The Three Feet Rule

She permitted him to see her on one condition: that he would always maintain a distance of at least three feet from her at any given time that they were together. He found that condition to be very odd, even amusing, but he agreed, for it was better than nothing. So wherever they went, they were always at least three feet apart: at restaurants, the office, malls, or wherever they happened to be.

Everything went well for the first few weeks, until that night when he offered to take her home after a very long day at the company where they worked.

He parked his car across her apartment, got out, and opened the door for her. It was drizzling, so he also held out his umbrella above her. He made the mistake of extending his arm to shake her hand after she said, “Thank you very much,” so that he could emphasize his reply, “No problem, don’t mention it,” with a friendly gesture.

She withdrew her hand as soon as his fingers touched hers and glared at him accusingly without saying a word.

He was petrified by his error and apologized profusely, “I’m so sorry, I forgot!” but it was already too late. She was already at her door and she slammed it behind her.

That was three months ago. She hasn’t spoken to him since.

It doesn’t help that his friends constantly remind him of it: “You were one of only a handful of males whom she allowed to be in speaking terms with her, but you blew it. You had the whole universe at your finger tips, but you messed it up. All because you forgot the Three Feet Rule. How could you forget the Three Feet Rule?”


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