2008: January – April
During December, ex-boss and I got seemingly more involved with each other by way of some really deep conversations, but at the turn of the new year, I think I shook myself awake, literally. I just realized that maybe this wasn’t going to pan out the way I had thought and I should just refocus my life on me and going back to work and getting my life together.
I actually made a deal with myself, I was going to slowly slide out of his life. I was tired of realizing I would come last in a long line containing a wife that might never have the “ex” in front of it, her kids, and their kids, and his work. I stopped responding so quickly and so enthusiastically to his texts. I swear, men can fucking smell it when they are being blown off. I wasn’t playing a game, I was just prioritizing as per my goal of the cross country trip. My priorities were to get a job, be closer to my family, and be a good mommy to Sammy and Thora who suddenly started having annoying and costly health problems. I was also well aware that I was in love. It just didn’t feel like it would ever be requited.
I was laying in bed one night (alone) and leaned over and wrote on my trusty nightstand notepad:
“How is the love for my first love, K, different from what I’m feeling now, which is obviously love? K and I were like two kids whose parents left us home alone with money and keys to the car. It was always fun. It was always a party in our house. Our love grew not because we were so compatible, but because we had this mutual admiration and respect for each other. We really liked the other person – he really wanted to be more “responsible” like I was, and I wished I could be more of the free spirit he was. When we broke up, it shattered my world. A lot. I had a six year drug run ended in April 2007 when he reappeared in my life, fresh from his stay in rehab. One week after our first conversation would be the last time I would ever touch a drug. My pain was over. He was alive and sober and we were friends and my life could officially go on again. My current growing love now? Totally different. With K, we spent most of our time dissecting other people around us with “issues,” ignoring our own issues, which ultimately destroyed everything. With the ex-boss, we spend 99% of our time discussing and dissecting ourselves.”
It was true. The ex-boss and I spent hours on the phone in Jan/Feb analyzing each other, our thoughts, actions. It was so different than what I had been used to. With the ex-boss and I, it was all about us and how neglected our emotional needs had been. We became each other’s therapist and best friend.
Through several ridiculous events, I believe I helped him realize the manipulation operation in full force by the wife – the tricks she was using to deflect his attention on the divorce, the cries for help, the illnesses, the E.R., the drama, the temper tantrums, the demands that he fix things in what was now (or going to be) her house. During one of these groundbreaking conversations I texted to him: “You are opening up with me more than I am used to. Not that this is a bad thing. I’m just surprised because everything is usually a joke with you.”
In January, he officially became jobless. He was laid off as well, or took the imminent layoff, and then he suddenly had much more time to play with me. We would sit on the phone for hours looking at websites, clothes, sex toys. You name it, we shopped it.
It is around this time that we started speaking daily. In early February, he sent me a text that he wanted to go to Key West. He booked it for early March and we went on our first vacation together. We had a great time. We finally spent not only a full night with each other, but a whole weekend. When we returned back home, we had turned another corner and hit the speed lane. Now we would split up who went to whose house, but he more often than not left by 5 or 6 a.m.
I saved a text exchange that was a pretty defining moment for us.
Him: Are you in love?
Me: Brave of you to ask. I figured you knew.
Him: No. I didn’t really think too much about it. But I’m learning about how you drop hints. Like putting your toe in the water.
Me: Did I drop hints? I honestly think we both are. And have been for a while. And the extent to which we feel and acknowledge is different. But it’s there.
Him: I could get there but I don’t want to let myself get there. I convince myself I can control it.
Me: I’m not sure if one has a choice in this. You know how you think about me during the day? You know how you say you are closer to me than any of your exes? Its like that. Its like where I think I could hold your hand and just be happy to touch you when my past experience with men never ever brought a desire for hand holding. Kissing. Talking on the phone for hours. Most people annoy me. So thats how I know.
Him: I’m glad I do that to you. You just made me laugh. You write well – even texting.
Me: Just try not to get scared. I have no desire to be with anyone else. Not going anywhere and not getting psycho if you do.
Him: You are very non-threatening. I enjoy you in many ways. You won’t scare me. I don’t scare away easily.
We continued through the spring making progress similar to the text exchange you read above. I admitted I was in love, and he found it difficult to admit. We would joke about it back and forth because he would walk into it all the time. You know when someone is in love with you. You can tell. They say things like, “I woke up thinking about you today,” or ” “You popped into my head today and I realized how happy you make me,” and you just know.
By this time, he had taken on his commenting name on this blog. In case you haven’t figured it out – he is indeed Mr. X.