Chapter 15: Truth and Reckoning

Hey, I’m going to be downtown on Friday afternoon…do you wanna meet up for lunch or something and talk?

He responded pretty quickly, considering….

Yes, I think we should too. Friday it is.

Well at least he agrees that we should definitely see each other and talk about…us, or maybe just what happened. You know clear the air…then be friends…cause that’s all that’s left.

Right?

Friday was the next day. I was going to come face to face with Jon…and…I definitely wasn’t sad…I was too busy thinking about how we would discuss last night’s conversation; he would apologize for being so crude and I would comfort him, tell him there was no harm no foul, we would make great friends…I’d pick him up after he was broken.

I had no time to feel sad…at least not as sad as I did before; Jon was hurt and I needed be strong for both of us.

Ok time out from narration.

Would it be strange to say that I knew this was going to happen? Well, not the drunk call and stuff, but I knew that I would see Jon by Friday. That we would meet for lunch and that I may have even planned something to wear and had my hair done in time…I don’t know but I knew before the week started, that another cold weekend couldn’t go by without us speaking.

I’m here, under the scaffolding I texted.

I waited under the construction shelter to protect myself from the blaring heat of the sun. It was the typical dog days of August in New York City and it was too hot and steamy to wait underground. As I waited for him, my intestines began to move and form knots, one by one while each knot pulled tighter and tighter….

I suddenly remembered being back underground at the platform, waiting for Jon…to talk. It was a long time ago, we also hadn’t spoken in the days prior as well; only agreed to meet so we can talk…about us. About sex? Feelings? Control?

The knots turned into a shear shriek inside as it did before; waiting for Jon, I realized that I didn’t know what was going to happen to us next. I couldn’t even imagine his face anymore as I had spent the past several days trying to forget.

And there, in a sea of people, I spotted him. Like I always do. He’s always looking straight ahead as if walking to a destination and not actually wandering to meet someone. His face carried the same look as before, when I waited for him: sullen, eyes wandering but he never turned his head, lips sparsely open as if realizing that he had reached it.

Wait a minute….that day at the station did he think I wouldn’t show up?

“JON!”

I said loud, sharp, and cool. Maybe not as cool, but I casually stood and crossed over to him.

Ok, Sabrien time to drop those balls.

“Hey…” I looked at him, and instinctively leaned in and embraced him. It was what he done for me and now I should for him…because we shouldn’t greet each other as strangers. We were more than that, and that’s what we needed to do when we see each other.

“Oh” he sighed out as he wrapped his arms embracing back. I guess he wasn’t expecting that?

*****

We settled on some half-ass taco joint. Though I was very happy to see Jon, the knots in my stomach were long gone and had been replaced by shrieking fear. Do you know how that feels? I can only describe it as a waving sensation like when one is panicked or surprised, it waves from your stomach to your chest as if something or someone is shrieking inside of you.

“Oh I’m not hungry, thanks…just a water bottle.” I said.

We started with small talk…..his move to the new apartment, work,—

“Look, I didn’t know that you were upset ok, about what you said last night— do you remember?” I stumbled.

“What? No, I don’t remember a thing about last night, I was so drunk…” Jon said, as he continued eating what I only remember as a vile creation attempting to pass off as Mexican food.

My heart sank. How could he not remember? It’s not fair; he needed to take responsibility for it.

“Well, you said a lot of horrible of things about me not caring and blaming me…” I trailed off.

“Listen, Sabrien.” Jon said with such authority, that I jerked up to find his eyes…the only part of him that made me feel comfort. But I only felt cold.

“I don’t know what was going through your mind when you asked me to see each other exclusively…yeah at the time I was heading there and I was thinking about it. But after the way you just went crazy on the phone and broke things off, I’m glad I didn’t make that mistake to be with you.”

He took a break from his meal to gulp down a drink and lean back in his chair confidently with his right arm stretched over the back of the empty chair next to him.

“In fact, I’m glad we broke things off, because this showed me your true self. I mean think about it Sabrien, we had only known each other a few weeks!! You don’t know me well enough as a person to know that you like me [as a person].” He said. He had such conviction in his voice. But it was true, where were we all this time?

He’s right, from time that we met in front of the state building and had our first “date” at a bar not too far from here, to this moment, it had only been a month.

I’m confused; I didn’t come here for this. I thought we were going to talk about a very immature phone call and apologize for the things that were said, and maybe just shake on it. But instead the guilt is now overcome by a wave of shame as my shoulders slunk forward and my mind jumbled to form a sentence. My heart had sank so low at this point, that it seemed to carry my worthless self forward, where my face met the table.

