Sunday, January 24, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
He kissed the pulse point directly below my ear before whispering, "I wish I were going home with you."
I shook my head slowly as his face turned to meet mine. "You know that isn't a good idea. We agreed. Just dinner."
"I know. I wasn't asking you to come home with you. I was just telling you what I wished. There's no harm in saying what I want is there?"
I should have answered him. I should have said Yes. There is harm in that. You saying what you want, so often - so honestly, is what got us here. But I didn't. I pushed my face into his chest, pulled my arms a little tighter around his waist and just felt him against me.
"When will I see you again?"
"I don't know. Let's not think about that now. We'll start smaller. What if I just promise to call you this week?"
"I'll take anything I can get."
I knew he truly meant those six words, but he seemed so sad as he said them.
I'm not good for him. If I had any heart at all I wouldn't have called him and asked him to dinner. He wants things I can't give and won't pretend I can.
"I'll call you. Before Friday. I promise."
And that's all I can do right now.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I hadn't remembered the floor plan of the restaurant very well. The bar was as I'd remembered with two separate Hibachi stations in the center of the floor across from the bar; but I'd remembered the walls being lined with booths. They'd redecorated. Booths lined one wall, but the other had several small four-chair tables.
I'd wanted a booth. It would allow distance between us and a face to face conversation. He knew I wasn't a same-side-of-the-booth person. But all the booths were taken. The Hibachi was out of the question since we wanted to be able to talk so we chose a table by default.
Any ideas I'd held that he'd sit across from me were quickly dispelled. He pulled my chair out, seated me and then chose the seat caddy-corner and immediately pushed his chair to the very edge of the table.
"Is this okay?"
The expression on his face was so hopeful that I couldn't/wouldn't say anything negative. "Of course. Why wouldn't it be?"
"I know you have your whole personal space thing, but it's been so long since I've been around you, I just want to be as close as I can. If you're uncomfortable, or if you get uncomfortable, just tell me and I'll move across the table."
"No, you're fine. Really." And though I didn't think I meant the words as I started to say them . . . I did. It was fine. I wanted the closeness, too, though admitting it to myself cost me something intangible.
He smiled. It changed his entire face and I realized that whatever it had cost me was worth it.
His nervousness. That drew my attention first. He paced rapidly up and down the small sidewalk in front of the restaurant. From time to time his hands would lift to pull at the ends of his hair then absently pat it back down into place.
He reached the driver's side door before I even had time to reach for the keys. "I thought you'd never get here!"
I smiled and shook my head, "I'm 15 minutes early."
He glanced at his watch then grinned the crooked grin that I hadn't known I'd missed until that moment, "Oh. Well. Hmmm . . . Hi?"
I shook my head again, laughing quietly, "Hi to you, too."
He hugged me. It was a bit longer than what should have been comfortable, but I didn't mind. I felt a million things in that embrace: confusion, sadness, loneliness, happiness, fear, love, joy, pain, emptiness and completeness. They were all jumbled up and tumbling around.
I could hear him inhaling deeply. "God, I think I missed -this- most of all."
"The way you smell. It's just clean and soft and perfect and . . . . it's you. No one smells the way you smell."
I laughed again, pulling his face around to my own. "You give the strangest compliments."
Monday, January 18, 2010
I'll see him tonight for the first time in two months.
It would hurt him to know what I've done with our time apart so I won't tell him. I won't lie or tell half truths. I won't avoid or distract. I'll simply state a truth that I know he won't question.
"You don't want to know."
Our time apart taught me much. He is not as needy or clingy as I originally thought. His predecessor taught me the meanings of those terms. He is as devoted to me as he has always claimed. He saw no one in my absence. He called weekly and left a voicemail stating simply, "I love you. Call me when you're ready." I am not ready for this, but my selfishness has to end at some point and I have to give him a real chance. He deserves at least that much.
So tonight when the clock's hands read 7:30 we'll be seated at a cheesy Hibachi grill exactly halfway between both our homes and we'll talk. We - and when I state "we" I truly mean it this time - will decide if we want to begin again.
Whether we should or not.