After such an amazing trip, it was hard to come back to reality.
Eric eased that transition, however, by treating me to an amazing day before I had to go back to work.
We lingered over brunch and then went for a walk. We spent hours in these eclectic little shops in a nearby town. We got to wander around, pausing to touch or kiss each other.
I fell in love with a purse in one of the shops we visited. This purse cost about 5 times what I've ever paid for a purse. (What? Doesn't everybody buy purses at the Fair or at the discount shoe stores?) I asked for Eric's opinion. And walked around the store with the purse over my shoulder. I'd needed a new purse for about two months, but hadn't anticipated buying one that day. I had just gotten back from a rather pricey vacation, and didn't know if I could justify spending that much on that particular day. Eric never gave me his opinion. The fabulous man who worked at the shop told me to go look in the full-length mirror in the next room. That clinched it. The purse would be mine.
Later, when pressed, Eric admitted that he would have told me to hold off on the purse since I'd just gotten back from that trip. I appreciated that he allowed me to make that choice completely independently of him. And I'm proud of my purchase. Even my therapist told me a few days later that it's a "bitchin' purse".
I was somewhat out-of-touch with most people while I was away. Eric and I still emailed fairly regularly and managed one late-night phone call. TF and I texted a few times. I updated my facebook several times but didn't respond too regularly to comments and whatnot. Well, until I was with Z. Because that was just entertaining. ;)
Ari texted me several times while I was gone. Said she wanted to see me when I got back. I knew I'd be spending the day with Eric, but I was happy to try to connect for a bit. Her insistence about seeing me so soon made me think she had a present for me. Maybe because when I find a perfect little something for a friend, I have a hard time holding onto it until the next "occasion". In fact, that Sunday, I found a little piece of perfection that I knew NOF needed that day. I called her and we dropped by that night so that I could give it to her.
Ari had something for me. But it was news. And it certainly wasn't a gift.
Perhaps you remember this guy? The "one of the few who could possibly understand what I was feeling made himself available for my sobbing phone call"? Yeah, that guy.
A dear, dear friend of mine. The one who told me I was overdue for being selfish... And how that set me off on the path of doing the first selfish thing I'd ever done... And everything that came after put me here.
There had been a brief interlude in another city when he thought I wanted something to happen with him. And, not wanting to strike a blow to his ego (which is a bit bigger than I'm a fan of), I didn't tell him that he saw signals that weren't there. Because I came to a conclusion a long time ago. This man's friendship means way too much to even attempt anything physical. I have learned the hard way that friendships don't survive kissing and this one means way too much. The one with Leon didn't matter half as much as this one. I was angry after that interlude when he didn't talk to me for nearly two months. And the next time I heard from him was when he was crying over another girl. And I was okay with that. This is a man with whom I can grieve. Like, really and truly grieve. And that's not something I take lightly. This friendship is sacred.
And while I introduced him to HRT and Ari, it was only because they were there. Not because I wanted to share him with either of them. This is a friendship that I have always felt was truly mine. For every major thing that has happened in my world in the last 3 1/2 years, for every pivotal event or revelation, this man has been somehow tied into it.
This man is someone with whom I have shared emotional intimacies. This man has seen me far more naked than if we had ever had sex. He's seen me raw and bleeding. And I've seen the same of him.
They had begun an online flirtation in the previous five days. And she stood there, trembling before me and Eric, waiting for me to hug her and be as thrilled and giddy as she is.
And I simply couldn't do it.
Because at the moment she told me that they were talking, I felt a piece of me ripped away. The level of intimacy that I once shared with him is gone. He has been sharing intimacies with one of my closer friends. Which means I never will again with him.
I was absolutely devastated.
And when we walked into the olive oil shop for some tasting, Ari stepped out for a few minutes, and I cried to Eric. And he was great. Never asked me if my feelings were anything more than friendship, which I appreciated. He just listened and offered some feedback, all of which was welcomed.
Later, the three of us got something to drink at a table that faced a sidewalk. It took Ari nearly 30 minutes before asking me if I was okay with her news. And I told her I wasn't. It killed me to see her texting him, knowing that they had already discussed me. And how to tell me. And who should tell me.
The following evening, thanks to a well-timed skype session, I gave them my blessing. The fact of the matter is that I do love them both. They do deserve a shot at happiness.
But, yes, I'm grieving. And the only person who seems to truly understand my point of view is, shockingly (or perhaps not so shockingly?), the Ex.
Even Eric says "never say never" and uses US as his example.
But I know this with every fiber of my being... My friendship with him will never be the same. I will never again call him to cry. About anything. That aspect of our friendship is over.
And I must say that in these early days of grieving... Seeing them all over each other's facebook profiles kind of disgusts me. I wish it didn't hurt so badly. But it really, really, really does.
So, I'm embracing this grief. I will move through it in Real Time and I will move on.
But I know there will be times when I will miss our talks. Because they were torn from me with no warning. He tried to placate me with "you know I can keep a secret." But that's so not the point.
And if the truth is told? I'm really kind of pissed off at her. Because I've been in her position. With her, as a matter of fact. And I did not behave the way she has.
I will come to be happy for her. And time will heal these wounds. But they will leave a scar.
I guess he and I were simply a longer Season.
Thinking of Kelly on her birthday
2 years ago