Posts Tagged sober

Keeping a Level Head

I spent the majority of my day and a good portion of my night celebrating the marriage of two of my best friends, J and his new bride. It was a beautiful ceremony and the reception was off the hook. After a chat with the mother of the groom, the music ended, and the time came for us all to make our way home.

Originally, I reserved a room because I thought the bridal party would be staying in the same hotel and there would be post-reception festivities. I was worried about my roommate or I driving home drunk, even though it was only a twenty-minute drive. After talking to the groom, I learned that wasn’t the case, but I was also confused what their plans were in general. I thought maybe we could grab breakfast with them before heading home in the morning. On top of this, I already paid for the room, so I figured we’d crash at the hotel. While my roommate drove, I called CK to see how his night was going. The response came as quite a shock.

In our conversation, I learned he would not be going to the circuit party, Allegria. I was not expecting this at all! A small part of me felt really bad because I knew how excited he was to go, but I have to admit, my heart fluttered for joy. I felt a huge weight lift off me. I was petrified of the result of that night, and now all that worry was gone.

When I inquired as to the reason he was forgoing the circuit party, he cited the fact that I wouldn’t be there. He told me if I was going with him, he’d still go, but it would be no fun without me. I wondered then and there what his original intentions were. Did my statement of “behave” make him change his priorities? Was he originally giving himself a free pass for the night since I wouldn’t be there? We had only been dating two months.

I didn’t know this at the time, but I later learned he would have been going with a guy he used to hook up with regularly — Someone who had actually come up in conversation between us in the past. When CK and I were discussing our relationship status a few weeks in, he was the other guy CK was “seeing” since the new year. He was the guy CK detailed in our conversation in the Sonic parking lot, noting they would see each other about once a month, which I could only assume meant hooking up as well. Had I known that, I would not have been okay from the start. Granted we’d moved past the conversation. We were exclusive. But, that message may not ring loud and clear with this other guy. He might try to seduce CK, and the temptation may have been too much to fight.

More importantly than all this, he decided not to go in the end. Regardless of what he was planning to do or what was possible, he chose me. That’s all that matters. He chose me. He put his own desires aside in order to ensure our relationship would survive. This was a huge moment for me. The other guy was irrelevant. My man cared more about my state of mind and the state of our relationship than he did about going to a party he’d been looking forward to for weeks.

We talked a bit at length about his decision. “Baby, you mean so much more to me than this. My priorities have changed since I originally decided to go,” he added. I could tell he was really disappointed, but his act of love made me the happiest man on Earth! I was so touched.

In the middle of this conversation, we pulled up to the hotel. It was a DUMP! I couldn’t believe this was the suggested hotel. Now I know why the room was $97 for the night, but still. We walked into the lobby to find no one there. As I looked to the left, I noticed the reception desk behind the bullet-proof glass. There were a few people milling about the lobby, but no one who actually worked there. I told CK to hold on a second while I processed the scene, turned to my roommate as we made horrified faces at each other, and we walked right back out the door. At this, I returned to my call with CK and told him what just happened. I told him we’d be driving home, especially since my roommate was sober. She didn’t really want to stay at the hotel from the start, so she already cut off her drinking earlier.

As we drove back to Hoboken, I had the great idea to tell CK to come spend the night at my place. If he got ready quickly, we’d arrive in Hoboken at the same time. We’d be able to pick him up at the PATH and give him a ride to my apartment. He told me he needed to gather some things and shower before he came over, so he would just meet me at my apartment.

When the buzzer rang, I jumped for joy. I was so excited to see him. I had a great night at the wedding, and after receiving the relieving news he wasn’t going to the circuit party, I was purely elated. I greeted him at the door with the biggest kiss and strongest hug I could possibly muster. I made him some food and we snuggled up on the couch to watch a few episodes of Game of Thrones until we fell asleep in each other’s arms.

Before this night, I certainly knew I found a keeper, but after his decision, I realized I may have found a for lifer. I had never dated someone who would make a sacrifice like that for me. I truly felt what it was to be loved. I don’t think CK realizes how much that gesture meant to me, and I’m not sure he ever will. But, I will certainly continue to show my appreciation by giving him my undying love every day.

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Closure

Saturday finally arrived. Smiles so graciously found time in his busy schedule to meet with me to discuss “us.” I wasn’t in a combative mood, but I was resolved in the notion that I wouldn’t be a doormat for him anymore. I had a lot of things I wanted to say to him, but I didn’t rehearse them in my head. I wanted my emotions to speak for me.

