Thursday, October 20, 2011

Our Love Story: Part Three

If you haven't yet, you need to read Part One and Part Two of our love story, before you read this.

When we last left off, Bill and I had broken up. It was sad, and to be perfectly honest I was pretty crushed. I liked Bill a lot, and in the 3 months we'd dated, I had started to fall in love with him.
In fact, I remember the first time I heard myself say in my head that I loved him. It was April, and we'd been dating for a little over a month. I had tickets to see Airborne Toxic Event, one of my absolute favorite bands. Dave was supposed to go with me, but we had gotten in a fight over something so stupid I don't even remember it, a week before the show. I had bought both tickets, so I had an extra and I had a boyfriend, so naturally I had a date. 
The night of the concert, Bill got a headache. I know that sounds like nothing to any of you, but Bill and I don't just get headaches. We get Migraines. Yes, that word should be capitalized, because Migraines are a fucking force to be reckoned with. They suck ass, and I know first hand just how bad they can be. When Bill said he had a headache, I was totally willing to let him off the hook about going to the show, and just go by myself, because there was no way I would subject him to being in a crowded bar with a borderline migraine.
But he went anyway.
That probably sounds like no big deal to some of you, but to me, that was huge. He said he knew how much I'd been looking forward to the show, and he missed me, and he wouldn't miss it for the world. And he didn't. It quite literally melted my heart.
We got to the venue, and it was just what I expected: Super crowded, small, and extremely hot. I felt so bad for Bill, and I told him if he wanted to leave, we could at any time. He smiled, ordered us both drinks and said we'd have a good time.
The band started up, and I was instantly into it. I was standing in front of Bill because there was just no room to stand beside him, and he was behind me with his hands on my waist while I danced and cheered and screamed like a crazy person. I was pouring sweat, my hair was flying all over the place {whatever hair wasn't stuck to my forehead with sweat, that is} and I'm sure I looked insane. I turned back at one point to look at Bill, and he was standing there, holding onto me, smiling.
I know his head hurt, I know he didn't know any of the songs {he'd never heard of the band before that night} and I'm sure he was uncomfortable, but he was smiling. So big, and so warm, and right at me while I danced and screamed myself hoarse.
It was like a movie. Shit literally slowed way down, and Bill was all I could see. I heard myself {my heart?} say in my head "God I love him". And even hearing myself think those words didn't scare me. It made me feel happy, and even more in love. 

So given all that, when we broke up on June 6th, I was crushed. I wanted to remain friends with him more than anything, and he agreed saying he cared about me, and wanted to be friends too.
Well, we stayed friends alright.
Starting that summer, we embarked on a two year long journey of being "complicated". Before you think that I call it complicated because of that stupid Facebook relationship status, let me clarify for you: It was complicated because I loved Bill, with all of my heart, and he did not {or did but just denied} love me back. It was complicated because he was hurting, still very very wounded from surviving a 13 year relationship with someone who didn't care about him, someone who wanted to change him rather than accept, love and understand him. It was complicated because I knew that our weird status of being somewhere between a couple and friends wasn't enough for me, I knew it hurt me, but I loved him so much {and so tragically} that I couldn't walk away from it no matter how much I knew that it wasn't enough. I stayed. I slept with him. For a long time I didn't even go on dates with anyone else. I waited. And things got more and more complicated.
Bill wasn't the bad guy, in case that's how it's coming across. He made it clear that he cared about me, but that a relationship wasn't what he was able to give me at that point. He said he didn't return my feelings. I stuck around anyway. I didn't just tolerate, I persued it. Being "just friends" just wasn't good enough. Even though it wasn't everything I needed from him, what we had seemed closer than nothing.
But, we spent too much time together. We had a routine, we spent every single Saturday night together, like a couple does, we spent most of our free time together, like a couple does, we had lunch together during the week, like a couple does, and neither of us had pursued relationships with other people, like a couple does.
And I could be hallucinating this, but it seemed like he started, over time, becoming more affectionate, more endearing, and more attached. 
I have a vagina. That pretty much means I read into everything. All the time.
When Bill and I were together, I was inexplicably happy. I felt so completely at peace in his presence, it was intoxicating. When nothing in my life made sense, Bill made sense. Always. When we were together, we laughed and laughed, sometimes until tears flowed. We liked the same music, so I made mixed CD's for him. We liked to same movies, we laughed at the same shit, we made fun of the same people in public, and being together felt so comfortable, so Goddamn right, it sometimes made me angry that we weren't together.
And for two years, we drifted and bobbed around in each other's lives like lost boats, occasionally coming close enough to touch oars, or to hear the scrape as our sides bumped into each other, but we always drifted away again. 
Bill went on dates with a few other people.
I went on a couple dates with one other person.
I waited.
He told me not to.
I did anyway.
It helped no one.
Every few months I would become terribly sad. I would cry on my roommate's shoulder about how much I loved him, and how he seemed to care about me so much, and really really like me, but he didn't want to be with me. I just didn't understand. Really, sometimes to this day I still don't.
I would tell Bill I wanted more, he would tell me he had no more to give, I would say I was leaving, he would tell me he wanted me to be happy, I would cry, and the next Saturday, I'd come to his house again.

But nothing ever changed.

Finally, at the end of April, 2011, I laid it all on the line. 
I told Bill I couldn't do it anymore, and I wanted some space from him to figure out what I was going to do in terms of us. It was time. I needed to be with him, or be away from him long enough to get over him.
We didn't talk for a day.
Then two.
Then three.
By the fourth day, I was out of my mind.
I asked him to meet me so we could talk, I was done waiting. If he still didn't know what he wanted, or if he still didn't want me, then it needed to be over.
We sat in a parking lot in the car, and went in circles again. Finally, I said it as simply as I could: "Do you want to be with me like I want to be with you, or not?"
He said no.
I held back tears.
He said it was time to end it.
I agreed.
He got out of the car, and I refused to cry.
That night I got drunker than I have been since I was 19. I cried, I listened to Joni Mitchele, I texted Bill. He was so nice , he was so supportive and understanding. It made me cry harder and sing louder and drink more.
It helped no one.

For almost a week, we didn't talk.
When I finally started talking to him again, I was so mad at him. I was angry, I was hurt, I was sad and confused and I missed him. Again, he understood. He was there for me. I tried to ignore him again, but I just couldn't. 

Then, on May 3rd, something magical happened. 
I was having dinner with my kids and my roommate when I got a text from Bill asking if he could come over and talk for a bit. This was huge. Bill never came over on weeknights. He never wanted to have face to face conversations, and he rarely, if ever had anything important he wanted to say to me.
With my heart jack-hammering in my chest,  as nonchalantly as I could, I said "sure" and instantly had the biggest panic attack of my life.
For 25 minutes, TWENTY FIVE MINUTES, I waited for him to show up, pacing around in front of the door. 
What could he have to say?
Did he hate me?
Did he not want to be friends?
Did he never want to see me again?
It never crossed my mind that he might have something good to say. I mean, he never had before. Why would he now?

When he finally got to my house, I grabbed a pack of cigarettes and walked outside like I could totally care less about why he was there. We sat on the trunk of the car, and he said he wanted to be with me.

And now you have to wait until tomorrow to find out what I said back :)

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