The relationship MO has quietly changed. Scott and I used to see each other three to four days a week. He'd call me when he got home from work, shower, and come over. He'd bring his work clothes, walk my dog for me in the morning, and go straight to work.
Now he's over every night. He cooks our meals, we watch TV or a movie, and then he leaves. At first it was a welcome idea. I'd crawl into bed early and clean out my TiVo or watch my Grey's DVDs. But after a couple of weeks, my bed became lonely and the nightmares had slowly crept back.
One night I stood at my front door and watched Scott walk into the hallway. I was fully inebriated from the evening's activities--I left my friends' happy hour and met Scott at the restaurant he used to cook at. The owner had hired a mixologist who was testing recipes for his new restaurant. Glass after free glass of booze was handed to me: celery vodka, gin-champagne, black-cherry rum. I was drunk and I was horny and I wanted my boyfriend to spend the night.
"I miss you spending the night with me!" I blurted to his back.
He turned around and grabbed me. "I'm doing this for us," he said. "For the relationship. For piece of mind."
"So... is this normal?" I asked N. We were in the break room steeping our morning tea. I wasn't hurt or offended, I just wanted to know.
She nodded. "More importantly, it's healthy."
~Tuesday, July 31, 2007
The relationship MO has quietly changed. Scott and I used to see each other three to four days a week. He'd call me when he got home from work, shower, and come over. He'd bring his work clothes, walk my dog for me in the morning, and go straight to work.
Love, Sarah at 3:19 PM|
~Monday, July 30, 2007
Sunday morning confirmed my suspicions that I am indeed not pregnant. It swept upon me with such a sudden fury that I tried to figure out what I had done in the past to warrant this kind of pain. Scott got up to smoke and turned the living room TV on while I showered. I was sniffling while I brushed my teeth and by the time Scott came to inspect the sniffling, I was crawling back into bed.
I began to sob. Body-racking sobs. It just hurt too much. Scott jumped back in alarm. Besides a wayward tear, he's never seen me lose it. Not even when I wrecked my motorbike. He hovered over me and covered me up, "Baby, don't cry. Please don't cry," he pleaded. His voice was so worried and high-pitched that I stopped sobbing just long enough to see if he was about to cry as well.
"Does it normally hurt like this?"
"No," I thought my body handled the Plan B so well, but now I could check off every one of the side effects.
"This is all my fault," he crooned.
Scott went into the kitchen and returned with a glass of water and enough Advil that I actually thought they were M&Ms. I took four and he helped me out of my clothes and back into some PJs. I got so dizzy I fell and he caught me and helped me to the couch. On the couch I laid my head in his lap while he stroked my hair.
"Baby, I have to go to work now," he said after about 20 minutes. I nodded. "But if you need anything--anything--just call me. Okay?"
I began throwing up shortly thereafter. I didn't bother calling him. He's hourly and if he left to help me, it would actually cost him money. I wasn't going to do that to him.
I was supporting myself on the kitchen counter when Scott used his key and came back into my apartment. "I couldn't leave you like this. I called out to work. Here, I went to the local bakery and got you breakfast." I turned around and he held a coffee cup and a cinnamon bun. I wanted so much to tell him I loved him in that moment.
Last week Mez wrote about What Women Want and in the very short and reasonable list was "To be looked after when we're sick." In her comments section I actually stated that was the one thing I wanted the most and now he's standing in my kitchen with a cinnamon bun. I felt like I had everything on that list.
He gathered me up and put me back on the couch. He flipped through the channels and settled on A.I. Underworld came on next, but my lack of interest put me back into my bedroom to lie down. Scott followed me and climbed in, spooning me. We napped.
I woke up to ESPN. Scott had just sat down on the couch and his hair was all disheveled from sleeping. I popped more pills and climbed in his lap while he watched NASCAR. I'm not a fan of racing, but he was spending his afternoon with me and fielding calls from his bosses. He rubbed my back without me asking.
Only my mother has taken care of me like that. This morning I got up and fished my cinnamon bun out of the fridge and poured myself a glass of iced tea. I walked to where Scott was still sleeping on the couch (he never made it to bed) and I unwrapped one of his arms and put it around me.
"Morning sunshine," I murmured into his temple and kissed his hairline.
"How are you feeling," he mumbled.
"I feel good. It's 8 o'clock and I'm heading to work. Thank you so much for yesterday, it really meant a lot to me."
