It’s been a while since my last post, longer than I would have liked. The events of the last eleven days were quite a roller coaster, changing too fast for me to take a moment to write about them. Things rose to a point where I started to feel a strong sense of completeness. I started to feel as though, maybe, just maybe, I would have no more need for this space. I began to feel that sadness and loneliness were no longer going to be a part of my life. The subsequent crashing down was a hard blow.
On Sunday March 14th, I woke up and went to church for the first time in years. I was very nervous about the whole experience, not knowing what to expect. I sent Jane a text about an hour before to let her know I was coming. No reply. After minor battery trouble, I got in my car and drove. For some reason, the directions I had read were not accurate, and so I got lost. After driving back and forth for a bit, I eventually found the place. However, at this point it felt as though something was telling me I was not meant to be there that day. I walked in to the service already in progress, others still streaming in behind me. Before me was a room filled with hundreds of people, mostly young families around my age, taking in the incredible live music. I scanned the room quickly, but found no sign of her, so I took a seat near the back, and took in the experience.
The gatherings at River’s Edge are unlike anything I’ve experienced before. Their slogan, “Real not Religious”, is a strong one that I can relate to. Spirituality has always been a big part of my life, and that day, I felt as though I had found a possible medium to further my journey. The sermons are delivered in such a way as to be much more applicable to our current day. I can easily see myself attending regularly.
Near the end of the service, Jane finally responded. “Today of all days, I went out last night, and got pretty drunk. How are you liking it?”. We exchanged several texts over the next few hours. She was glad that I finally decided to attend. I would have liked to have shared my first experience there with her, but it just didn’t turn out that way. At this point I felt that I had done all that I could to resurrect a dying relationship. There was nothing more to do.
The next day, in the late afternoon, I got a msg from her. ”I don’t see you on my MSN. I didn’t delete you? Did you delete me?”. I hadn’t, but I had blocked and unblocked her several times over the last few weeks. Even when we’re apart and not speaking, there’s just so much drama between us. A few minutes later we were in conversation. Immediately she apologized for the way our last chat went. She realized it was wrong of her to try to force or expect me to feel the way she does about God. I also apologized for reacting a little too defensively. I then said that I was surprised to hear from her so soon, that I felt she would want more time to think. ”No, no more thinking. This was the sign I needed to see. All of my boyfriends from the past would promise to do this, but they never did. I’m glad that you went on your own.” I had realized that what she wanted was simply to avoid entering another relationship in which she found herself unable to share her feelings about God and faith with the person she was with. I had told her several times that I was always open to that, and the only thing keeping me from making myself a part of that was my Sunday morning family obligations. I told her that for now, I wanted to attend at least once a month, and eventually regularly as my life allowed.
Over the next few days, we had many discussions about our feelings for each other, the kind of relationship we wanted to work towards, the kind of life we wanted to build. We both admitted that no matter how much we both tried, it always felt impossible to push the other out of our lives. There was just something too strong pulling us together, and we are all but powerless to resist. It was around this point that I started to feel Joy take over my inner emotions. It was also around this point that, in hindsight, we were blinded by excessive optimism. The greatest aspect of our dynamic is the extreme level of comfort we feel with when around each other. We both feel no need to play games or keep secrets. We can just be ourselves, and the other will accept if not adore our behavior. It is an aspect not without pitfalls, for sometimes we tend to leap ahead of ourselves, trying to make the present what we want the future to be. If there was a way to do it again (or if we found ourselves in this situation down the road), I would make sure we start over as friends. Start from zero, no expectations and no dreams of what we want things to be like. The only goal would be to let things take their natural course.
A mutual friend had organized a going away dinner on Saturday night, so Jane and I decided to get together on the Friday. To talk, face to face. It had been a little over six months since we been in each other’s presence, or heard each other’s voice. We were both nervous from the anticipation. When she opened the door to let me in though, I felt what I had felt before. Our first hug was first intense, and then relaxing. It felt good.
We didn’t get to spend as much time alone as I wanted. First her family joined us for dinner that she prepared. And later we went to meet her best friend for a drink. It was a very fun night, including the pre-goodnight makeout session, but I would have much preferred spending time alone with her just talking, listening to music. As much as we’ve felt comfortable in the past, after six months apart, there will be an adjustment period. The energies between us would need time to synchronize.
