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But Not Always

May 14, 2009

I mentioned a night or two ago a letter that had been written to me by a high school ex boyfriend and the way that, on top of a million other things, was affecting my general outlook on life that night.

I said,

“Sometimes, it is my fault.”

Tonight I get to tell you, “but not always.”

This evening, I talked to another ex– if you could call him that because while we dated fairly exclusively it was never really a spoken agreement, it was short-lived, and I’m not sure we ever got to relationship status.  He is one of the men you’ve seen mentioned here time and again, but tonight, because I know he might be reading, I will not specify which one he is.  He’ll know.  That’s what matters.

We spoke for more than an hour.  We did some serious laughing.  We did some plain old “serious” too.

The thing about he and I is that we are so much alike, it’s scary.  We get each other because other than our geographic locations, we are at the exact same point in our lives.  We have degrees that are doing us no good, the majority of our friends are north while we are south, and we’re basically struggling with staying afloat in every way you can imagine.  We went back and forth today, one person saying, “I just wish I could…” and the other saying “I KNOW! ME TOO. And you know what else?” and the first saying, “I KNOW! ME TOO.”

And then he said, “I just thought by now I’d at least have started some sort of career… have had a steady girlfriend, a group of friends I could count on…”

And I said, “I know. Me too. Except for the girlfriend part.”

And he laughed and said, “Yeah, but that’s my own fault. I always screw that up.”

And there we were, once again, having this conversation.  The first time had been an instant message conversation, though.  This was a little more real.  I could hear it in his voice.

Not only was he sorry that it hurt me, he was actually sorry that he’d let me go.

And as long as he was opening up, I decided to pry in a little further to figure out what had really happened.  And while most of the answer I got wasn’t an answer so much as exasperated stuttering punctuated by a frustrated “I don’t know,” I did get confirmation on one thing I’d always suspected.

One thing I’d accused him of quite sharply in a letter I don’t remember ever delivering. You know, in an attempt to keep The Crazy Flag at half mast, at least.

But I’ve got this leftover tendency to believe that when these things don’t work out, it really was something I did or didn’t do.  In this case, I think back to one night where I’d fallen asleep on his shoulder on his couch while watching What Dreams May Come, and when the movie ended he nudged me awake and told me I could still walk home if I wanted (I was on campus and he was right across the street so it wasn’t a big deal to do so) or I could crash on the couch, or if I wanted, I could crash in his bed with him.

I’ll tell you the truth.  I didn’t know his roommates really well so the couch wasn’t an option for me, and I was so sure that I was going to fall in love with him that I didn’t want to mess around with anything that I could do to screw it up.  So I kissed him goodnight and threw my tennis shoes on and frolicked on home through the December snow in the street lights, probably singing to myself.

Oh, who are we kidding? I was singing. Out loud.

And after that night, things inexplicably changed, and so that is the night I always go back to and think, “What if I’d done it differently?”

Now, logically, I know this is silly.  That doesn’t stop me from wondering every now and then.

But tonight, I got a peek inside his head.
It seems strange that we talk more openly now than we did then.
But we hardly knew each other then.
And I suppose there is less at stake now.

And he told me today.  He said, “I am the one who screwed up.”

And I replied, “That makes me feel so much better about my entire life right now.”

Yeah, I really said that.

Listen, I’ve never been in a long term relationship either.  And I know there are reasons for that… a greater plan at work… fate, destiny, whatever.  When I think about getting myself into one, I scare myself a bit because I don’t know the first thing about maintaining that kind of relationship.

What I do know now, though, for sure, is that I am not necessarily the reason these relationships can’t seem to last.

Sometimes, it is my fault.

But not always.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 14, 2009 11:34 am

    It’s nice to get confirmation, clarification and closure on things sometimes. Good for you to talking to him about it :)

  2. May 15, 2009 12:17 pm

    The not knowing is the hardest part. Curious why you switched to word press. xoxo

  3. May 17, 2009 2:12 pm

    I love that you said “That makes me feel so much better about my entire life right now.” Bold is good. And freeing.

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