Eventually I headed back to Virginia in October. I had to see him. I had to feel that it was still there. That ANYTHING was still there. When I saw him waiting at the airport, there was no running. There was only a half-hearted exchange of smiles as we placed my bags in his BMW. We sat in silence until we got to Smokey Bones. He sat down next to me versus across from me. We ordered and exchanged a curt conversation about my flight and the goings on in his life. Before our food came his phone rang and it was his best friend. Their conversation was innocent but my patience at his refusal to address the white elephant at the table had reached its limit. 

“Hey, I’ve got to go to the restroom,” I said as I was sitting on the inside. He looked at me with a blank look.

“Do you really have to go to the bathroom or are you just trying to get away from me?” he asked with no emotion. I stared. Every vindictive part of me wanted to affirm his question, but I knew tit-for-tat would solve nothing. I decided for a more tactful escape.

“No. I really have to pee. Can I go, please?” I asked masking my impatient anger as best I could. He sat for a few moments more before ceding. I whisked away to the lavatory to relieve myself and to splash water on my face and pray for both patience and understanding because both were running out. I returned to the table and  he soon ended his conversation with his friend. We sat in silence for a while before;

“Are we ok?” he quizzed looking at me. This was a question that was repeated between us whenever there was an obvious problem that for whatever reason we had avoided talking about.

“What do you think?” came out before I could stop myself.

“I think we are, but I get this vibe from you…you’re more reserved,” he said sipping his drink. I stared.

“How could you think we are ok? A few weeks ago you told me that you don’t believe in us. That you don’t believe in what we are doing. That let’s me know you’re not vested. Do you have ANY idea how foolish I feel right now? Out here on this damn ledge pouring my heart out to you, telling you EVERYTHING and blindly trusting you with my fucking feelings and for what? For you to be giving me this guarded version of you? I get that we are just learning each other or whatever, but we’ve been JUST learning each other for 5 months. You don’t think it time to give me SOMETHING here? I mean why did you even ask me out if you didn’t believe it would work?” I spit. I had tried to be more reserved, but my emotions got the better of me. It’s a Cancer thing.

“I knew you felt some type of way about what I said…I knew I shouldn’t have said it the minute I said it,” he said.

“That’s NOT the point. The point is your disbelief in us!” I said exasperatedly. 

“Do you still love me?” he asked looking directly at me. I searched my feelings for a moment and even though I was irate, my answer was “Yes…but I don’t think I trust you anymore,” I answered calmly.

“Why?”

“How can I? How can I trust you with my heart, my feelings, my everything if you aren’t ready to accept it? If you’re not ready to let me in why would I continue to stand out here on this ledge alone? I told you before that I wouldn’t go anywhere so long as we are both fighting for this…” I trailed off. I don’t know if it was because I wasn’t strong enough to tell him that I thought that he had abandoned that fight or a fear of being alone that stopped me. Either way I consented to continuing the fight, with reassurances that he would do better with communication. As the visit went on, I did my best to put it behind me. 

I returned home to Clarksville and fell back into my normal routine. Morning workouts, work, and spending a few hours with Shianne before talking with Maurice before we both turned in. The conversations lacked the fire we once had. I felt myself drawing further and further away from him and as a consequence, I felt him do the same. Try as I might to force myself to see past that incident, I couldn’t. Knowing that he didn’t feel the way I did. Would he ever? This is a man who doesn’t even believe in marriage…could I date someone who didn’t? Do I even really believe in it? 

To add fuel to these questions was the underlying drought of sexual activity in our relationships. November made it five months that we had been “getting to know” each other. Immediately after our first date (the Ball) I had made up in my mind that I wanted no one else but him in that way. Not that I’m an extremely…ah…thirsty person, but come on. A man has needs. The farthest we ever went was a little oral action here and there (of which you won’t hear me complain about…the man’s a linguist I’ll leave it at that). A month, yes I can see as too soon. Hell even two months I can deal with. By month three I’m raising a brow but still choosing to understand. Month five? Let’s just say that on the 13th of the month I was at wits end while on TDY in Missouri. 

I was feeling particularly flirty on Jack’d. Yes I know, but the fact that I had the site still hadn’t crossed my mind as a red flag until this day. I sent a guy whose name I struggle now to even remember a picture. A rather risqué picture. Immediately after sending. I told Maurice. The guilt and shame and anger were too much for me not to. Suffice it to say we didn’t talk about it in detail until the next day.

“First a picture, then what next?” Maurice sent via text.

“I know it was wrong babe but can you blame me? My boyfriend isn’t fucking me. Hasn’t even though about it in 5 months!” I responded emotionally. 

“Five MONTHS! Not five days! You don’t see your fault in that? Like I said it was wrong but what am I supposed to do when I’m getting nothing here?”

“I haven’t thought about it? Ok.” he answered shortly.

“You know what. Fine. I’ll take the blame for this. It’s my damn fault. I should be 100% fine with the complete lack of SEX in my RELATIONSHIP. You’re right. Silly me,” I retorted losing all sense of what little tact I was trying for.

“Go get some dick. Do you! I’m sorry I’m not pleasing you,” he responded. I had to take a breath. I couldn’t believe how much apathy I was getting. Instead of listening to what the problem was he was shutting me out. The message within that message was that he thought clearly I was a lust laden homo. It was like a slap in the face; I felt utterly disrespected. Consequently that’s when my efforts at reconciliation ceased. 

By the next day I asked the question we both knew we needed to ask. What now? Do we go on in this fashion where I stay frustrated but otherwise faithful and continue to progress slowly? Or do we end it.

“I just really feel like you’re over it. So let’ call it quits.

I’m done”

I cried for a week.

It had to be done. We weren’t ready for what our relationship required. As much as I’d like to bash him, insult him, demean him…I know that none of what I would say if I took that route would be true. Truth is, there’s no handy distance tracker that shows if you’re 0.00 miles or 44.8 miles from a person’s heart. Every person is meant to be a secret to the next and the thrill comes when two people decide to sit down and unravel those mysteries hidden within the other. The thrill comes from deciding weather or not those discoveries commingle with your own eccentricities. 

I loved him.

I loved him against reason.

I loved him against hope and all discouragement that could be.

It hurt like hell, but there was nothing to be done. 

 

 

See also:

The fight for proximity (part 1)

The fight for proximity (part 2)

 

 

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

Rumble Boxing Gulch, Nashville


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