I knew how I felt, and I knew how he let me down. I was so disappointed in him for simply trying to back away from our three-month relationship instead of just speaking to me like a man. I was embarrassed for him.

We decided to meet at Doma Coffee Shop. Ironically, it’s pretty much where our relationship started (after a failed date at Employees Only). I had a few places to go in the city that day, so I took the motorcycle in. It was a nice enough day I could get away with it with a few layers.

After I parked my bike and walked toward the shop, I noticed Smiles was just arriving. We shared an awkward hello. I think he may have been going in for a kiss, but I gently turned and just gave him a hug. I had no interest in giving him any more of my affections. I’d already given him enough.

We went inside, and he ordered his coffee and began to pay. I wasn’t expecting him to buy my coffee, but it was interesting he didn’t even offer. He found a table for us to sit at while I ordered my coffee.

I joined him at the table, and we awkwardly chatted about work for a bit. Surprise, surprise — Our conversation revolved around his job once again. I was trying not to enter this meeting bitter or with a superior attitude. After all, it was a week earlier I was kissing another man in front of him. I wasn’t above him in any respect.

He talked about his business partner who was in the news at the time. Because I stay well-informed, I knew a lot of the story about the man’s current situation that Smiles did not. So when he was complaining about the man not getting back to him, I informed him of the news of the day and his new partner’s involvement in it. He was shocked to learn some of the details I knew. We were about to break up, and I was still keeping Smiles up-to-date on the goings on in the world at the time.

When that conversation got stale, Smiles kicked off the “us” conversation. He led with his thinking on the “situation.” He told me he recognized he wasn’t putting as much of himself into the relationship as he could have and how that wasn’t fair to me. He pointed out his priority of focusing on his career currently, and his schedule didn’t allow for a relationship. He acknowledged the possibility of his being partly responsible for my actions on New Year’s Eve. Over more conversation, I realized he thought I might have been acting out or doing it on a subconscious level.

I reiterated for him how little of the end of the night I remembered. I was on the verge of tears as I explained this to him. I told him I never would have done it had I been sober. I told him I didn’t initiate the kissing, but I also didn’t stop it immediately. I told him that I would like to think I stopped it relatively quickly, but I have no idea because I don’t remember a single moment of it. I think Smiles wanted to know the motivation for the make-out session. He half asked a question and then stopped when he again realized I didn’t recall any of the end of that night. I apologized emphatically and acknowledged how horrible what I did was. I choked up as I told him it was one of the worst things I’d ever done in my life. I could see that it did in fact bother him. The morning after, he told me he was okay with it, but now, I knew he wasn’t.

Sadly, it made me feel a little better knowing it upset him. It showed that maybe he, on some level, actually did care about me, even if just a little bit. At least I knew he felt something toward me.

I transitioned into more conversation of how we would move forward. I told him I was pretty much on the same page as him as far as ending our relationship. I told him I wasn’t getting enough of what I was looking for from him, and it was a direct result of his priorities.

I told him how hurt I was that he would just drop me after three months. I really stressed that point. I told him I felt so disrespected that he would just stop texting and calling like a switch, as if I wouldn’t notice or I would be okay with it. It really did hurt, because in my mind it nullified our relationship. It showed he didn’t respect it enough to give it the attention it needed, even if it was coming to a close. He told me it was because he needed time to think about what he really wanted and how he wanted to proceed. I told him he didn’t need to cut me off while he thought about it, and he acknowledged his fault.

In the end, we were fine. The whole conversation lasted roughly a half hour. He was on task and had things to do, so when the conversation was winding down, he stood and said, “Shall we go?”

We walked outside and began to part ways. I turned back and said goodbye. I also told him to call me to grab dinner sometime. Just because we weren’t dating didn’t mean we couldn’t be friends. He responded, “Sure thing sir.” I thought that was an odd response, but I’ll take it.

It was an amicable breakup. I’m not sure if I got the closure I needed. I still felt like he used me and doubted if he ever really cared for me. I never got an answer if my suspicions were true. I wondered if he’d been with other men while dating me. I wondered if he met someone else. All questions I would never get answers to. I think that is the hardest part about a breakup — The blow to the ego. We take fault and feel there is a flaw in ourselves, even if that’s not the case at all.

I would recover from this breakup relatively quickly, but I certainly would walk away with a few new scars and a few pieces of luggage to my baggage pile. I would try not to let it affect me too greatly, but then again, you can only control your emotions so much.

Hopefully, as one door was closing, another would soon be opening…

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