"I was happy to do it."
I brushed his hair back, kissed his flushed face, and left the sleeping boy on my couch.
~Saturday, July 28, 2007
I called my mother to tell her that I had been seeing someone for the past few months. I actually am at a loss with how to tell her. It would seem awkward as an announcement. I figured I would just stop lying about my plans. It would go similarly to this:
Mom: What are you doing tonight?
Sarah: I'm going to go see a movie.
Mom: Oh? Who with?
Mom: Who's Scott?
Sarah: This guy I've been seeing the past couple of months.
See? Not too terrible.
Instead, it went something like this:
Mom: What's new?
Sarah: I got contacted this week to do some freelance work. A neighborhood association wants me to create their website for them. It'll bring in some extra money for me.
Mom: Well just remember how to spell "instrument" correctly on your business cards this time, unlike when you were 13.
Sarah: CAN I NOT TELL YOU ONE THING WITHOUT YOU CRITICIZING ME? THIS IS WHY I DON'T TELL YOU ANYTHING! (Hangs up phone.)
So it looks like it will have to wait.
~Friday, July 27, 2007
Wednesday night Scott called me to let me know he got home safely. As we were saying our goodbyes, I said, "I'll talk to you tomorrow." I'll talk to you tomorrow is a big deal for me. Tomorrow is typically substituted with later or soon. Tomorrow sets an actual time frame. It suggests a level of comfort and familiarity.
I sucked my breath in. It was the first time I uttered it. If he replied with a later or a soon, I was going to be humiliated.
"Yeah," he yawned, "I'll see you tomorrow."
He took my talk and raised me a see. I pressed my tongue between my teeth and smiled.
Ifs are becoming whens in our vocabulary. I find the transition rather frightening. It pushes me out of my noncommittal comforts. If Scott actually paid attention, he would know that I have never said the word "boyfriend." And when I say "girlfriend," I use it in third person. I'm committed to him mentally, physically, and emotionally, but I'm not committed in my vocabulary.
He says, "When you meet my parents..." Actually, he already set a date. August 5th, I'm meeting his entire family.
I haven't exactly told my parents that I'm seeing someone. When they ask my plans, I flat-out lie about whom I'm with. If the pregnancy thing becomes true, it's going to serve as a shock to them in more than one way. (By the way, I don't have that special feeling associated with being preggers, so I'm going ahead and assuming everything is okay.)
I don't know if I'm ready to depend on when yet. I wish I could fast forward through the next few months until I'm already there. But I'd miss the falling part. I'd miss the part where he knelt down where I was sprawled on the floor and just kissed me for minutes. I'd miss the part where he left again last night and I blurted, "I miss you spending the night with me!" and he came back in the door, cupped my face in his hands, and told me he was doing it for us, for the relationship.
It's scary and it's exciting and I don't know what direction we're taking. Kinda like "Thriller"
~Thursday, July 26, 2007
Sarah: Hey, boss. I'm doing the website updates and I notice the support plan for our software is increasing by exactly 1,000%. Is that right?
Boss: I know we raised the prices, but let me check. (Flips through some papers) Yep. That number is right.
Sarah: Oh, are we just trying to price ourselves out so no one will buy it anymore?
Boss: (Through gritted teeth) No, Sarah.
~Wednesday, July 25, 2007
"Fffuck. Shit. Damn. Oh God!"
Why do guys swear when they're about to orgasm?
In my experience, guys swear like drunken sailors with Tourettes when they are about to cum. This is especially so if the orgasm is originating from oral sex. Most don't even swear much during normal speech, but wrap some lips around them and it's like those are the only words they know. Or maybe it's just the guys I've been around, and if this is the case, I would like to know this as well.
I asked Scott last night. He thinks it's an American thing. He believes men learn it from porn where the women scream obscenities--they watch it at such a young age and it just becomes ingrained in them. I'm not buying it, but I don't have any other alternative theories.
Is swearing before orgasm a purely American thing? Do you or your partner swear? Why? Answer anonymously if you want, but I'm curious about it.
~Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Jack announced he had a new blog entry up and curiosity killed me so I had to read it:
It's funny what a little time and perspective can do for someone. Previously I would have thought his new "friend", as he alludes to her, somehow used him or treated him badly. Now I laugh at his self-entitled sniveling. Of course he thinks she should appreciate him more, he is, after all, Hot. Shit.
