me.

The distance really sucked. We missed out on doing the little things together. As I thought about how much fun we had that weekend—we could’ve had that every weekend if we were near each other.

But we used to be in the same city and we didn’t spend much time together.

Of course, not every long-distance relationship can be “real” in that aspect. I felt like a lot of long-distance relationships were based on missing each other. Often the time spent together was short and blissful since both partners missed each other for so long.

But I thought a few things had changed about Austin. He was really sweet. He paid for everything and made me dinner. He opened doors for me.

Maybe that was just another thing that I had to leave up to time. Time would tell if LA was right for me. Time would tell if Austin and I were meant to be with each other. If I lost Austin, of course I would be devastated. But I had to remember that it all boiled down to reason. No matter what happened I could remember that weekend as a really great, fun time. It definitely was not a waste and I wanted to go back as soon as I could.

I got Austin some cards when I went looking for a notebook and pen, in the airport. I got him one that said “thanks” and the front had a giant frog wearing rain boots and holding flowers. I was going to send it to him the following day. The other one I got was sweet. I would send it out at the end of the week. There was a possibility that a lot of the things I wanted to tell Austin, but didn’t know how or want to hear his immediate reaction—I could tell him through writing.

There I was stuck in an airport, alone. My flight was delayed because of bad weather. I was tired and lonely.


peanut butter
muffin pan

Two hours later, on my flight home, I wrote my cards to Austin:


Just wanted to say thanks again for inviting me to Dallas. I had a great time with you—better than I could have imagined. I’m so glad I came, it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Dallas impressed me and I’m hoping to make it back soon.

Miss you even more than before.


Holly Ann

*     *     *


In my mind, it played out as follows: I’d arrive in Dallas, see you, have some fun. We’d talk and decide that the distance blows. I’d leave, unimpressed with the city and maybe wonder what would become of this relationship of ours. Because, after all, I was going to LA.

I was wrong. Instead, I really liked Dallas and was again reminded of how much I love spending time with you. I don’t know what’s in store for me in LA…nor do I know what’s in store for us. But I do know I won’t rule out Dallas any time soon.

Hang in there!


Holly Ann

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