Truth and Consequences
There are many times in our lives when we will avoid the truth in order fulfill a void that is missing ,a void that needs to filled or a void that we don’t even know exists. Then there are the times when we face the truth and must deal with the consequences that come after that acceptance. They say that the truth and honesty are the best policies and yet when we do tell the truth and we are honest with ourselves or someone else; the end result can feel like hell. Why must there be consequences when we tell the truth?
I started my Monday of last week with the intentions of the “letting go” process with my office crush. I knew that that past weekend he had spent it with his girlfriend and I spent it with my friends. So, when Monday came around and we began to update each other on our weekends; I knew I wanted just one more fun night with him and then I would tell him that we need to adjust our relationship to just being “regular” friends. Friends that don’t have sleepovers, friends that are more casual and not this pseudo-relationship that was quickly becoming a torture device rather than something that was healthy for me.
That day at work, we were chatting and agreed on seeing a movie that upcoming Wednesday after work. That for me…was going to constitute my last social event with him outside the office. I would mentally say goodbye to our situation and focus my energy on someone that isn’t confused with who they are. Of course, it was all easier said than done.
On Tuesday morning, I woke up and like everyone in the world; I grabbed my phone to see what I might have missed while I was asleep. Turns out, I did miss something. I missed a text message from my office crush that was sent a little after midnight. It read:
“I can smell you on my pillow and somehow I miss you.”
It was a message that sent my stomach flipping. It was a message that would be so great to receive from someone that I could actually be with. It was a message that confused me and it was a message that had truth to it and would later on have consequences.
That day at work, he sent me a message about needing to cancel our Wednesday movie date due to work and rescheduled for Friday. A few more messages later about movies and times and I decided to bring up the message he had sent the previous night. My gut instinct told me that he would either avoid it or make a stupid joke about it but instead he told me, “I meant it.” I wanted to be mad at him for jerking me around with all these mixed messages. I wanted to tell him that no straight man sends messages like that to a gay man and that what we are doing is causing me to become rather conflicted. Instead, I told him that I will pick the movie for Friday and I avoided the truth. I wasn’t ready to face the consequences of what would become of us and our relationship if I told him that I’m taking away a part of our relationship that we both have grown rather fond of.
On Thursday afternoon, I was meeting someone that I had dated only a few months ago. He was the guy that was going through a divorce from his husband and aside from the timing being horrible; I just didn’t feel that great of a connection with romantically. However, we ended on such nice terms; we agreed to be friends and catch each other up with a happy hour.
I met him at XES bar in Chelsea and we did the polite small talk. The kind of talk where we are talking about work, home life and I knew it would only be a matter of two drinks before we needed to talk about our dating life. I chose not to update him on my dating life since I didn’t even know how to explain it myself and we aren’t that close of friends for him to know the situation. So, instead, I listened to him as he tried to be rather smug about his dating life. He went into detail on how he met this great guy that has his shit together. How, even though he is much younger than he is, he is so mature and isn’t complicated. I couldn’t help but feel that these comments were digs at my expense for being so complicated and possibly not having my shit together. However, I listened politely and asked the proper dating questions. How did you meet? How long has it been and all those simple questions.
He started to describe the guy and his past dating life. It all sounded rather familiar to me and then he asked me if I wanted to see a picture of him. Of course I did. The minute I saw the photo, I knew exactly who the guy was. He dated someone that I dated a few years ago and I met him a few times at parties. It was now my turn to be smug. I asked him if his new boyfriend told him anything about how his last relationship ended. He told me that they ended because of his age. I said, “That wasn’t the reason. Do you want to know the real reason?” At first he didn’t want to know and then he couldn’t handle the suspense and so I told him that the reason why his last relationship ended was because he was cheating on his boyfriend for a year behind his then boyfriend’s back. At first, it felt good to put someone in their place but at the same time I could tell he wasn’t expecting my response and I felt a slight bit of compassion for the guy. I reassured him that just because someone cheated in a past relationship doesn’t mean that they will cheat in this one. Each relationship is different and unique and just to tread lightly. We had a few more drinks and then I decided to go home.
I woke up on Friday and had a feeling of excitement and sadness all rolled into one. I knew that I was excited to hang-out with my office crush and we would be seeing a movie together and having a great time while the sadness part knew that this might be the last time we do something like this together. I decided to just focus on the present and not deal with the future.
During the day, it was a rather stressful and busy day for the both of us and as the day continued; we both agreed that a movie wouldn’t help us and instead we should go to our local bar, The Tippler, for a happy hour.
We met at the bar around 4:30 that afternoon. The first thing he said to me as I sat down was, “Gosh. I’ve really missed hanging out with you.” I told him that I also missed hanging out with him and thus began our evening. We drank for a few hours before some coworkers of ours joined us. Everything was going along swimmingly with everyone having a good time.
