Got Till It’s Gone
Each and every single day, people all over the world make promises, vows, and commitments and when they make them; they rarely think of the consequences after. We get caught up in the moment never really thinking exactly how our words, our actions and our promises can affect ourselves and others. These kinds of promises, vows and commitments range from marriage to your job. I’d like to be optimistic and think that when we make these bold choices that we are going in with the best intentions. Of course, there is always the flip side to that coin and we never acknowledge that nothing lasts forever and we don’t know what we got till it’s gone…
Two weekends ago, I was mentally saying goodbye to my office crush. We had that intense discussion of it being my last sleepover at his apartment, he confessed his love for me and in the light of the next day; he made the choice to stay with his girlfriend. Never did I once expect him to leave her for me. What I did expect from him was to own his actions, own his words and own his commitment to our friendship. One of the last things he said to me, hit me so hard and not in the good way. He told me that he feels very lucky in his life because his actions suffer no consequences. He couldn’t be more wrong or delusional for that matter.
What he didn’t know was that I was taking control of my happiness, protecting myself from getting hurt and changing the direction of how our pseudo-Brokeback Mountain relationship was going to be. I didn’t speak with him the rest of that weekend and that was two Saturday’s ago and I didn’t speak with him last Monday when he stopped in the office quickly to pick-up his computer before his business trip to the Midwest. Being the typical aloof guy that he is; I figured he didn’t think anything about our silence between each other. I figured he would dive into work and I would begin the healing process of my broken heart.
By the time Tuesday had rolled around, we hadn’t communicated in almost four days. This, for us, was a long time, seeing that since we started hanging out; we communicated almost every single day, except when I knew he was with his girlfriend. So, as I sat there at my computer; I got a meeting request from my editor and I left my computer behind for the meeting. When I returned to my computer; there was a messaging blinking from my office crush. He was simply saying hello but since I was in the meeting and didn’t respond right away; there was a few “hello” messages. I took a deep breath and replied with a “Hi”. Anyone that knows me knows that I am full of words, my texts are lengthy, my emails are novels and even this blog can get long at times. I underestimated my office crush by thinking he didn’t get my not-so-subtle approach of pulling away.
“Is everything ok?” he asked. “Everything is fine,” was my response. Short and sweet and then he said, “If everything is fine; then why have you been so distant?” I was caught. However, I certainly wasn’t going to discuss our situation over a work-day nor was I going to give him the satisfaction of getting to hide behind a computer to be let off the hook for his actions or lack thereof. I told him that everything is fine and we can discuss things when he returned. He didn’t like that response and said, “You have me worried. Aren’t we friends?” I reassured him that we are in fact friends but that we will talk about things when he got back from his business trip. He wasn’t returning until that upcoming Thursday. Of course, I didn’t want to see him nor had I figured exactly what I wanted to say to him. A part of me thinks that he was so drunk when he said all of those intense things to me; that he probably forgot but seeing how well I know him now. I know that he is the king of avoidance (like most men are) and therefore he would act like nothing was ever said. However, his words to me about his actions never having any consequences still sat with me and it wasn’t sitting well. Someone needed to inform him that you can’t get away with saying or doing things to others and have no consequences. I guess I was going to be that person…eventually. I had no idea how he would react once I told him that our relationship was going to revert back to the friends that we originally started out as but I knew I still wasn’t ready and I also knew that I didn’t want to see him.
Wednesday and I once again did not communicate with him. In fact, it felt good knowing he wasn’t in the office that I could walk wherever I wanted to and not worry about bumping into him in the hallway or the bathroom for that matter. Plus, I was still feeling conflicted based on our light communication the day before.
That evening, I met a good friend of mine for wine at, Ardesia. Over the bottle of wine, I updated him and he could tell that I was still rather emotional about the situation; but I held back as much as I could. What he did tell me was, “This is far from over. This isn’t over yet.” In my head, it is over. In my heart, I don’t want it to be over. However, it’s a rarity in my life that my heart trumps my reality. So, I tend to leave my heart behind and focus on my reality and that my reality is nowhere near as colorful. I know my reality is that I need this to be over in order for my heart to catch-up. That night, I went to bed with the heaviest of hearts.
Thursday morning, I was writing and I just felt his presence in the office. It’s that exact feeling that you know someone is behind you without ever having to turn around. Thankfully, I was able to avoid him and I didn’t see or hear from him once that day. I was elated when I received a text message from a friend asking me out to happy hour that evening and I instantly said yes. It was another day; another day that I could avoid the inevitable.