How could I have let myself get carried away? I thought there was something, he had asked me…?

“We have nothing else in common except BDSM.” He ended. I looked up and still sitting there confidently, Jon had slipped his poker face. He had a slight smirk, not on his lips, but his eyes.

Is he enjoying this?

“So what!” I sat back, I needed answers! “What would you say we were, if you felt that we could head that way. We were just dating?” I demanded.

No, Sabrien. We weren’t dating, we just went on a few dates. And that’s it.” They were no longer smirking at me, they’re cold as ice.

For a moment, I thought I was looking at the face of another man. He did not possess the boyish good looks or charm that mesmerized me. As he shoved down his food, me still having no appetite, I realized what had changed. He is revealing himself to me, his truth. And it is ugly.His eyes in the light had pinholes for pupils, and I could not see myself in them. The brown marks on his teeth bothered me.

Jon repulsed me.

“I’m not interested in that Sabrien”

I reached for his hand and umm…maybe a little too loudly with my eyes and lips, “Look, maybe we can go for another try…I’m not crazy, I can control myself, really…I thought there was something there…but I know now…I want to get to know you as a person, because I do like you.” I said, holding on tightly.

But I saw it in his face and I already knew what he was gonna say. He knew too, I saw him looked down as I held his hand. Surprised but happy, no satisfied.

“Oh…I don’t know” He said.

“Come on” I bit my lip and forced a smile, “like old times. Couldn’t we just..?”

He sighed. “You know you look really pretty in this skirt today, and I love your hair, let me touch it.”

No not like old times.

As we walked towards his building…we talked more.

“So we take it slow, just friends…” I asked. Isn’t that what we wanted?

“No, Sabrien. I can’t do that.” He looked at me, a little gentler but still holding to his guns.

“But what you said, about knowing each other as a person…” I asked.

“Look, I’m not interested in that, we can still have sex but none of the other stuff”

“So you want a friend with benefits?” I asked, disgusted. “You really were just using me?”

“And if, hypothetically I said I was?” Jon asked.

“Then I would be mad.” I retorted.

“Look we can be friends, you can come over, but I’m not gonna want to hang out as much.” He said.

“So you want me out of your life? Never see each other again?” I asked. It really pained me to think that he could so easily rid me…but I guess since he never felt anything…

We now were negotiating back and forth the terms of this “friendship.”

“I just don’t see it that way, Sabrien. I could have sex with someone I hated. I’m not saying I’ve done this, but I would pay for sex. Sex is a commodity.” He said.

“I’ll think about it, I’m not promising anything.” I answered.

Where the hell did my balls go?

“I’ll call you this weekend,” I continued.

“Ok, now my boss is going to kill me because I’ve been on a nearly two hour lunch break” He said.

“If I call, will you answer?” I asked, knowing the answer already.

“Yes, now woman I need to get back to work!” He replied. And hugged goodbye. I smiled.

I walked away feeling that something was accomplished, although nothing was solved. I walked and walked until I decided that there was nothing really for me to do downtown and made my way back to the station.

I tried not to think about what happened, I certainly do not want to get back with Jon, but he did not want to be friends. I now hated him and felt disgusted that he would violate such personal boundaries just to get —

“Excuse me, Miss?” An older gentleman stepped forward. “I’m very interested in your chest.”

Ch. 16 Frenemies

He probably knew what I was trying to do, but could see right through it. He hastily dropped the conversation. “I’ll see you on Monday.” He said and hung up.

I was trying to ignore this nagging voice, cover it up with my feelings. But this time the voice, the red flag was too loud to ignore.

Does he hate me?

© 2012 -2013 S. C Rhyne

Chapter 13: Quiet….It’s a Breakdown not a Breakup

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“AAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHH!!!!!!!”

**sniffs**  **sniffs**  **sniffs**

I can’t write this in a way that doesn’t sound cute. The story of a poor brokenhearted girl who loses someone that meant everything plus the world to her.

If only it were that simple. For as much as I prepared myself for this day; you’re never fully prepared to lose yourself.

First.

You lose sleep.

From the night that I drove from Jon’s apartment, waking up at 3 am (the witching hour) and up at 5am to get a miserable summer’s day started; is norm. 2-3 hours of straight sleep is a godsend. Even on weekends and holidays: I watched the sunrise from my bed.

Second.

You lose your appetite.

