*this is the conclusion of a story. It will stand alone in many ways but for missing context please go back a few.*
I had a decent time at the cookout and I put on a good face. But I wasn’t fooling my friend Paul. Paul came up to me with a cold one and said. “Don’t bullshit me, are you ok?”
“Nope, not even close”, I replied.
He had met Cat. “Trouble in paradise?” I told him some of it. He was comforting, as a good friend should be. “You’re probably blaming yourself. I know you. Don’t.” He was right. He knew me, I was blaming myself.
I left soon after.
Several days went by. We had exchanged a couple of texts, mostly about how she was feeling. There was nothing that suggested any intimacy at all. Then we fell into the same pattern, if I didn’t reach out…crickets. The weekend came around and I asked what her plans were and I learned quickly that they didn’t include me. At the end of the second week I finally called her out. I asked if I should stop contacting her. She wanted to know why I said that. I replied that she was clearly ghosting me to which she objected by offering that she always answered me when I reached out. She didn’t get it…she never reached out to me first. Her pathetic answer was that she was going through some stuff. Weak. When I asked her why she didn’t tell me about it she said that it’s not about me. I was pissed at that point. I told her in as much as she was ignoring me over whatever it was then yea, it is about me to an extent.
We didn’t talk for a few hours, then I reached out and told her that I was going to give her some space. 3.2 seconds later she told me that was a good idea. I took off the gloves. “Wow”, I said. “You jumped at that awful quick”. I had pissed her off with that and she shot back “are you giving me fucking space or not!? Because if this is your idea of space then we’re through.”
I was stunned. But my thoughts and emotions were in synch and I shot back, “If you jumped right to ‘we’re done’ that quickly then that’s all I need to know. I guess we are through.”
Believe it or not, that is the last time we spoke. I texted her condolences when her senior dog passed away but I made no attempt at conversation. I don’t want to talk to her. Amazingly, the woman I once thought I was in love with disappointed me so badly, let me down so hard is now a person that even if she wanted to (she won’t) get back together, I wouldn’t want to. I saw too many things in her that tell me that she is bad for me. I thought she was loving, but she’s critical and judgmental. Things that I thought we could work through, her drinking (what was I thinking, that never happens), her fear of commitment, her erratic behavior, the list goes on and I won’t further bore anyone, all came to a head and I know in my heart of hearts that she is not for me.
Still, I miss her. Maybe I just miss the feelings I had for her, feelings that I had every reason to believe were mutual. I miss her falling asleep on my chest and waking up next to her. I miss the intimacy that I never was able to express to anyone, not even my ex-wife in all of my 57 years. And now it’s just plain fucking over. And I don’t know why. Nor do I want to because I know that I will overthink it and blame myself and just feel bad in general.
I have a theory. In all of my moments of neuroses over the job I think she lost respect for me. Because I thought that I could open up to her without being judged. That’s what relationships are about after all, aren’t they? I don’t think I believe that anymore, or at all. She was the first woman I felt comfortable enough to drop my walls and it fucked me over. It will be a cold day in Hell before I set myself up for that again.
To think of all the time spent, mind racing, being pulled between my desire to work and earn and the burning desire to be with someone who made me feel things I had never felt, that I would lose both of them. Wow, just fucking wow.
As I said at the beginning of this series, I once sold a standard shift car that was quite valuable, for one that I could drive with my arm around my then girlfriend. All these years later, I have neither the car or the girl.
If you ask me how I’m doing I’ll tell you I’m fine. But I’m not. Not even close. Big boys don’t cry, but that doesn’t mean they don’t hurt inside.