In algebra (a subject that I was most terrible at), the “X” is the letter that represents any number in that math problem. In other words, this “X” is substituting a number so that the “X” can work in many different ways. Our job in this math problem is to solve what the “X” represents…the great unknown. So many times in life, we come across certain problems that we can’t seem to figure out and it’s our responsibility to determine the “X” in our problems. I couldn’t help but wonder that once we determine what the “X” represents…what happens next?
I hadn’t spoken to my office crush since two Thursday’s ago (July 2nd). The reason being (aside from the obvious) is that we got into one of our typical arguments. Where he flirts and manipulates me and then I get pissed off because he’s not treating me the way I deserve. We had gone the entire Fourth of July without any communication and when we came back into the office last week; he certainly got the message.
It all started last Monday, the day before his birthday, where he sent me a text message asking me if I’d like to go to a nice restaurant for lunch on Tuesday for his actual birthday. I didn’t have any meetings during the lunch hour on Tuesday but I responded with telling him that I was too busy with work. Then he suggested that I meet him out for drinks that night to celebrate his birthday. I actually had plans with a friend for dinner and therefore I declined again. He didn’t like any of my responses since they were short and sweet.
He asked me several times if I was mad at time and I deflected. I wasn’t ready yet to tell him that things are over between us and that I’m ending the relationship. I knew I had to tell him but I hadn’t formed my words just yet.
Later on that afternoon, he sent me yet another text asking me to rethink about meeting for drinks that evening because he was going to our old hangout, The Tippler. I had to mention to him again that I had plans that evening for dinner with a friend and he should just focus on his birthday drinks with his friends and to leave me alone. I thought I was in the clear but then he sent another message saying that he hopes I don’t stay mad at him for too long and that after my dinner if I could please come and meet him. I didn’t respond nor did I respond for the rest of the evening.
I had dinner that night with a friend who is moving to Los Angeles and it was a much needed catching-up session. After the dinner, I got home, took a shower and went straight to bed. I was mentally exhausted from all of the back and forth that occurred with my office crush that day. When I woke up the next morning on Tuesday, there was a text message that was sent at 1 a.m. from my office crush saying, “I miss you.” I never responded.
I got to work on Tuesday and it was a rather busy day and I didn’t notice that my office crush never even made it to the office that day. He apparently had a rough night of drinking and couldn’t make it into the office that day. Once I realized that he didn’t make it into the office, I began to form the words in my head on how I was going to break the news to him that our friendship is over with. I was, finally, coming to discover my “X” factor in this insane situation.
All of Wednesday and all of Thursday, my office crush kept sending me messages about wanting us to meet in order for us to talk. I was too busy with work and I was also dreading the inevitable and how hard it would be for the both us. It is the right thing to do but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t going to be easy to say or to hear.
Finally, this last Friday, our office was to close at 1p.m. but I had too much work to leave at that hour. However, my office crush, gave one last attempt to get me to come clean. He sent a message that said, “I’m going out on a limb here but can we go to lunch and talk?” My number was up and I needed to face the music. I told him that I wasn’t going to be free till around 3 p.m. to leave the office and he said he’d wait for me at a restaurant around the corner from our office.
I finished up work and began my walk over to where he was waiting for me. When I sat down next to him, he could tell by my mood that this wasn’t going to be a fun conversation. Before I went into my speech, I needed to hear some happy news and so I asked him how his birthday was, how work was going and how his family was doing. I also noticed that he had his beach bag with him and I assumed he was going to be catching a train to his beach house for the weekend. When I asked him what train he was taking after our lunch, he said, “I’m not going today. I’m going tomorrow morning and I hope that you can come with me.” I took a big sip of my wine and said, “No. I can’t and now we need to talk.”
It was my moment of truth and so I told him the exact truth. I told him how I ended up falling in love with him. How I understand that if he wants to claim that he is 100% a heterosexual man that he must respect my wishes for wanting to end our relationship. I told him that his mixed messages are manipulative and not normal behavior for a straight man. As the words continued to fall out of my mouth, his face became long and saddened. When I was finally done all he could say was, “I still don’t understand why we can’t just be friends.” To which I responded with, “That’s the problem. You DO understand why we can’t be friends but you are choosing not to accept it.” We sat in silence for what felt like an hour.
He finally broke the silence with a request from me. He asked me that if I didn’t have any plans that evening, if we could hang out just one more time for old time sake. Everyone around the world that reads this will shake their head at me and rightfully so. However, I also wanted to spend a little bit more time with him before it was all over with and so I agreed. We went back to his apartment in Brooklyn. We joked about how insane the past six or so months have been between us. We even watched the movie, The Break-Up, on television.
After awhile, he received a text message from other coworkers of ours that were in his neighborhood and so we went to meet up with them at a nearby bar. After a few beers, we realized how late it was getting and so we went back to his apartment to grab my bag. Once we were inside his apartment, I knew what his words were going to be to me. He asked me to stay the night…and I did. The only difference this time as we got ready for bed there was no cuddling. He got the message and that message was that this was the last time that I’d ever be in his apartment, in his bed and would be communicating with him. We both smiled at each other and went to sleep.
