I will miss him. Miss taking care of him. Having someone of my own. Miss someone always being around.
But I’m going to love doing things I want to do, when I want to do them. Like checking out my waitress without feeling guilty.
I’m watching this girl working behind the bar. I know that feeling she’s having. I’ve had it before. It isn’t busy at all, but you get this flow. And you’re putting drinks out and punching in orders, bam bam bam! And it doesn’t happen often, but when you’ve got another person working back there you both figure each other out in a snap. It’s like ballroom dancing. The two of you whirling around each other, aware of the other even when your backs are turned.
I had a dream about this guy. This guy that I have known for a very long time. The kind of guy that irritates the shit out of you. The “bad boy.” The kind of guy you want so badly until you have him, and then you can’t stand him. And then you can’t stop thinking about him. And he follows you through every relationship you try to have for the rest of your life. Lingering in your peripherals like a ghost.
And now this is my life. Relentless hiccups and tumbles I myself cause. Once in a blue moon, I’ll begin to rise from the ashes; but a subtle wind comes through, whispering in my ear as it passes, beckoning me. And I follow it, in a dusty gray cloud, tossing and turning. Predictably enough, a lull soon comes, and with it my demise. If you’re surprised by all this, you must not know me at all. Because anyone who knows me can tell you that I am a thrill-seeking, self-centered, used and abused, stereotypical woman girl.
This is my chance to grow up. Once and for all.
“Don’t say things. What you are stands over you the while, and thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’m betting this doesn’t just happen with my family. And I’m not quite sure why it happens at all. But it needs to stop, for my sanity’s sake. The following are purposes for having Skype/having Skype up and running:
1. To catch up with my parents. Because we can’t do that on the phone. Nope, they need to see my face while I tell them that I’m still in my pajamas. That I did/didn’t work today. That I still haven’t gotten a life.
2. To watch my mother do household chores. Like vacuuming or folding the laundry. Or having a foot spa massager thingy running while the volume is up. Nope, Skype is not for conversation.
3. To swap recipes. And show them off. While we eat. Usually it’s me suggesting a recipe that my mother can’t seem to search for on her own.
4. To convince ourselves that we need it on for no other reason than for it to be on. And while it’s on we surf the net. (Do people still say that?) Or play one of those card games that’s already on the computer when you purchase it. And this is probably the only time you’ll ever play one of these games.
5. To stare at each other. One smiling, the other with eyes glazed over. Both trying to figure out something to talk about. Because we don’t do this often enough.
Two years is a long time to be with someone that you don’t love. To be in a committed relationship with a person that you are trying your hardest to learn to love. To laugh at every joke, trying to assure the other person that they are funny, when you have actually taken offense. To hold them or entertain them or give them their space, when all you want to do is get up and walk right out the door. And all your friends are convinced that you two are the power couple, the models for their future relationships.
And ending it is hard. Especially after all that time. Not just because you are hurting that other person. But because all those people who you have made friends with are now shocked. No one will really understand what went on when everyone had left the party, when the mess was cleaned up, when the doors were shut. You weren’t the one in that relationship. You weren’t the one smiling as often as you should, even though you were hurting inside. They will all sympathize with one and not quite understand the others’ rehearsed explanations.
And again, I will be the one misunderstood. To a stranger, I could easily tell my story without real feeling behind it. And for everyone else, I will have to coerce them into believing my sadness or regret. Telling them all the right things.
All I really want to say to all of you is that I tried. I ignored the selfish cooing of my own heart and put myself wholeheartedly into assuring his happiness. I read my Bible and self-help books and articles about what a good wife should do. About my duty to this man I have given my hand to. And while he did many good and nice things for me, that isn’t always enough. I saw his efforts at displaying his love. I acknowledge all the things he did to love me. But when you don’t love someone, you don’t love them. He has been a great companion and will be a great friend. And I am grateful for all the sacrifices he has made for me.
But I can no longer be his wife. Not if I ever want to be happy.
I still remember the first time we met. You were the strangest boy I’d ever seen. Strange because you didn’t look like the usual type of guy I’d go for. And I knew from the moment we looked at each other, that I would fall for you. And we sat together for a while. And I spilled my guts out to you. And you just sat there and soaked it up. At the time, I didn’t realize all the secrets of myself I had been revealing to you. The things I should have been working on changing, instead of constantly confessing to people. And it was probably the gin, but I was so immediately comfortable with you. I remember somehow your leg had ended up across my lap. And for some odd reason, I didn’t mind. Not one bit.
Then I took you to dinner. And before I knew it, I would anticipate a call or text from you, from the moment I woke up in the morning, until I laid down to sleep at night. And then I told you that I loved you.
And I had. I had fallen hard for you.
It’s been almost two years and I am still hurting from that. Because I could have waited, would have waited for however long it took for us to be together again. But you didn’t try. You didn’t fight for me. I fought for you every day that we spent together. But the knowledge that I would leave, that was enough for you to push me away. That was enough for you to pretend that you didn’t feel the same way.
I wanted to give you the world. And take the weight of it off your shoulders.