Monday, August 15, 2011
A Story: Part II
It was gorgeous Sunday afternoon and I was sitting in the car with my mom as we were driving home from picking up my niece and nephew. We were chatting away when my phone started buzzing. Court was calling. Strange. Mostly because when I go out of town it’s like my New York life sort of stops, and I don’t really hear from my friends other than an occasional text here and there.
I picked up:
R: Hey Court, what’s up?
C: Oh nothing, what are you doing?
R: I’m just driving home with my mom. We just picked up my niece and nephew to spend the night. You?
C: I just got down to your apartment. A bunch of us are over here hanging out and we’re going to play games.
R: Oh that sounds fun. So what’s up?
At this point I’m thinking it’s random she’s calling, especially when she’s with a group of people and obviously stepped away to make this call.
C: Wellllll, do you want to just call me back when you get home?
R: No it’s cool, I can talk. Is everything okay?
C: Hesitation….Yeeeeeah……yeah, everything’s fine, just call me when you get home okay?
R: Oooookay……no problem, talk to you soon.
I hung up and my mom asked what that was about. I explained the conversation and then just sorta thought, huh, weird. And then immediately I thought aloud, “Curtis is engaged.” I can’t remember my mom’s response but then I continued thinking aloud, “That has to be it. I can’t imagine any other reason she’d call unless it was an actual emergency, and if that were the case she would have sounded more urgent.” I remember my mom asking me how I’d feel about that. I wouldn’t feel great, but it wouldn’t devastate me. We’d had real, final closure back in March, and although really weren’t speaking, were otherwise on good terms. I knew he was dating someone then, and when we’d talked about her I told him then he’d marry her. He laughed and said they weren’t even serious, but I just knew. For over two years I knew him better than he knew himself. I knew he was in a really good place in life and was ready, and I could just tell. We’d texted earlier in the summer and he’d told me he was in love. For some reason that hurt a lot more than news of the engagement. Even though I knew it all was coming, that hurt the most.
I got home and went upstairs to my bedroom to call Courtnie back so I could get the news in private. Sure enough, according to facebook he’d popped the question. All my best friends happened to be in the same apartment when someone mentioned having seen it, and then they discussed whether they should call me or not. They knew I wouldn’t know already because I’d deleted him months before. She didn’t want to be the bearer of the news, but also didn’t want me to find out from someone else who maybe wouldn’t be as sensitive. We talked for a couple minutes, and I was surprised when I felt myself tearing up. I quickly thanked her, said goodbye, and threw on my running shoes.
I headed to RSM lake and pretended I was at the Reservoir, my real place of therapy. It wasn’t the same, but it would have to do. I would be lying if I didn’t say I felt partially relieved. I knew this day was coming and now it was over with. It was such a weird mixture of emotions.
When I got back to the car I was reminded how grateful I was that my friend had called, as I already had a nonchalant text about the news. My mom had also called telling me to meet them at Golden Spoon. It was a nice follow up to my run, and even nicer was the text waiting for me from Dave when I got back to my car. Nothing like a little pick me up.
I got home and showered and into comfy clothes for the night. I was ready to watch Mad Men when my dad came downstairs and started to discuss some things with my mom that were happening with my grandma’s health. He was exhausted and the conversation turned tense. I was so not in the mood. I decided to go for a drive, and impulsively text Dave and see if I could come over. Yes, I was looking for some TLC. I was fully aware of the state of my appearance; yoga pants again, tshirt, flip flops, wet hair in a bun, no makeup other than powder, and glasses. I figured he’d seen me dolled up Saturday night, and hit on me when I didn’t look much better on Friday, so what the hell? Was it a little reckless to just go to his house alone? Yes, I’ll admit it. But at some point you have to make the decision to trust someone, and I chose this point.
When I walked in I was immediately impressed. This was a man’s home. A three bedroom condo. A dog. Real furniture. Appliances. Decoration. Such a change from the guys I typically spend my time with who have been known to be sharing a bedroom and sometimes even sleeping in a bunk bed dorm style. I wish I were joking. I was instantly more attracted.
I sunk into the couch and we talked and talked about everything and nothing. He was charming. I was spunky and made him laugh. He was up front about really enjoying time with me. It was one of those scenarios where you felt like you’d known someone a month when in reality it’d only been a few days. I finally said something along the lines of, “I don’t think you really like me. I think you’re amused by me.” He responded with, “Why, because I’m not jumping on you right now? Because I didn’t kiss you last night? Because, don’t get me wrong, I wanted to kiss you.” Without hesitation I responded, “I wanted you to kiss me.” He then told me he could tell my guard was up when I came into his home and that even though I’d relaxed, I just wanted to talk, and that was fine. All I wanted him to do was kiss me.
We talked some more, and at some point he said, “So you don’t drink, what else don’t you do?” I said, “I don’t have sex.” “Okay.” “And I don’t do other things.” “Okay.” We’ll see how long this lasts.
Around 1am my mom texted me asking me to come home. I had to laugh as I asked a 41 year old man if he felt incredibly juvenile, having to say goodnight because my mom wanted me home. He was sweet about it and did nothing but make me feel more comfortable. He walked me out and confidently leaned in and kissed me goodnight. I can’t remember the last time (if ever) a guy just kissed me, just like that, without having to have the safety of watching a movie in the dark and cuddling, or being half way asleep, to work up the courage. This guy cut all the crap, gave me a hug, and then went straight in for the kiss. It. Was. Amazing. Being 5’11” it’s not common I feel petite. Even though I’m okay with my height, it doesn’t mean I don’t frequently feel awkward with men. I find it nearly impossible if I’m with a man who’s short, or my height, or maybe a little taller (when I’m lucky) and not too skinny, to not feel “big.” And feeling big does not feel feminine or sexy. So to be embraced by this dark Ecuadorian man, who quite honestly is only an inch or two taller, but so built, was heaven. He had 100 pounds on me. I’d even blurted out as we were sitting on the couch, “You have the hugest chest,” because the guy is just big, without appearing like a body builder. To this day I’ve never been as physically attracted to someone. Needless to say, it was steamy, and I couldn’t wipe the stupid grin off my face the whole drive home.
The next day he had an overnight layover trip so we didn’t see each other, but it didn’t stop the texting all day. I don’t remember what I did that day or night, but I do remember what I was doing when the next, far more devastating phone call came Tuesday morning.