Saturday was the group dinner. A nice little French resto downtown, followed by wholesome fun at a nearby bar. There’s not much to say about that night. She and I talked here and there, exchanged a few glances and kisses, took part in the conversation with everyone. Business as usual, and overall a great time. We shared a good night kiss just as she got into her friends car. Smiles all around.
The next day, Sunday, was where things degraded. A friend and I had gone again to church. Jane had invited us because a gospel choir was performing, which doesn’t happen often, and she wanted to share that with me. I arrived before she, and when she came to sit down next to me, she greeted me with a single kiss on the cheek. Immediately an alarm inside me flickered. I decided not to make much of it for the time being. We’d had a rough night, and I certainly felt hung over. Perhaps it was nothing.
After the service, we all decided to go for brunch. We didn’t have much time because Jane and her friend had an appointment to see an apartment they were looking to rent. As we waited in line to be seated, I noticed her reluctance to stand near me. Or to make eye contact. Or to make any sort of conversation with me directly. I told myself she was probably anxious about the time frame, and that these inactions were likely subconscious. In any case I wasn’t really looking to be affectionate.
When it came time to pay, three of us had cash, and my friend needed to pay by card. Since Jane and her friend were in a rush, they decided to leave ahead of us. She came in for a hug, and then kissed me on both cheeks. ”Talk to you later”, with a half smile. As soon as they walked out the door, I turned to my friend and said, “Something is off, between her and I”, “What? She’s probably just stressed about the apartment…”, “No, I know her well enough. Something’s changed in her…”
Hours later, at home watching t.v., I got a text. “I have to talk to you about something and it’s not so great “. I fucking knew it. We had a twenty minute conversation where she explained to me that her feelings we just not what she expected them to be. She said that she knew in her heart that her feelings don’t match what she sees on my face when I look at her (I never realized I was quite that transparent). She said that she knows that she sees no romance for us now, or ever.
She was the one who insisted on talking about the future so soon, she was the one was being openly affectionate. She was the one who said, “I love you”, in the booth of the dimly lit bar. I of course reciprocated, but I was not the one to initiate. She was the one coming on strong.
Once again, just as she did last September, she asked to be friends. ”I care about you very much, but as a friend. I know now that I don’t have romantic feelings for you, I know I must seem like a yo yo. I’m sorry to hurt you like this.” Again, I added. She didn’t like that. I didn’t really care.
I felt terribly burned that night. When I think back to our Saturday night good bye and then to our Sunday morning hello, I just can’t figure out what could have happened in between. She claimed that she felt that things were off the whole weekend we hung out, and that she couldn’t sleep from the anxiety (another repeat of last September). I admit that things weren’t quite as expected, but that should be normal when we haven’t seen each other in six long months.
She may be right about her lack of romantic feelings toward me. Maybe. I sense that the other anxieties of her life are again interfering, this time the source being her lack of direction after quitting school and the difficulties of landing a job. I don’t doubt that things between us felt different for her, but after all that we’ve been through, I find it hard to believe that she can so conclusively and so suddenly know without doubt that she feels nothing for me.
Regardless of the reason, and regardless of whether or not she is truly being honest with herself, it’s clear that this situation was never meant to work out. Not now at any rate. I eventually accepted her request for friendship. When I woke up Monday morning, I didn’t feel angry towards her, nor did I feel the need to escape. Instead I just wanted to do what seems the most natural at this point. Keep her in my life, as a friend. Romance is not possible right now, and may never again be. After all the ups and downs, I know that this is the only way to go forward. I’m not holding out hope for something more, nor am I trying to forget her. She must be in my life for a reason. So I’ll let God, or the Universe, play this hand out, and I will take part in whatever way I’m meant to. What will be…will be.
“I truly thought you were the one I was waiting for, the one I put all the other girls aside for. This may still be the case, but I know that now isn’t the time. I’m not going to force a situation to manifest before it’s time. The Universe, God, will take care of me, and hopefully you too. I love you, and wish you well, dear Kat. Be brave, and have faith.”
I was numb for a couple of days, but today, after many hours of sleep (I have the flu, I think), I’m starting to feel again. I don’t think I’ll have any desire to get close to someone again for a while, but that’s okay. Now doesn’t feel like “relationship time” anyway.
What’s important is that I maintain my balance of inner light and dark. So far…so good, it seems.