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This article was first published in the November 2019 issue of North American Whitetail magazine.

He’s late again.

Honestly, I don’t know how much longer we can keep this up. We’ve had this connection for years. In some ways, we’ve kind of grown up together, and I’d sure hate to lose track of him now. But I’m really getting tired of him blowing me off.

We were supposed to see each other last week, but he stood me up. We had a late afternoon meeting scheduled, but he sent his secretary instead. And that wasn’t the first time, either. There’s been a parade of secretaries and junior partners through the years. He even sent his son one time. The kid looked just like his old man, just on a smaller scale. We made plans for last Saturday morning, but I just missed him. Admittedly, that one wasn’t his fault. I was the one running late that day. I spotted him in a crowd a day or two later, but he was a ways off and apparently didn’t hear when I called to him. I’ve done everything I know to do so that we could get together, including burning the bulk of my vacation days, but it just never seems to work out.

Even though we haven’t seen each other lately, we have kept in touch. He left me his business card last week where we’d agreed to meet, and he sends me a picture now and then, too. Just a quick shot or two to let me know he’s still alive. This summer all those pictures were of him running with his buddies, and he sure looked like he was having fun. They’d be posing for the camera, sharing a bite to eat or play fighting with each other. Lately, though, the pictures he sends are taken at all hours of the night, and it seems like he’s got a different girl on his arm in every shot. I don’t know whether to be mad at him or jealous of him.

He’s definitely aging better than I am, but the truth is, neither one of us is getting any younger. There’s almost as much gray in his hair as there is in mine. And his belly’s starting to sag, too. The late nights and loose women aren’t doing him any favors.

I’m waiting on him again this morning, but I don’t have much hope he’ll show. In fact, I’m beginning to wonder whether or not I just need to forget about him and move on. Maybe find somebody new to spend my time with. It’s hard to think about finding another buddy, though, with the history we have together. I’ll give him another fifteen minutes.

Well, what do you know, there he is. Finally! I reach out to shake his hand, and the feeling comes over me that things are going to be different this time around. From now on, I think we’ll be spending lots of time together.

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