Vivian did not contact me again after her last, markedly short, email.
At first, I didn't know what to think about this. I believed that if she needed me to come into the office, she would reach out to me. When she didn't, I told myself it was because she didn't need me (... or want me...). I thought this meant her office was better off without me -- after all, she didn't have to pay me anymore! And she still had Edith and Erica to take care of things, after all they had pretty much taken care of everything even while I was still working there.
And, hang on, she would contact me if she needed me, right? That's what I told her to do.
I let weeks go by. I started to let myself believe that this is what Vivian and I both wanted -- an easy out. No hard conversations, no bad feelings, just two people who need to go in different directions. My grandmother had given us both the perfect excuse: it's not you, it's the situation.
Even if all the while we were both thinking, "but actually.... It's you."
I may have been slightly worried about this for a while. What did it mean that Vivian hadn't reached out to me again? Was I supposed to contact her? Was I, though? Really? Because her last email hadn't invited much of a response. Shouldn't I wait for her to contact me? She would let me know if she needed me, right? Isn't this just better for both of us?
Because to be perfectly honest, this ending suited my current needs and I truly believed she felt the same way. I needed to be at home; she needed to not be paying me anymore.... And we both had a lot of other concerns. I needed to be at the hospital caring for my grandmother and my family, I needed to be at Elizabeth's caring for her children, I needed to be recovering and caring for myself. She needed to be running her business.
So I let it go. I let weeks pass with ease. I took on more and more babysitting hours, and my grandmother finally started to get better. April became May became June...
I should have known better.