A Hot. Shit. who plagiarizes Dylan Thomas on MySpace.
The week that Jack and I ended things, I read in the paper that the bartender we had on our second date was mugged then shot and killed right outside the bar. Then a few days later, as I was driving past the restaurant we had our last date at, I saw the SWAT team surround the place. I think the incidents serve as the final punctuation for our relationship.
That or I need to seriously question the safety of my side of town.
And then you're in the grocery store with him one night and you announce that you "could really go for some corned beef hash" as you pick the can off the shelf and put it in your basket. He looks directly at your stomach and asks if you're okay.
~Monday, July 23, 2007
So... not a whole lot to report on. Mainly because nothing has happened.
When I've taken Plan B (Levonelle) in the past, it's always made me get my period immediately, as opposed to staying on my cycle. That didn't happen this time because I took the damn drug almost five days ago and nothing.
Which basically means I'm going to be playing the waiting game for the next few weeks.
I went to the website and read up on the drug and exactly how it works so I could figure out what was going on with my body:
Plan B® works like a birth control pill to prevent pregnancy mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary. It is possible that Plan B® may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg (the uniting of sperm with the egg) or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus (womb), which usually occurs beginning 7 days after release of an egg from the ovary. Plan B® will not do anything to a fertilized egg already attached to the uterus. The pregnancy will continue.
This sounds all fine and well, but I've already ovulated. Last week was actually the worst week for it to happen because I was smack dab in my fertility lollapalooza. It says the drug "may also" work in the situation I need it to, but that's not what it's designed to do. I think the best thing I could have done was to take it within the hour, but we'll see.
Scott is a lot more confident after talking it out with the guys at the shop the next day. Meanwhile, I'm slowly going nuts at the idea of waiting two more weeks and I haven't said anything to him about it. I'm not going to. He just won't be able to absorb the information rationally.
And I guess I shouldn't be peeved the guys at the shop know all of my business. I just told the whole Intarwebs.
Love, Sarah at 11:11 AM|
~Thursday, July 19, 2007
The condom broke last night.
And so begins Pregnancy Watch '07.
After we realized what happened, I jumped up from the bed and got in the shower. I knew it wouldn't solve anything, but thorough washing was the only proactive thing I could think of. I pulled back the shower curtain and jumped when I saw Scott sitting on the closed toilet, "I called Walgreen's--they do have Plan B like you thought."
Scott. The look on his face when he saw the broken condom. Considering his previous experience, I knew he was not going to handle this scare very well. I knew I was the one who had to remain calm and collected. I wrapped a towel around me and went into my closet to get dressed, "Well it's a good thing they're open 24 hours."
Scott trailed behind me, "This is what happens when you have sex. You have to be prepared for the consequences. Are you ready to have a child?" When Scott gets serious, his voice can sound patronizing when it is not his intention. I tried to remind myself this.
"You can't be serious."
He followed me into my closet, "Are you ready to have a child?"
"Why are you asking me this?"
"Are you ready to have a child?"
I felt trapped. Trapped in my closet and trapped by his question. I reached down and grabbed a t-shirt to pull on, "I'm not answering that." I began to shake. I knew this would freak him out and that I had to be the coherent one, but he's in my closet sternly asking about babies.
"Hey hey hey, come here," he stopped me from turning away and pulled me to him. I looked at his face for the first time and saw his lip was trembling and his eyes were tearing, "It's just, I didn't ask that last time. And I should have. I need to know."
He closed his eyes and leaned his head back. At first I thought it was a sigh of relief, but he was actually wincing.
"I'm not ready for a baby," I clarified, "But if I don't have a choice about it, I'll deal with it. I'm 26 with a stable job and health care. People actually plan babies when they're my age." I slipped my shirt on and grabbed my car keys. "Look, if you don't want to go, I can go pick up the drugs by myself. You can stay here or go home if you need to. I can handle this." He was so close to breaking down that I wanted to give him an easy out.
"Don't talk like that. I'm staying by your side."
"I'm a big girl. I can take care of myself."
I've actually taken Plan B before and I'm confident in the drug, but Scott wasn't. No doubt the scare put him in the throes of his first pregnancy. He teared up and described the events: what happened, what he felt. As much as I held on being the strong one, I faltered when I heard all the details. A nervous habit, I began to clean the apartment.
