Monday, February 22, 2010

It's been three years since I'm knockin' on your door, and I still can knock some more...

I did it. I mustered up all of my courage and I instigated “the talk.” When I told him I needed to define this thing that we’re doing here, he got defensive. I told him I was invested and he cut me off and said, “So then you’re going to tell me that it’s my fault you’re not dating anyone! I’m keeping you from seeing other people.” I groaned in frustration, my heart pounding away in my chest. This was exactly what I was afraid of. “So we’re just friends?” I asked. “Well, no,” he said slowly, “I mean… we’re not just friends. But I consider you my friend.” I felt woozy. But I didn’t lose my courage.

“If you think that we are nothing more than friends, then things have to change.” He didn’t like this answer but it was the catalyst for a less dramatic, more honest discussion.

He told me how it was hard to have me in Seattle and not be hyper aware that I was leaving in three days. I told him I felt the same way. “You did?” he asked. “See,” I answered. “This is why we have to talk about this stuff.”

“I think we both knew this conversation was coming,” he said, a far cry from the ‘friends’ proclamation he had made earlier. “I think neither of us wanted to bring it up.” It was true. Neither of us wanted to bring it up. But there was something I was after here… even if I didn’t know exactly what it was. I wanted him to tell me he saw me in his future. I needed to hear that this wasn’t all in vain. I posed it delicately, using the unassuming words ‘potential’ and ‘eventually.’

“I don’t really have an answer for you,” he said. “I don’t know what you want me to say. I can’t predict the future and you and I are in very different places in our lives right now. Who knows where either of us is gonna end up.” I didn’t quite know what else to say. There were long stretches of quiet where I squeezed my eyes shut and focused on the breath passing in and out of my lips.

“I don’t want you to be upset with me,” he said. “I’m not upset. I just… I ultimately want to hear that I’m not just your buddy. I want to know that what we have is different, and that you don’t have this same relationship with all your other girl friends.” “I don’t,” he answered. “And you should know that.”

I was tired. I didn’t want to talk anymore. Nothing was being answered, and as much as he’d given me part of what I wanted, I knew I wasn’t getting anything else. “Okay,” I sighed. “Well, you’re packing so I’ll let you go.”

“No,” he answered. “I don’t want you to let me go.”

It was the most to-the-point thing he’d said all night, and he didn’t even mean to.

1 comment:

MP said...

these conversations always leave you wanting more, even though you know that somehow you've hit upon the heart of the matter. your writing is lovely.