Just one last thing to say before it is “the wait and see proposition” it is always meant to be…
She says how was your day and I say fine noncommittally. She sits down in the chair. Our desks are so close that the backs of our chairs almost touch when we are working. That is how close she is now, only she is looking at the back of my head. She does this when she wants to talk. Only she has learned by experience to wait to speak until she has my complete attention.
I slowly spin around to face her. I sit quietly, waiting for her to speak. I amuse myself with thoughts while I wait. “Ok, our Jeopardy categories for today…words that end in ing, famous bad movie endings, I am sorry I’m a fuck up…”
“What are you thinking about?”
“Nothing.” I say too quickly.
“Are you ok?”
“I am. You?”
“It’s up and down. I feel so bad for hurting you like I did and ruining where we were. ” There is more silence. It takes her so long to speak. It is agonizing sometimes. I never know if she is waiting for me to speak. She should know by now I only speak when I have something to say. I am on the verge of spinning back around. It is amazingly uncomfortable for me just to sit and stare while waiting for her. She closes her eyes tightly. A sign that she is thinking very hard. I decide to wait it out. Finally she speaks, “You know I never meant to say I was leaving. I’m sorry I fucked up. I know how you hate to feel like the other shoe is about to drop. How you hate insecurity.”
“I guess I have to learn that I have no control over this. I just know every time you say it I put up more walls. Insulate myself from feeling bad or scared.” I add, “I must say that if you ever do it again I will show you the door. I can not handle the uncertainty of the next time.”
“I understand. You said things had gotten better recently. Until I fucked it up again. What was it that was so good?”
I think about how to phrase my words carefully. It comes out bluntly anyway. “You were good. You were easier. You were processing how you felt and discussing it instead of just accusing me of making you feel this way or that way.” I am on a roll now. “To tell you the truth, I don’t think I changed anything I just didn’t have to react to you, defend myself all the time.” She looks down and this causes me to pause. I have said too much maybe.
“You talk like it’s past tense.”
“Well, I didn’t mean to imply it is. I was just answering your question.”
she is again quiet for a long time. “I just don’t want you to give up on me.”
“I’m still here aren’t I?” I never know how to hold my face when I say things like this. My mouth hangs awkwardly. My eyes dart in no particular way. I can not look at her. My face may betray my thoughts – thoughts to cruel to share.
I wonder if I still feel “in love”. I wonder if I still want to be in this relationship. The irony is that my heart is saying run as fast as you can and it is my head that keeps me here. How is that for backwards? My connection is more about living up to the commitment I made than to being in love.
Love still resides in my somewhere as I am convinced if it were not I would have moved on months ago. But if she were to ask me am I still in love with her what would I be able to say?
“Are you still in love with me?” The earth shattering questions revels itself just a quickly as I think it.
“Oh,” It is obvious my pause is uncomfortable for her. Be very clear I tell myself. “I know I must be otherwise I would have left this relationship long ago.” The color drains from her face. I stumble for more words. “It’s not to say I don’t. I am just not happy right now. This is not the relationship I would have chosen for myself. I want to be happy. I want to want to be with you. And only time will tell if those feelings will return.” She finally breaths.
“Ok.” She rolls the chair forward reaches out and covers my hand in hers. “I love you. I am trying to fix what I messed up. If you’ll let me.”
“I’m still here.”
the wait and see proposition