I’m pretty sure that night I was able to stomache a glass of wine, but the next morning and days ahead, I carried a water bottle around as that was all I could handle. In the mornings, I could have toasted bread, and maybe in the evenings a handful of nuts or crackers. Yogurt, milk or anything too rich or heavy was too much. I probably didn’t grocery shop for about a month.

Third.

You lose a sense of purpose.

I don’t know if it made it better or worse, but I had some time off when Jon and I broke it off. Maybe worse, because at least at work I would have something to do and keep my mind off of it. But at home, I didn’t see the point of going through another day. I had some events and stuff with friends but the days and hours between them were menacingly slow.  And all I could think about was the hurt.

It’s a weird pain, it doesn’t burn like being cut open, and it isn’t sharp like the feel of freshly broken flesh. It’s a dull ache that sits in the pit of your gut, and it’s very heavy; so it holds you down and you’re unable to move quickly enough from the dark thoughts that haunt you around every corner.

And its at this point when you know you’re at your wits end because now what have affected you psychologically is also affecting you physically (or vice versa) and it has consumed you whole and left you falling down a dark bottomless pit.

Fourth.

You lose your mind.

The truth is that your mind was probably already lost from the beginning. However, mindless, you don’t realize it until your thoughts and actions are centered on him/her. You can’t think or do anything without the person pulling at your strings. When you lose your mind you lose yourself.

I was no longer thinking about myself, I was thinking about Jon around the clock, and I knew (from what I read) this was normal at first. I replayed the phone conversation over and over; and like a recovering alcoholic; suddenly blacked out pieces were starting to form in my mind that I may not have heard or put much weight on at the time.

Wait a minute? Did he really say, “I don’t wanna stop hanging out, I just need more–”

“Hey, Lance…I was seeing this guy and this is how it went down…” I explained, “He looked so solemn when I went to his apt. his voice sounded ok, but his face was serious and calm. I’ve never seen him like before.

“Did I do the right thing?”

I still don’t have that answer. My girlfriend said, “Yes, he wanted to still hang out for the sex.”  And my guy friend said, “He probably doesn’t know how to express himself. He’s barely 25, and has the emotional state of a 17 year old.”

So now completely besides myself in guilt and angst I remember that his moving date was coming up, and that I would call a few days after he had settled to see how he was and hopefully that would signal we could be on friendly terms. It didn’t fully dawn on me that Jon would be mad or upset over breaking things off. Why would he be angry? He didn’t want to be with me? It really was his choice or ultimatum, I never asked him to choose to see me exclusively.

What if he doesn’t want to talk to me ever again? Some people do hold grudges, especially if they perceived themselves as being wronged. Did I wrong him or did he wrong me? As a functioning zombie going through lots of talk therapy with friends, I realized how we both failed at communication and meeting each others’ expectations. Not to mention our insecurities getting in the way.

So, after hurling my first decent meal I picked up the phone and called him. I left a message. And eventually went to sleep.

By midday the next day, I realized that I needed closure, and thought that even if Jon was upset or wanted nothing to do with me; I had to be ok with that. Was he trying to send a message that I wasn’t worth speaking to, even though I just wanted to see if everything was ok, still be on friendly terms? I guess the transition to friendship was too unrealistic.  So I sent what I thought would be my last (and most regrettable) text:

Hey Jon, I guess by ignoring me, you wanted me to feel low? Point taken. I was reaching out to the friend I thought I had in you. I didn’t think that when you broke up with me that we caste each other out of our lives.

And that was it. I went for a walk, chatted with friends, made plans. I had a cooking demo at my house (one of the last plans I made to do with Jon) that night, and went to bed feeling like it was over, finally over.

And as I closed my eyes, I imagined myself getting into the relationship mobile Jon, and gunning down the highway into the Rabbithole to an unfamiliar place. The steep curves and hills, are little more pronounced and the warning signs are now clearer. As a passenger in this vehicle, I may have anticipated that the straight and narrow road we were on may have been deceiving; after all I was probably more prepared than he was to break things off, rather than stay and make it work.

Did he really not see it coming?

Ch 14. The Long Road Ahead

Now I’m guilty. Was it really my fault? Should I have been more affectionate, was I less concerned about his feelings? Maybe something I did selfishly? But he didn’t give me a chance. The guy is impatient and makes rash decisions. I wanted a chance to grow, know him better, and to make him happy. Maybe there is still a chance to grow and know each other better, but perhaps as friends.

© 2012 -2013 S. C Rhyne