The New M.E. Generation

In spite of my very early ‘wake-up call’, I did manage to get a good night’s sleep. When I woke up I was feeling rested and decided to stay in bed.

But after a short while the blurry memory of the text message came back. I felt compelled in reading it in full, but decided not to. I just didn’t want to get upset again more than I had been the day before.

I decided to avoid loosing control and give myself a good breakfast with some strong coffee. Then I sat down and decided what to do next.

I had two choices, either delete the message or call him and express my discontent with what he wrote. Sounds good but getting him on the phone, that’s an impossible.

So, yes, why don’t I try the second when I will most probably won’t get my message across? If he doesn’t answer I’ll leave a message to call me back, erase the text and continue with my day as usual.

All right, let’s do this … and it’s ringing, ringing, waiting for the call to go to voicemail, and … he answered!

“Hey, how are you?” asked I.

“Fine, how about you?” said he.

Wow! For the first time that I remember, he’s finally talking normal.

“Listen, I know our dates haven’t been the best, but your message in the wee hours of the morning was too much,” said I.

“Sorry, I was drunk.” (No kidding, but at least we finally agree on something.) “But you shouldn’t have let me drive home.” (Here we go again!)

“Well, guess what? I’m not having sex with you. Second of all, it is my apartment and I will do whatever I want.”

“OK, OK, I’m sorry!”

I don’t remember what else was said, but it ended in a ‘in between’ note, meaning neither good or bad. How many times will there be an ending? When will the end of the end finally occur?

It felt like last year all over again. We were basically talking every day for long extended periods of time.

I was again telling him about all my happenings, especially those concerning guys. I was giving him too much info, which was making him jealous because he wished it were him who I was with (me too).

All those emotions we felt last year surely came back, but there was one I really needed to take care of, the hurt he caused me when he abruptly ‘disconnected’ from me.

“Listen,” said I, “ I appreciate you contacting me again and listening to all my stories, but what you did was very hurtful to me, and I’m still not quite over it.”

“I had no idea how deep it was for you. I don’t know how much more I can apologize or make you feel better. Like I told you before, finding you again turned out totally different from what I expected.

It all happened so fast, these emotions I felt again towards you, and I just didn’t know how to handle it. I shouldn’t have proceeded the way I did and I was wrong. All I can do is promise I won’t hurt you again,” said he.

I sort of felt better, but not really. Reality was we were back to where we did before: we wished we could see each other (and be together), but it’s not possible now, probably never.

So all that there’s to it is just enjoy these brief moments we have together, even in this distance, and just hope some sort of miracle might happen for us, whatever that might be.

Alex got up from his chair and greeted me.

‘Oh, my,’ I thought to myself, ‘he looks old, like he has aged quite a bit. And, was he that much shorter than me? Maybe not; it’s just probably my mega heels.’

I also noticed how thin he was. He was this way when I first met him, but was toned because he was exercising. Now he looked he has lost weight.

We said hello to each other with a big hug. I bet a huge sigh of relief came out of both of us.

We sat down and I ordered a drink. He was open for me to order whatever I wanted, even food, and he meant anything. But before I got to that part, I wanted to take care of something else.

“Listen, thanks for taking my call and inviting me tonight. I’m not here to dwell on the past and express again how sorry I am for whatever I said and I did that hurt you. So I’m just going to move forward and enjoy this moment now and wish that it repeats.”

He listened to all I was saying and out of nowhere he simply replied, “what is it that you want?”

What? I was talking about us (I think). Why is he throwing this type of question at me now, today?

All I wanted was to clear things out once and for all, not dwell into a topic I really don’t want to discuss right now.

Now what? Should I answer or avoid answering all together?

Ivan came over again and, this time, he looked really bad! His facial expression was a combination between being horribly shocked and ‘I can’t believe this happened to me.’

He and I sat down on the same chairs we did before. It was almost surreal meeting again. It had been a while, but it felt like it was the other day when he told me about his problems.

But now he looked even worse. I was beyond feeling sorry for him. Seriously, this guy was in such bad shape it felt like there was nothing that could be done to help him feel better.

I sat next to him and held his hand once more. I had no idea what to tell him, but I gave it a shot.

“You probably know, but you don’t look good.” (Maybe not.)

He wasn’t affected by my comment. “Listen, I’m really sorry for what happened. I never thought it would. You told me things were bad, but I thought the two of you would work things out.”

He was still not saying anything. “OK, I do understand what happened to you and, like I said before, you don’t have to go through this alone, even less now.”