I met my friends at Therapy for snacks and cocktails; everyone of course was asking what the latest was with my office crush but I said, “I’m not ready yet to discuss.” Again, anyone that knows me knows that I will talk to a tree if it would listen but there was something else that I hadn’t done yet in regards to my office crush. I hadn’t cried yet. I hadn’t developed that certain release that comes from a good cry. That kind of emotion that lets you feel lighter physically and mentally. Seeing all my friends at a table, wanting to know if I’m alright was something that would send me over the edge and I didn’t want my cry to be at a gay bar…not a cute look. However, seeing them, laughing with them and being distracted was just what I needed and I was grateful for them in my life.
When I woke up on Friday, I did the quickest packing of my life. I threw all my dirty clothes in a suitcase, toiletries and only one pair of shoes (which is rare for me) and I took the subway to my office. That afternoon, I was going to leave the office early and go over to my friend, Feathers, country house in Pennsylvania. It was just the weekend I needed and wanted. No spending money. No worrying about hearing from my office crush and being so far from the city where all my chaos was resting.
I managed to; once again, avoid my office crush on Friday. I didn’t see him once in the office but I knew he was there. He didn’t reach out to me and I sure as hell didn’t reach out to him. As of that day; our last communication was on Tuesday when he asked why I was being so distant. When 4:30 that afternoon came, I made a beeline for exit door of my office and managed to breakaway without having to deal with my reality. I met my girlfriend on the corner of 27th Street and Park Avenue South where we would be driving to Feathers house together. The ride can be a three hour ordeal and I was wondering if there was enough topics to cover other than talking about the office crush. Turns out…there wasn’t. She wanted to know every single detail and I gave it to her. In the beginning of the saga, she was loving my office crush based on all that we had done, shared and experienced and by the end of the saga…she was no longer on his side. However, she said the same thing that my friend said to me on Wednesday night, “This is far from over.”
When we arrived at Feathers house, the usual ritual began. We unpacked, got in our comfiest of clothes, pizza was being made and a big bottle of wine was being poured. As we sat at the dinner table updating each other on our lives, I began to get a slight physical reaction for I knew my turn was going to come up when Feathers would ask what was going on in my life. I was getting hives and he gave me an allergy pill to calm them down and it actually worked. Finally, I gave him the short version of what was going on and he went into attack mode on me but I made him see that I wasn’t the same person that I was when I was 21 (when he met me). The old me would’ve allowed all this baggage to continue to grow. I would’ve dropped everything and everyone to follow this person and here I was, in my mid-thirties; doing what was best for me. I was pulling away. I was taking control of the wheel and not allowing this situation to spin even further out of control. He backed off and realized that I was doing what was best and in the best way that I knew how.
The next day, we all woke up and got ready to head into town for Feathers needed to run some errands for his house. We were all in excellent spirts, just laughing, having brunch and then once we got back to the house; we decided to relax. As we were watching a movie; I heard my phone vibrate. All my friends back in the city knew where I was for the weekend and then I saw that the message was from my office crush. I read it and it was asking me if I was enjoying my weekend. I already knew the subtext to his text. This text meant that he was away from his girlfriend, was probably outside having a cigarette and had a brief moment to reach out after four days of zero communication. I didn’t respond. I put the phone away and spent the rest of the evening enjoying the company of my friends.
Yesterday, we woke up on the early side and began helping around the house and then we decided to just take our time and enjoy the sunny weather that we were finally having on the east coast. I contemplated responding to his text but I didn’t. I didn’t know what to say and in my book, if you don’t know what to say…keep your mouth shut. In the car ride back to the city; I finally responded to his text. I just told him that I was having a good weekend. Nothing that required a response from him but something that would satisfy his text so that he wouldn’t bother me and it worked. I never heard from him for the rest of yesterday and I most likely will not hear from him this week or see him.
Most of the time, we don’t recognize the important things in our lives till it’s gone. We take advantage of our current situations. We assume we will always have the job that we get up each morning for not ever thinking we could be fired or the company goes under. We think that no one will ever leave our lives because we are married and made a commitment and yet people break-up or get divorced every single day. Whatever our situations are; we must always recognize the good and the bad in our lives because in the blink of an eye…it can be gone.
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