Saturday morning and as the sun began to shine through his windows, I woke up. He was still asleep and so I grabbed my clothes and put them on. When I was fully dressed, I woke him up and told him that I was leaving. He was still half-asleep and he said that he’d speak with me on Monday to which I said, “No, actually, you won’t.” I walked away from his bed with him still lying there and shut his front door behind me.
I got on the subway back to the city and felt so relieved and so confident in my choice. I was finally behind my choice and I knew I had done the right thing for myself. I was free but I was sad. I guess that is the price you pay at times for your strength and ability to move forward.
When I got home, I was exhausted but decided to push myself to go to a rooftop pool that is around the corner from my apartment. I wasn’t ready to tell any of my friends about what I had done and so I kept quiet for the day. I got to the pool with my magazines and towel. I dropped all of my stuff at the chaise lounge and jumped in the pool. As the sun was beating on my face and the water was cool enough to give my body a shock; I felt cleansed.
As I was drying myself off; I decided that the best way to get over a man is to find another one. Actually, a good friend of mine earlier that week had suggested that what I needed to do was go on a date with an actual gay man. Not a date that would imply that I was looking for love but a date to keep my engine from rusting. So, I grabbed my phone and dusted off my dating apps and logged back-on into the cyber dating world.
Within one hour, I was messaging with a handsome guy that I felt was slightly out of my league. However, we were just chatting and there was certainly no harm in that. The chat went wonderfully because it wasn’t about sex or trying to get sex. It was rather mature and light hearted. We both shared a love of rose wine, beaches and the city. As I realized that in between reading my magazines, repeatedly dipping into the hotel pool to cool off; that we had been texting for over two hours. Finally, it was time for me to head back home to begin getting ready for my evening out with my friends. When I told him that I needed to sign off from texting; he asked me out for the next day.
He suggested that we meet at his apartment in Chelsea because he has a terrace that overlooks the city and has a few bottles of rose that we could drink over snacks that he would make. I actually liked the idea even though meeting someone for the first time at their apartment is usually a no-no for me. I agreed to meet the next afternoon and he said that he was looking forward to meeting me.
That night, I met my friends in Brooklyn to go dancing at Output and I thought it was going to be a relatively early evening and instead we ended up dancing till after 3 a.m. It was nice being around my friends, the music and the city without having to worry about any man drama. I got home that night and barely had the energy to brush my teeth before I passed out.
Yesterday, I woke up feeling rather excited and nervous. I hadn’t been on a date with someone that didn’t involve my office crush in over three months. I had almost forgotten what it was like to get ready for a date, to get excited about a date and to look forward to a date. However, there I was contemplating on what to wear, what questions I was going to ask my date and more importantly…were we even going to like each other. Before I left my apartment, I did a once over on what I was wearing and even sent a friend a text message of the address of where I was going to be; just in case this man turned out to be a psycho killer.
I was to arrive at 4 p.m. at his apartment but somehow I managed to arrive fifteen minutes late. I did inform him ahead of time that I was running a few minutes behind and he didn’t seem to mind. When I arrived, it appeared to me that he was happy to see me or at least wasn’t offended by my looks.
He tried to hug me but I offered him a handshake and then he welcomed me in. We made small talk and I brought over a bottle of rose and he began to open the bottle that I had brought over. As he was opening the bottle, I noticed he created an amazing platter of snacks for us and so I offered to carry some stuff out onto the terrace.
We sat out on his terrace and before I knew it, one hour turned into four hours! We literally sat there and talked about almost every single subject for four hours straight. I was mentally and physically attracted to him. We have a few friends in common and he had excellent manners. When I realized that it was already 8 p.m., I told him that I needed to be meeting my friend in a half-hour and needed to get going.
He said that he’d like to see me again and hopefully we can manage scheduling a second date this week. Before I was leaving his apartment, he grabbed me and kissed me and he kissed me again and I can happily say…he’s a good kisser.
I got onto Ninth Avenue and began walking to my friend’s apartment. On my walk, I got a text from him saying how nice it was to have met me and how excellent of a kisser I was. All in all…it was an amazing first date.
By the time I got to my friend’s apartment, I was exhausted from my weekend but I needed to be with my friend. I got back home a little bit after 11 p.m. and was still wide awake even though I was so exhausted from my insane weekend. I finally went to bed around 1 a.m.
While I’ve finally figured out what my “X” factor was with my office crush and while it didn’t turn out quite as I was hoping…I do know that we can no longer torture each other. I wish him only wonderful things and know in my heart that he wants the same for me.
I guess that’s how life goes as we try to constantly figure out life’s many “X” factors. There will be times when we figure out our own problems quick and easy and other times you will need to keep coming back to the problem before you actually solve it once and for all.
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