“I know,” said he, “and I appreciate it. But, I have some fault in all this. I should have handled the relationship another way.”

“Hold on a second! Things were bad and you may have made mistakes, but that doesn’t give her permission to go out and cheat on you.

If she was so unhappy, she should have broken up with you. She then could have done whatever she wanted. But, no, instead, she gets back at you the most hurtful of way!” (Now I was getting really mad!)

Ivan’s expression sort of changed to ‘what’s up with her?’ Yep, my past experiences and feelings got suddenly relieved through another person. I quickly took notice and switched modes.

“Sorry,” said I, “but it upsets me how you feel about yourself. It’s not fair to do that in an effort to find a reason to all this. There are times when we never do. Right now learn from it, vow never to make those mistakes again, and move on. That’s all you can do at this time.”

Wow, listen to myself talk! Ivan was so overwhelmed, nothing really registered on his mind. But it was ok, I was glad he was here and that I somehow managed to give him some comfort (I think).

And, like the first time around, Ivan didn’t say much and thanked me before he left.

I was somewhat concerned about his wellbeing when he did. But, that’s for him to deal with. I think I have done for him all that I could.

You know what? I think he’s going to be all right, and so am I.

It was late at night, again, when I got this text. I was blown away to the point of beyond belief of what I had read.

I know things were bad and the worst I thought that could have happened was that they would break up. This was something that never crossed my mind.

Now I was feeling very sorry for Ivan and almost cried. Of all people I knew, he is the last one I thought something like this would happen to.

What should I do now? He doesn’t talk much, so what good can I do for him?

I decided to call him anyway and told him I was really sorry (really!) and that I meant it. He simply answered ‘thank you.’

I could tell he was really down, probably at the lowest point in his life, and even with less of an interest to talk.

But I could feel his pain. It was very deep and it was to a level I did not want to ignore. I decided to invite him to come over again to my place and talk it over, and he accepted.

I hanged up and started feeling sort of dizzy. I still cared about him and when bad things happen to people I care about, it affects me as well.

But his situation also hit a nerve. It was tapping on old times and feelings that I had thought I had already put to rest.

I kept telling myself that it’s now all in the past, that I’ve moved on, that my life is way much better than before.

I don’t need to dwell on anything else any more, period.

But, still, why do these kinds of things happen? Why?

Do we make them happen or does life have control over them?

And the connections kept on coming. But this time I wanted to connect with a guy I had known since my adolescent years which who I had lost touch with all together.

The last time I saw him I was with my ‘x’ back home eating at a deli when I bumped into him. I had not seen him for at least 10 years.

When I saw him again we were quite happy to see each other. I introduced him to ‘that guy’ and he gave me his business card. After I got back to ‘the city’, I misplaced the card or something and didn’t follow-up on contacting him.

Probably more like I putted the card away and forgot about it. My ‘x’ had an issue with me reconnecting with guys from my past, regardless if they had been just that, friends.

It didn’t matter if those former friends were a thousand miles away and I would probably never get to see them again. That guy I was married to with was so insecure, he felt threatened by them, but on what?

I mean, my ‘x’ was unhappy with me for many things, personal and physical. So instead of taking those feelings and figured it out and/or resolved them for the better, he would instead tell me he didn’t like me being friends with any guy.

My ‘x’ was such a jerk that what he was communicating was that he didn’t trust me, and I had to cut ties with others so I would ‘deviate’ from him.

He accomplished that and much more by isolating me and giving up my friendships, and what I represented for myself at that time.

I did not contact this former friend, which I later regretted. After the separation occurred, I confronted my ‘x’.

“You have no idea how much damaging that was to me you saying I had to cut ties with former guy friends,” said I.

He gave me a look of not knowing what I was talking about. Of course, he was never wrong at anything, only me.

“Who the hell you think you were to tell me who I can or can not be friends with?”

His eyes were wide open and a face he was freaking out. He had never seen or hear me this, finally standing up for myself.

“Guess what? I am friends now with all of them.”

“I don’t remember,” said he, “but all I can say is that I’m sorry.”

“No, you’re not!” said I, “You’re saying that now because you’ve always been in denial. If you had been sorry or cared about so many other issues, things would have been a lot more different.”

My ‘x’ lowered his face and eyes. I hope he feels guilty for a long time. But, unfortunately, he’s emotionally retarded, meaning he doesn’t get it. But at least I finally told him how I felt.

I did get a reply a couple of days later. When I saw it I got very happy and anxious of learning what he had written.

I was as basic as mine. He was married with a child, had his own business, and was still living in his home state. And he was happy that I remembered him.