"Will you stop folding the sheets for one minute?" He took the clean laundry from my hands and stuffed it in the chair. "Are you okay?"
"I want to hear you say you're okay."
"I'm with you in this. For the long haul. I'd fight for it." And maybe it was supposed to be a romantic moment, but I felt like another mistake. I want love before a baby. I want someone to marry me because he wants to, not because he feels obliged to. Mostly I wanted to stop talking about pregnancy, because the Plan B is going to work.
~Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Ignore the children looking all safe in that photograph, what I want to direct your attention to is the practice of the DOT now placing signs in the middle of the road. Signs have no business taking up lane space in an already narrow city street. Streets are designed and paved for cars, not people. People are welcome to cross when they have the right of way and I'm actually a huge advocate of that after a few incidents of slamming my fist down on some car hoods while trying to cross. But signs have no business being in the middle of the street.
I demonstrated this fact yesterday afternoon. I was driving home from work and I was going around a corner where cars infamously waver out of their lanes to keep their speeds high. A car in the outside lane began to veer into mine; I adjust my truck accordingly to not get sideswiped and BANG! My side-view mirror crashed into the crosswalk sign that hogged the middle of the road and part of my lane. It should be mentioned that there's NOT AN ACTUAL CROSSWALK THERE.
The glass explodes like someone shot it with a sawed-off shotgun and the mirror flips into my driver-side window, cracking the window glass. Then the mirror shoots right off the side of my truck and dangles by its wiring. Holy fuck that was fast and loud and scared the shit out of me.
The crosswalk sign is okay. Apparently too many people were hitting it and knocking it down, so the DOT decided to reinforce it with steel poles. Awesome.
I'm so horrified over what just happened that I decide to abandon that lane altogether and merge into the right-hand lane. Only I was so shaky that I drove up on the curb. I reached the traffic light and stopped. I had a crap day at work, followed by exploding glass and a near miss involving a woman jogger and a tent of a stroller.
I think I'll cry a little, I thought. It's been awhile and I think this would be an okay time to do it. So behind the wheel stopped at a red light I begin to sniffle.
And of course. Of course because I live in a city of 6 million people Scott would pull up next to me and see me cry through my open window. That's right.
He flipped up his helmet visor, "What happened to your mirror?"
"I don't want to talk about it."
He pulled his motorcycle right up to my window to inspect the damage, and he hovered over me and grinned that I- know- you- and- I- know- you- did- this- to- yourself- because- damn- you're- accident-prone smile. "What did you do?" he smirked.
"I broke my mirror!" I wailed.
Scott followed me back to my parking deck and helped me reattach the now shell of a mirror. We tested the remote mirror control and it still worked, but the puddle lamp had also blown. He made a list for me of things I needed to buy from the parts store. "None of this should be too bad," he consoled. "I'll fix all of this for you."
"But you work everyday."
"I have Monday off. I'll just drive you to work and do the work on your truck then. And add brake pads to the list. I don't want you driving on yours anymore. It's not safe."
He's worried for my safety. He's going to fix things when I break them. He takes the bad and makes it go away. This relationship stuff is pretty awesome.
Or maybe just he is.
Peach nominated me for an award:
That's right, I rock. She said it so it's true. I tried to tell her that she confused "poignant" with "bat-shit crazy," but she wouldn't listen. Peach could easily drink me under the table while she charms the mens with her talented writing style and strong voice. I've become a little obsessed with her sidebar. And she nominated me!
Okay, so it's my turn to nominate five female bloggers:
- *kb* at For once it's all about me!. I am obsessed with her preoccupation over the ME. I can't get enough. Luckily for me, she feeds my addiction by updating several times a day. At all times I am in the know over the ME. I love it.
- M-Joy at You can't make this stuff up... As Guy continues to try to emotionally attach to her, M-Joy turns him down and then second guesses herself. Does she like him and is afraid to admit it, or is it all just great sex? I have no idea, but I can't wait to see where this goes.
- the copasetic fish at the copasetic fish. I knew there was something I loved about her as I poured through her archives one afternoon when she made a reference to it: This Fish. I am a This Fish fan; she is a This Fish fan and her writing remarkably touches on it with her common themes and circular storylines. Even in the midst of all the romantic cynicism, the copasetic fish still dares to reveal her heart in some quite memorable posts.
