- Thanks to everyone who left a comment on Part I, I appreciate the feedback. I want to clarify something: I did not include many incidents that occurred; I only chose the highlights. The story began in 2004; it ends in 2006. Here is the second part of the story, which picks up where Part I left off, same day. I kept this as abbreviated as possible, in keeping with the style of the previous part. I will post the Epilogue soon.
We board the plane for home. I want a cocktail. He pays. G&Ts. At our home airport I’m desperate to get the luggage and get going. I need to get away from S. Other plans have been made. Mexican dinner. Three margaritas. Still not drunk.
Finally arrive at S’s. Ask politely to use bathroom. I walk out. “What’s this?” He holds the mailer containing the handmade card I mailed before our trip. Damn. It arrived early; it is meant for February 14. “A card. Read it. Don’t read it. It doesn’t matter now.” I leave.
The card said: I absolutely adore you.
To this day I have no idea whether or not if he read it.
Touch base with a mutual friend who tells me he’s sorry. Says I’m best thing to happen to S, he’s a idiot.
Week later, online, S asks what I’m doing. I tell him I’m going to Disneyland. He asks if I want company. Rock and hard place. We have a nice day, relaxed, no confrontation, no tears. He looks like he wants to say something; he doesn’t.
We see each other over the next couple of months: dinner, theme parks. Excruciating pain. Still want to touch him, kiss him. I still feel empty. I meet other men, mostly for sex. Time passes. We have less and less contact. I make a change at work: new position, new department, different responsibilities, new adventures. Moving on. Best thing.
S tells me he plans to quit teaching, move to San Diego, go to massage school. WTF?
I delve back into theater. Pirates of Penzance. Great fun. He wants to come see the show. I offer to make reservation. He says “For two.” He brings date. Awkward. Pretend it doesn’t bother me.
He sells me washer/dryer. I pick them up, he barely helps load them in my truck. Missing part; return for it and we go to dinner. I drive away and don’t think about it. Realize I am over him. No longing. No well of sadness. I can be near him without wanting to hold him, kiss him.
He calls. Asks me to go to Walt Disney World with him. I agree. Visit him at his new place in San Diego. We discuss trip. Dinner, show. Against better judgment, stay the night. He spoons me, asks if it is ok. Yes.
We are friends. Nothing more. I do not feel the longing as before. Time heals. Trip to Orlando. Together but separate, good time. Lots of laughs. Old days return. Third night, I want to spoon. “Don’t.” Slept on couch. Despite that, overall great trip.
We don’t see much of each other but try to stay in touch. This is new, remaining friends with ex.
Invitation to naked pool party. Snow Monkeys. Late March, heated pool. Feeling good, happy. First to arrive. Others soon come, S included. He seems “off.” I say hello, he doesn’t say much. I’m first in heated. Drinking beer, eating, having good time. Attempt conversation with S; he barely responds but talks to others. I leave him be. Someone asks S why he is like Eyeore, so doom and gloom. Does he have a bad boyfriend?
S responds: “That’s all I’ve had.”
All eyes turn to me. Knife back in chest. Anger. Hurt. Embarrassment. I get out of pool, dry off, start getting dressed. Friend asks what’s wrong. I break down, sob. Can’t breathe, can’t think, numb. Friend comforts me. I escape.
Week later, mini-Gay Day at Disneyland. I want to go but dread presence of S. Maybe he won’t be there. He is.
I ignore him. I do not speak to him. I avoid him. Smart boy catches on quick. He approaches, says hello, asks how I am. “I’m well.” Someone calls to me, I walk away. Not easy and yet what I do. Must do.
Later, waiting for fireworks. Our group numbers 25+. I decide to go have cocktails. Hug and kiss everyone goodbye….except S.
It does not go unnoticed.