He kept checking his phone and finally I asked if he was messaging with his girlfriend. He told me that she was expecting him to come over to her apartment that evening and was getting pissed because he kept telling her that he was out and wasn’t sure if he was coming over that evening. Of course, more drinks continued and finally around 10 p.m. we settled the bill and then me, him and a coworker of ours were in a cab heading toward his apartment.
All three of us arrived at his apartment and there we drank, talked about everything under the sun and had a great time. Then my office crush said, “I wish I was gay. This would be so much easier.” I knew that he was referring to us because our coworker kept saying how cute we were together. He kept joking at how crazy it is that we have sleepovers, that we talk all the time and how there is chemistry between the two of us. I didn’t press the topic because I simply didn’t want the night to end on a note that would change the mood of the evening. I treated the evening like it was my last night over at his apartment. We all drank till about 3 a.m. and then the coworker left his apartment and it was just my office crush and I. I asked him if he heard from his girlfriend and he said, “No. And I really don’t care. I hope this is the end that way I don’t have to be the bad guy. Part of me wants her to walk in tomorrow morning and see us.” I could tell he was drunk talking and I told him that we should start winding down the evening.
Once we were in bed that is when I decided to tell him MY truth. I told him, “I think this might be our last sleepover because even though I’m not dating anyone at the moment; this is becoming too complicated.” I expected him to react in a way that would have him being alright with what I said. Instead, he got frustrated with me. He said, “I don’t understand. Why can’t we have this? Why can’t I just love you and not have sex with you?” I told him that what we are doing isn’t normal and isn’t fair to me, to him and to his girlfriend. I asked him if his girlfriend even knew about our past sleepovers and of course, she didn’t.
He kept on saying that if he was gay, that he and I would be dating and that he would be so happy. I told him that it doesn’t work that way and that we really need to just go to bed and enjoy our last sleepover and that tomorrow is a new day. He continued to get agitated with me and said, “Stop saying this is our last sleepover.” Finally, after an hour of going back and forth, we said our final goodnight and passed out.
The next morning, we woke up and he grabbed his phone and the girlfriend still hadn’t responded to him. She was pissed and she had every right to be. He said again that he will be relieved when this is over so that he can live a different life. I didn’t want to talk anymore about relationships and so I suggested we get brunch since he clearly wasn’t going over to her place to see her anytime soon.
We both showered and then went to a cute place in Williamsburg called, Lodge. Over brunch, our hangovers both kicked in and there was talk of going back to his place to take a nap but it was such a nice day that after brunch, we walked around and then settled on going to see a movie. We were off to see the movie, Get Hard, for we both needed a good laugh. As soon as we were getting seated for the movie…she called. He ignored the call and said he will deal with it after the movie.
The movie was over and we walked back to his apartment for I just wanted to grab my stuff and go home. He kept saying how he feels bad, how he doesn’t want to be the bad guy but that being truthful with her was the best thing for their relationship. We hugged goodbye and I told him to keep me posted.
I got off the subway and there was already a message from him. The message said that he couldn’t break up with her. That she wasn’t really mad at him and that he is going to take her out to dinner that night.
I wasn’t pissed at him back peddling, I was disappointed in him. He couldn’t face his truth and the consequences that would follow after. It showed me that he is even more confused and weak than I had thought. I responded with, “Have a nice rest of the weekend.” He didn’t care for my response at all because he said that I was being passive-aggressive and asked if I was mad at him. I never responded and I didn’t hear from him for the rest of the weekend and as of today…we still haven’t communicated. It was just the jolt that I needed to know that I was doing the absolute right thing by shifting our relationship back to being simply friends and coworkers.
That evening, I met up with my friends who all knew exactly where I was the night before. I was ready for another lecture but instead they all listened and gave me the space that I needed to figure this out on my own. We went to this amazing Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn called, Alma, and then we went to a bar to listen to blue-grass music called, Sunny’s. After the bar, we all took an Uber over to the East Village and had our final drinks at The Boiler Room before calling it a night.
In the cab ride back to my apartment, I shared it with friends of mine who are both heterosexual’s and as I updated them on what had transpired in the last 24 hours; they both agreed that this man isn’t fully 100% straight. I think we all know that by now but I can’t spend another minute waiting for that to change and even it did change today; there is so much growing that still needs to occur on his end and I’m simply too old for this situation.
Yesterday, I woke up and my entire body was covered in hives. I knew that my stress from all of this had finally taken its toll on me. I rushed over to Duane Reade to get cream for my hives and as the day progressed and I became more and more satisfied with my decision…the hives began to fade away. I spent the entire day all by myself and it felt relaxing.
The truth. Our truth…will always have consequences. Sometimes they will have amazing results and other times it will be a hard pill to swallow. But the most important thing is to be truthful with ourselves because regardless of the outcome the truth will always be our best policy.
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