- Nomes at Miss Adventure Continues... is a new distraction of mine. Usually I hate girls from Czech because they are all so damn gorgeous I can't stand it. Nomes is no exception, but she's also bright and hilarious. I wish we could be bff while drinking bottles of wine on the Orient Express. I hope she finishes her 100 things.
- Where would I be without Blue Soup at Blue Soup? We work at similar companies, she loves to drink and take photos and publish them on teh Intarwebs, and she loves her rats for heaven's sake. And when she gets really angry she writes in British colloquialisms that I barely understand, but think is the most adorable thing ever.
Also, (Not-so)Single Girl tagged me to list seven random things about myself:
- I think I have a big head. I've never had my big head theory confirmed, but I'm taller than most of my friends by at least three to four inches so naturally everything about me is a little bigger, including the size of my head.
- I get unbelievable spouts of road rage that will never make it on the blog simply because it is too damning. I won't even realize what I shouted at perfect strangers until I already said it. I'm told time and time again that I'm not invincible, but so far I've been pretty fortunate in my confrontations. I think I would secretly like to throw down just once to see if I can do it.
- You wouldn't be able to tell from my blog template, but there is a lot of pink in my life. My cell phone is pink, my iPod earbuds are pink, I wear it a lot and the color makes me feel good.
- I just got a haircut the other day and I had over four inches taken off. I went from long, straight hair to shoulder length with choppy layers. I haven't made my mind up about it yet. I think I liked the long hair a little more.
- The actress I resemble the most is Michelle Williams. I am perfectly okay with the idea of having Heath Ledger's baby.
- I have to talk on the phone while I drive home from work. I have no idea why I need to do this. No, I can't just hang up and drive. Yesterday I called a guy friend I haven't spoken to in three months just so I would have someone to talk to.
- I think Will Ferrell movies are hilarious. Even Anchorman.
Love, Sarah at 11:02 AM|
~Tuesday, July 17, 2007
The e-mail I sent to my friends explaining that Scott and I were going to try and work things out was not an easy e-mail to write. Like denying accusations of being an addict, I found myself refuting their beliefs that I was a victim. He accidentally ripped my sleeve, not as a way to punish me or hurt me, but as a means of removing me from blocking the exit, I wrote. I knew the words--even if they were the truth--would sound like a hollow excuse to them.
So I was not surprised when no one responded to my e-mail.
The night Scott dropped by to talk, I wasn't supposed to be home. I was actually supposed to be meeting my friends for happy hour drinks. But when I called a few people for directions, no one picked up the phone. And the next day when I called to confirm our 4th of July plans, once again my messages went unanswered. It took a week for us to get back in touch.
"The last contact I had with you was the e-mail about Scott and I trying to work things out," I said quietly to Harvey. "I haven't heard from anyone since and I think it's because I'm staying with him."
"We just don't trust him anymore and don't feel safe around him," she explained.
Safe? They don't feel safe around him? They think he's going to harm them? He's not a maniac, I thought. My friends haven't even talked with me about the fight since it happened. All they know is when I called them crying and hysterical. They haven't heard from me now that I've had a chance to calm down.
"Can you blame them, Sar?" I called Mel who had been out of the country during the whole episode and was being filled in as she walked off the boat. "I don't want him around me anymore either. I don't blame them at all."
Another week passed. Not one return phone call, not one e-mail, not one text message, I haven't even received so much as a MySpace comment from my friends. I assume our rafting trip has been canceled because it was last weekend and I didn't hear anything about it. Scott had noticed my somber outlook and sudden lack of plans, but declined to say anything. He was smoking and we were having another conversation.
"You know," he inhaled, "You get very quiet when something is bothering you. You're whole demeanor changes. You can't hold things back like this."
"I didn't want to tell you because there is nothing you can do about it and it will only hurt you, so there is no point in you sharing the burden."
"They don't like me anymore?"
He inhaled again, "I suspected as much. You went from seeing them three times a week to not mentioning their names in two weeks."
In those two weeks, Scott and I have repaired the damage. We restarted with a couple of dates-- a dinner, a trip to the movies--and have worked our way back to lounging around my apartment, watching TV and smoking. We don't see each other nearly as much as we used to and have managed to live on some sort of schedule. The code word has yet to be used and the mood has mostly been light. Scott and I are going to be fine.
