We had hour long conversations and even took to FaceTime to get the experience of sight and sound of the other person. We had a very unconventional manner of getting to know each other. Where most couples would “fake it until they make it” on several topics, we were forced, due to distance, to be upfront and honest about everything. We were comfortable talking to each other, comfortable listening to each other and comfortable flatulating in front of each other. Yes the all rules were broken. Things were going so smoothly until one cold September night. 

We had just finished showering together via FaceTime and were now prepping up for bed. The conversation was as ever cute and engaging. We talked about our days, his time at the gym, the news, and plans for the holidays, before we turned the conversation inward to our personal feelings for each other.

“Well I feel like we are doing things that are sort of out of the norm for me. For either of us. Being so open is new for me…so early on,” he said with his piercing brown eyes on me. I smiled.

“Yes. I agree. I mean neither of us want long distance, but without open communication we won’t have a relationship. It’s already hard enough not seeing you half as much as I’d like we have to talk and keep believing this can and will work,” I replied which prompted him to return my smile with a sexy grin of his own.

“Yeah…sometimes though I have my doubts,” he continued after a brief pause in which his smile slowly faded away.

“To be honest I feel like…if it wasn’t for your faith in us…we wouldn’t be together,” he finished.

It felt like someone, somewhere had turned a switch over the moment. I felt like I had just been doused in ice water. My heart thudded against my chest and my lungs felt heavy as I sat in complete disbelief of what I had just heard. I could do nothing but stare at his waiting face and he read the shock on my face.

“Babe? What’s wrong?” he asked frowning. “I said something wrong, didn’t I?” It was a full minute before I could bring myself to utter words.

“So…so you’re telling me that…you don’t believe in…this? You don’t believe in us?” I breathed. He hesitated and in that moment I saw that his answer was a definite “no” and I felt my heart sink, if possible, lower.

“Well..no! I didn’t mean- I meant that this open talking thing…it’s not for me. I don’t know if I’m ready to be that open with you. I mean we are still getting to know each other and...” but I wasn’t listening. I had taken my eyes away from the screen and was now staring fixedly at the blank stretch of wall over my bed. His voice said no, but his eyes…his eyes in that moment of hesitation spoke painfully clear. They said that all this time when I thought things were going so damn well…all this time when I felt like I had found a man who was ready and willing to be open and trust me…all this time I was spending daydreaming of future houses and kids and a future…all this time I was spending giving 100% of myself, I had spent it all alone. After his half heard explanation I furnished an excuse to get off the phone as I felt the tears welling up white hot in my eyes.

Growing up, I was raised by marine parents. They taught me many things; discipline, dedication, endurance and honesty to name a few. I learned so much about love and relationship, not by dating, but just by sitting back and witnessing their marriage on a day to day basis. Over the past 24 years, I picked up on a crucial relationship keynote. Communication. My parents know how to do this all too well. They can sit and have a conversation about damn near anything! Good, bad, uncomfortable, ugly; they can sit and talk it out and then continue growing together. So naturally this trait was passed to my eldest brother and me.

It was almost a full day later before I could bring myself to speak to him. When I did, everything felt different. It was as if something dark and heavy was now hanging over our relationship. I tried to shake it off and say that he was just being reserved and protecting his feelings, but it made no difference. His revelation the day before plagued me. It popped up when I was at work the next day, forcing me to take more smoke breaks than I would usually. It cropped up while my best friend and I ate lunch the next day. I didn’t know what to do with it. It was like stain. A stain on a white sheet that spread the more you tried to wipe it clean.

 

 

See also:

The fight for proximity (part 1)

The fight for proximity (part 3)

 

 

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

Rumble Boxing Gulch, Nashville


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