Chapter 14: Long Road Ahead

It’s dark and silent.

Even with my window curtain and panel opened to bring in as much August air, my room is surprisingly dark and quiet for a summer’s night in New York City. The street lights are an orange glow that seem to dim rather than saturate my room; and the neighborhood kids must have decided to turn in early.

Its Quiet.

Or maybe I fell too far down that hole again.

The car, the date, his lips, his words, but I can’t see his face. I’m in the car, he drives we hold hands, we’re going on a date; I said “So you think this is a date?”

The crash.

We crashed. He drove too fast. I held his hand, and he couldn’t—-


I wake up, to remember its Wednesday night.

Nine days ago, I told a guy that I really liked and deeply cared for that I was going speed dating to meet other single Men; in hopes that he would convince me not to…because we were an item, –because he felt things that I felt, but could not describe.

But instead he wanted to come too. So we broke things off. He changed his mind about speed dating.

This morning I sent him a text and thought that would be the last I ever talked to him, because he was too angry to speak to me.

Now he calls, and I shakily answered the phone…reminding myself I had to be strong, that I had my time to grieve and let everything out and Jon didn’t. That I was going to be an emotional punching bag for this boy that is emotional unstable. And I could dish it. Anyway, hadn’t I asked for this? For Jon to reach out to me no matter state he was in…what piece of work I…

Hello?” I said cautiously.

Hi Sabrien, Its Jon….I’m sorry for calling so late, I was out drinking with my friends…got a little drunk”


Are you drunk now? Where are you, are you safe?” I asked.

Yeh know it doesn’t take much with me, I’m by the train station….look I got your message, I wasn’t trying to ignore you Sabrien….so busy” says Jon.

Ohhh…its ok, I guess I just felt, um —as long you’re ok” I replied.

I know you were wishing me well with the move and everything which seemed like a good reason on your part to call…..” He continued.

My stomach knotted

I really was concerned, cause he asked for my help and I agreed, until….I wish I had called earlier maybe I still could have came to help. But I didn’t…..

But my dad came. Its fine here, except for a neighbor that….” Jon continued.

I was boderlining between joy, elation, frustration, and sadness. I was extremely happy and sad to hear his voice, though heavily inebriated; and frustrated and elated that even though we exchanged a brief banter….it was too thin to be veiled like “old times.” Our cracked and fatigued voices, begged for answers. I desperately wanted to forget last week and just pick –

Please don’t think I’m ignoring you, I had a ten hour day and I just wanted to sleep last night-” He whimpered.

“HOW COULD YOU SAY I BROKE UP WITH YOU?!?! I NEVER WANTED TO STOP SEEING YOU!!!…. I MISS YOU SABRIEN, I MISS YOU! I don’t hate you… I’m fond of you, SO VERY FOND OF YOU!….” Jon screamed into his phone.


I now was off the fence and thrown into complete shock by his outburst. It was out of character, even for the boy that I labeled an unstable emotionally immature lonely drug addict (In case you missed that chapter), to just “lose it.”

I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that you were hurt, you seem ok…and I reached out” I stammered.




YOU think I’m NOT emotionally wounded?! I AM, SO THERE! YOU WOUNDED ME!” He retorted.

I’m sorry Jon, I wasn’t trying to do that…I don’t know, I never wanted to break up, I like you too. So much more than you understood.” I pleaded.

It was true….sober or drunk I don’t think Jon would have ever understood how much I cared about him. Its too deep, not even I understood the roots of the being that grew to consume me mind, body and soul. I’d give up any one of those for him.

NO! You were just using me!! And you were MAD at me!!!” He accused.

“I don’t- using you for what?” I asked. Really tell me.

“I don’t know.” He answered.

“Jon, I did care…I even paid your parking ticket for you, without telling you and…” I tried to explain.

“THAT DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING TO ME!!!!!” I could imagine him sitting outside the subway station, yelling his soul over the cell phone as onlookers distanced themselves warily from him.


“How many other men have you had sex with? YOU’RE INEXPERIENCED, and kept joking about how young I was and how you were going to jail, TELL ME HOW MANY? DID YOU ENJOY HAVING SEX WITH THEM, SABRIEN?!? YOU HATED IT WITH ME!!!” He demanded.

“Look everyone’s experience is different….not about being inexperienced…..What happened between us is no one’s fault. Its about our feelings, they didn’t match up we didn’t feel the same way about each other. Its not about wrong or right or who to blame. We just felt differently about each other. And that’s ok” I replied, almost a little too mechanically as it was one of the lines I remembered from a break-up advice site. I felt it was true, or at least I could believe it…that in the end maybe Jon didn’t feel the same way and I got —


I won’t bore you with all 90 minutes of this conversation, I’m not sure if the snippets are in order. But the last thing I said to him in a very tearful way, was that I tried really really hard to show my true feelings for him and reassure him that I liked him, and I was sorry that he couldn’t see it.

And hung up.

I texted him again apologizing for anything insensitive that may have occurred.

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.

A quiet night shattered by a crash.

Ch. 15 Truth and Reckoning

I’m not interested in that Sabrien”

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 was revealing himself to me, his truth. And it was ugly. Jon repulsed me.

© 2012 -2013 S. C Rhyne

Chapter 12: Hey, Let’s Go on A (speed) Date!

It’s his eyes.