Wow, he had everything anyone could wish for. Well, for me. I had some of that (minus the child) and thought at one time I had it all. I did, or did I? The fact now is that what I thought were the most important things in my life was all gone.

At least I felt gladness over the email. Maybe I felt some consolation that one day I could ‘have it all’ again. Now it was time to really say the reasons behind my email.

“The reason why I wanted to contact you was because I came to realize that for the longest time that I was not exactly nice to you when we were seeing each other in college. You were such a good guy and didn’t know how to deal with it and I’m sorry. I wasn’t exactly nice and I wish I could have treated you better. I am glad that you are doing well. You deserve that and so much more. Your wife is truly a lucky person to have you.”

My email wasn’t exactly that short. I had sort of an insane need to really make clear to him what has been looming over my soul that had created this pain. It was like trying to delete a double personality or something. Whatever it was, it was an episode in my life I want to put to rest.

But, why the insistence about this? I mean, it was such a brief situation in college that had such a profound impact on me. Why was I so worried about how my actions affected him back then or in the long run? For all I knew, it probably didn’t.

Whatever my reason was, I felt a huge weight had lifted from me when I finished writing. But deep down inside my pain was still there. I wish I could go back in time and make it right just in that time.

I know that I’m not that person any more. Maybe I’ve kept that emotion alive to remind myself now that when that guy I’ve been waiting for comes into my life, I won’t blow it again. Maybe then my pain will be lifted completely.

Following his second trip, Jay and I continued corresponding to each other. But, this time, the talk was about me going to Canada. He had pretty much presented a tentative week to do so, and I was waiting for the right time to purchase the ticket.

But, one day, something he said in an online conversation started to give me an uneasy feeling. Here’s how it happened: I called him via the internet, like I was basically doing every day and, don’t know how the comment occurred, but he said that there was no need for me to do so.

“What? I thought you really liked my daily texting and calls; that they were things you looked forward to.”

“I do, but you don’t have to every single day,” he responded.

“All right, I won’t, if that’s how you feel about it.”

So I did. I kept calling and texting, but to a lesser degree. I was confused by his comment and started to wonder if his feelings for me had shifted.

And they did, and I found out quite unexpectedly, through another conversation. I wanted to finally choose a day for me to arrive to Canada, but Jay was not giving me a final answer, plus his enthusiasm for me making the trip wasn’t quite there as before. I then confronted him during the call.

“Jay, what’s going on? Do you want me to make this trip or not?”

“Well, Emma do you remember what we discussed about seeing other people? (At that moment, I felt all the stars in the universe collided and a big explosion suddenly hit me.) There is a person that I met that lives in my community and I want to go out with her.”

“I never said we couldn’t see or go out with other people as long as the relationship was only of that of a friendship.”

“I’m trying to be honest with you as also discussed. I don’t know what will happen here. I could go out with her and nothing happens afterwards or she may turn out to be as someone I would like to pursue. I thought my obligation was to tell you before the date.”

I didn’t say a word for I don’t know how long. Sadness engulfed me and just wanted to cry.

“Jay, you have no idea how much I wanted to make this trip, how much it meant to me!”

“I know and I’m sorry, but I felt it would have been unfair to you for me to go out with this person, develop an interest in her, and afterwards having you come down to visit.

The other thing, Emma, is, you’re still dealing with a lot of issues that also turned me away. One day, for example, you talked about your divorce seven times in one day. You’re definitely not ready to be involved with anyone yet, especially me.”

“I didn’t do it on purpose…I’m sorry,” is all I could say. “You have your issues too, so don’t point all the blame on me. I wanted to make this trip so bad you have no idea, and now you took that chance away from me.

And I will say this, whatever outcome results of this date, don’t even think about calling me saying you still have an interest or feelings for me.”

Jay apologized again during the call. Whatever else he said I don’t remember and, quite frankly, doesn’t matter. The damage was done and so was the relationship, or whatever we had together.

After the conversation concluded, I remained seated for some time and tears came down my eyes. I knew that, in the long run, this distant thing would have ended anyways, but not this soon.

I envisioned it occurring after my trip, after finally sharing our lives to the fullest possible, after all had been said and done.

But I guess it was meant to happen this way so the hurt wouldn’t be as bad, so I wouldn’t feel guilty of doing it if it had been me the one who met someone else, before I invested any more of my feelings on him.

It was hard to accept it, but his time and presence, like all the other guys before him, had come to an end. It was time, once again, to pick-up the pieces and move on.

But it hurts; it hurts a lot.

et cetera