The Missing Piece
In 1976, there was a book published by poet, Shel Silverstein. The book is entitled, The Missing Piece. It’s a children’s fable that helps children learn the lesson of finding your “missing piece” or knowing that you will be alright if we never find our “missing piece.”
It started eight months ago at a company holiday party and ever since that day, it’s been one hell of a roller coaster of emotions, fights, laughter, tears, travel and even love. There were many times over the course of our indescribable relationship where I knew I should walk away and end it in a way that he knows it’s over once and for all. However, like all relationships, it wasn’t an easy thing to do. Considering the fact that when we were not together, I had to see him at the office on a daily basis. However, what was easy was when things were good between us. The emails, the lunches, the long talks and the endless laughter together made up for what was “missing” in our relationship.
What was and is “missing” in our relationship is honesty. We were honest with each other in what we shared with one another. We were honest with what made us scared in life, what made us happy and what ideas we had for the future. But there was one thing he wasn’t honest with and that is him being honest with himself. His own honesty with himself is what is blocking him from ever being truly happy and as we know…if you aren’t happy with yourself, how can you make someone else happy?
Last week, started off like any other week. Working long hours, trying to make time to see friends and of course hanging out with my office crush. It was a week like all the weeks we’ve had over the past several months. Things between us were great, in fact with his new-found sobriety, we had never been closer. There didn’t seem to be anything “missing” and in fact, my heart was telling me that he was in the right mental state to take things to the next level.
After work on Thursday, I ended up in Brooklyn to check-out a florist that I heard was amazing for a co-workers wedding that I’m helping plan. After the florist, my friend had to leave back to New Jersey where she lives and I was now in my old neighborhood of Carroll Gardens where I lived with my first boyfriend back in 1996. Of course, the area looks completely different from when it did 19 years ago but since it was still early in the evening, I took myself to a coffee shop and took in the area. While I was at the coffee shop, it occurred to me that my office crushes best friend lives in the area. The same best friend that hosted the game night I went to a few weeks ago. I sent him a friendly text saying that I was in the area. He told me to stop over for he was watching his son while his wife was traveling. I bought a bottle of wine and walked over to his apartment and along the way sent a text message to my office crush letting him know in case he wanted to stop by. He had been under the weather all week-long so he didn’t want to stop by and get the baby sick.
I arrived at his friends’ apartment and I anticipated only being there for an hour but an hour turned into three. At first, our conversation was about friends, the game night we had, politics and even sports. However, after his third glass of wine, he finally asked, “Ok. This is non of my business but have you guys had sex yet?” He continued with saying that he thought that the weekend my office crush and I went to the beach house last month that that was going to be the weekend that solidified everything. I told him that we hadn’t had sex but wasn’t sure if it would ever happen and even expressed my frustration with my office crush.
To my surprise, his friend became very loose-lipped about what my office crush has said about me to him and his friends. I didn’t interrupt the friend because I wanted to hear everything. What I learned is that my office crush has told all his heterosexual male friends that he and I cuddle all the time, that I make him laugh, that he has an amazing time with me and isn’t sure what is going on. I wasn’t sure if my office crush had ever talked about me to his friends but apparently they knew everything. The friend continued with him telling me that he thinks my office crush is rather confused and needs to figure it out. The conversation ended with the friend telling me that he thinks we are great together and that he is rooting for us to make it. I thanked him for letting me visit and I left feeling good that maybe there is a chance this might actually work. That after months of the ups and downs that we both might get a happily ever after.
The next day at the office, my office crush stopped by and said, “I think it’s so great that you hung out with my friend. I love when things like that happen.” We continued the rest of the day with him helping me figure out my 401K plan and him telling me that he’s looking forward to our Boston trip that we had planned for this upcoming weekend. We also had plans for another football Sunday followed by a movie. Things were certainly looking up for us both. I actually felt like I was about to find my “missing piece.”
On Saturday, I woke up feeling refreshed because the night before it was raining in the city and I forced myself to stay inside, not spend money and prepare to have a nice brunch with my friends. The brunch was to say goodbye to a sweet friend of ours who is moving to Seattle this month. Before the brunch, I had sent a text message to my office crush asking how his day was and if we were still on for Sunday football. I didn’t hear from him for a while, so I assumed he was at the gym or running errands.
Over the brunch, everything was going well. We were eating, drinking and laughing and then I got a text message from my office crush. It said that he was pissed because he had to go into the office that day, that we were still on for Sunday, to tell my friends hello for him and then there was another little hidden message he threw in there. He told me that he was going on a date that night. I had to re-read the message for I wasn’t sure if the Bellini’s I was drinking was playing tricks on me. I responded with asking him if we could cancel our plans for Sunday. I didn’t want to see him again knowing that he was going on a date with a woman. He responded back with “What? What just happened?” That message instantly pissed me off because he knew exactly what just happened. How else did he think I was going to react to this message? Yes. He is a single “straight” man who can do whatever he wishes however, he knew what he was doing and he knew what reaction he was going to get from me. He continued to message me asking me what was going on and I just told him I’m at brunch and I would message him tomorrow. His last message to me was, “God damn it!”
It took me another half hour at brunch before I decided to come clean and tell my friends what had just happened. We wrapped up the bill and went over to ABC Kitchen for a drink. It was there that I could feel the tears well up in my eyes but thankfully I had my friends and we all decided to just turn the evening into an apartment party. We got in a cab and headed over to my friends apartment where I stayed till almost 5 a.m. talking, laughing and doing anything to not think about the fact that my office crush was on a date with someone else.
Yesterday, I woke up feeling more depressed than I had been in a really long time. I went from my bed to my couch and I laid there for hours and as the hours passed, I thought of when I can muster up the strength to take a shower. I finally did, I walked around the block and barely had the energy to do that. I came back, got back into my pajamas and laid back down on my couch and I cried. Once the tears subsided, I got a text message from my old roommate/friend and he said he was stopping by in ten minutes. He knew about what had happened and when I opened the door, he was holding a beautiful arrangement of flowers. It certainly made me smile, appreciate all that I had and helped me realize I made the right choice.
My office crush turned into an office crash but I knew this was the possibility right from the beginning. While he and I both need to take responsibility for our actions; it doesn’t make the pain feel any lighter. There were many times throughout the course of our relationship where I thought he might just be my “missing piece” for we’ve certainly spent a lot of time together, shared things in common and made each other smile. I was also more intimate with him than I had ever been with another man in years. I don’t regret ever meeting him, for allowing him in my life and even sharing what I’ve shared with him. That is the risk anyone takes when there is a possibility of trying to find our “missing piece.”
We are all lost in our own ways and that is why we are all out there finding a “missing piece” in our lives. Whether that is career, family or even love. We are all out there trying to find something or someone that will complete the puzzle. What we all need to know is that it’s perfectly acceptable to know that we may never find that “missing piece” but that what we have now isn’t so bad either.
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