It’s the first thing I zeroed in on under his baseball cap, beneath his long hair. It wasn’t so much the exotic color – Goldenrod –I called them like Crayola’s creative, his pale green eyes almost yellowed in the light. And the black glassy pupils were large enough for me to see the whole world, and be swallowed into them. I could see myself in his eyes, but what I couldn’t see was how Jon sees me.

So since I have STD and I can’t ask him–

Since I’ve never pursued a relationship before, and don’t really know “the signs”–

Since we don’t have friends in common, and I can’t hear anything through the rumor mill–

I am dumb, deaf, and blind in this relationship.

So my rational intelligent mind takes a turn down a path that seems to be a natural solution for its ignorance.


You gotta prepare yourself to breakup…you can’t be like this

Jon, I feel very passionate about you, and I want the best for us—

I had to get him to tell me. I don’t want a commitment. I don’t want a boyfriend; I just want Jon to tell me. If he just tells me the truth then I’d feel better, and know how to properly conduct myself.

Scenario 1: He likes me – ok, stay and work out the issues surrounding our cultural differences and my supposedly unaffectionate attitude.

Scenario 2: He doesn’t’ like me – break things off and move on. Simple, I need an answer.


“Sabrien!! We’re organizing a social networking/speed dating mixer for next week.”

“Oh ok.” I replied.

“So you’re gonna come and participate, right?”

I looked back at Lee, she was maybe about two years older than I, with children and a long term relationship, but seemed to have the social life of an unattached college co-ed. If she wasn’t planning an event, she was attending them.

“Uuummmm, I—well, can I think–” I searched my brain.

“It’s a Yes or a No. You’re single, You’re coming.”

“OK, yeah.” I agreed.

Yes I will.

“Hey, how are you doing, boobicakes?”

**Giggles** “Nothing, are you on the rooftop? Watching the trains go by?” I fawned, if there was anything that I loved about Jon’s apartment: was the view he got from his rooftop where he would go and smoke.


An hour later…

“Um, so—oh yeah! There’s gonna be a social networking event. I think they are doing it to raise money. Uh – Lee is putting a speed dating event for professional singles and asked me to come. It sounds like fun, plus its for charity.” I explained, emphasizing Lee’s role in event planning and nonprofits.

“Yeah, that sounds like fun, sure I would love to go speed dating” He said.

Excuse me, who the fuck invited you?

“It sounds like fun, we can go together…” As he continued, my mind began wandering down the black abyss of the rabbithole. I wasn’t sure who was on Drugs: if it were him or me. I only brought this up, because deep down I was hoping if he would ask me if I was still interested in seeing other guys, and then I would say “No…” and we could re-evaluate things.

“Jon!” I interrupted, “I don’t want to go speed dating, I don’t want to meet other people.”

“Why not, we can make it like a contest or game or something to see how many people…” He said.

“People don’t go speed dating for contests and mind games, single people go to make a connection and possibly start new relationships.” I retorted.

“Look, I take it all back, the reason I brought this up was not because of speed dating, or whatever…for the past few days I have been trying to tell you how I feel and that my feelings have changed for you. Do you see us dating each other exclusively soon?” I breathed that out quickly.

“Yeah, I kinda had a feeling that you were going to ask me this…”

So you decided to play dumb!!?
I thought.

“Look all I want to know is how you feel, just tell me the truth even if you think it’s gonna hurt or not what I want to hear” My cojones tightened I carefully listened on the line.

And to be honest, all I remember was his throat clearing, voice breaking up a bit as he mumbled some words to put a sentence together, at times I couldn’t hear him because his voice sounded low but I also had to take my ear away from the phone after I heard, “This isn’t good enough for me now…” and “If I’m gonna settle down…”

“I’m not asking you to settle.” I objected.

I know he said more, but I was quietly holding back tears, as I strategized how to quickly move on, and sound cool and rational over the phone. “Thus, I don’t want to continue wasting our time if you feel like nothing is there, so the only request that I have is if I can come by tomorrow and pick up my stuff at your apartment, and oh I’ll return your books too.”

“You can keep the book.” He said.

“No, its o.k it belongs to you, and I can always borrow it from the library, I’m sure you want your stuff back” I reasoned.

“I don’t care about—”

“Jon, I don’t want your stuff! Anyway, I’ll be at the gym and I can just swing by.” I was still reasoning with myself and working out travel times…as he interrupted my mumblings. Presumably to get off the line.

“OK I’ll call you when I get home.”


Longest day of my life.

Stare at the computer, go get water, got to leave work by 5. Get to the gym by 6. Maybe stay until 8. Be at Jon’s by 8:15pm, get home before 9. What if Jon’s not home by 8? What time is it? What time is it? WHAT TIME IS IT? Read about break ups online, I did it on a Monday, check. I did it over the phone. Not good. But HE said, “Things weren’t good enough, and that if he had to choose, he would see other people than be with me.”

So his choice, he wanted to end it, he gave himself an ultimatum, when I didn’t ask for it. I think. Oh wait, didn’t he say that he didn’t want to stop hanging out with me? No, no, my imagination. Now pull yourself together, no guy ever wants to see a girl cry in front of them or break down emotionally. Keep your voice steady, head up, and conversation minimal, I’m sure he wants things done with quickly. As I pulled up, in front of his building.

See how rational I am? Not much.

I texted him the next morning, I didn’t know what to say. So I thought to bring up the most rational practical thing I could.

I have the info on speed dating if you’re interested I can send you the form and you can just fill it out and return it by fax/email

He responded:

No Thanks

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

© 2012 -2013 S. C Rhyne