"Yeah. Younger than me, which makes them way younger than you," I teased, bumping into his side.
"Nothing bad has ever happened to them in that suburban bubble of theirs. They don't have the experience you and I have."
"Funny. The only people who are supportive of us working things out are my two confidants at work: N and Mike. They're both in their thirties. One is a divorced lesbian and the other gained four foster children last year."
"See? Well it doesn't hurt my feelings that they no longer like me. I sort of expected that. It will just be awkward the next few times we get together and then we'll all move on."
I just wonder when that's going to be. In my last e-mail exchange with Katie, she wrote, I don’t know if I’m ready yet… he has a LOT to prove… and I’m not sure if I’m ready to let him start. In the two weeks the contempt for Scott has transitioned from worry about me, which I understood on some level, to how it affects them. That's what I don't understand. She's not ready? It's not her relationship; it's my relationship.
I hate that my friends have put me in the middle. On a weekly basis I am now forced to select who I want to be with, either Scott or them, because it's obvious I can't have both. I hate that they are the ones who are making me choose. Honestly, it would be easier if it was him forcing a decision upon me.
And that is the problem with your friends knowing the problems between you and your beau, wrote Mike. They will never see him the way you do. They will never understand him the way you do. (This directly applies to telling anyone about marriage problems as well.) I think you are going to have to stop telling them about your relationship issues, since this is a serious “boyfriend”. When you are dating, it is at your discretion to tell them what you want. When you are in a “relationship”, like you are, you have to keep some things confidential. If you need to lean on someone, you need to pick one person, and swear them to secrecy. Those are the rules, and I don’t write them. That’s the only way you are not going to end up in the middle of this kind of crap.
I think he's right.
Love, Sarah at 9:01 AM|
~Monday, July 16, 2007
After the initial shock of the whole ordeal, I stopped crying. I packed all of Scott's things he had left into a bag and put it in the back of my closet. I threw my robe in the trash can. It was old enough and I've been needing a new one, and I knew I would think of the fight every time I saw the tear. His entire presence in my life had been removed within the hour.
I'm not used to fighting with someone and having him come back. When I fought with my mother like this a few years ago, we didn't speak for months. My father had left home even before I had a chance to fight with him. The time I yelled at Jack had effectively killed what was left of the relationship. I packed Scott's things because I didn't know what else to do.
I felt like a failure once again. I studied my bruises from my accident which still hadn't healed yet; the bruises lasted longer than my relationship. How pathetic.
The next night I heated up some dinner for one, set my TV tray in front of some very bad reality TV, and began to eat. There was a knock on my door and I raced to answer it. It was my neighbor coming by to pick up a package I kept for her. I knew she was coming by, but yet my chest still sank when I realized it wasn't Scott coming to work things out.
Being alone again wasn't terrible; it wasn't bad at all. It's the way I've lived my entire life and I just viewed things as getting back to "normal." Normal being alone. I stirred my potato soup and made a disgusted face at the TV.
Then there was another knock on the door. This one was much softer. I raced back to my front door and saw Scott's lanky figure in the hallway. Hurrah!
When he asked if he could come into my apartment, my chest sank again. I knew things were not okay. And when he asked if I had a minute, I took my dinner off the TV tray and put it away. I knew I would no longer be hungry.
I leaned in to kiss Scott. After leaning halfway up to him, I stopped. If he had to ask to come inside, he probably didn't want to kiss me. I felt foolish thinking otherwise. He leaned his head down and saw me tremble as I debated the kiss before slowly moving in for the peck.
The dog came out from under the bed and slowly approached Scott. She wagged her tail at the sight of him and submissively laid her ears back, her furry feet lightly padding at the floor. Scott reached his hand down to stroke her and she turned and looked at me.
"It's okay, dog."
"See? Momma said it was okay. Come here." She moved all the way up underneath him and wagged her tail some more.
I turned off the TV and Scott began with how we moved too fast with each other. He said he did that once before and the relationship didn't go very well. Unconsciously, I drew my legs up to my torso and moved the pillow in my leather chair to my chest, blocking my heart from Scott. I knew the words were coming. We moved too fast, I can't do this, blah blah blah. My first relationship in two years and it was over in under two weeks.
"We can still see each other. We just have to tone it down some," he finished. I must have made a weird face because he quickly added, "But I didn't even ask you how you feel."
I broke my contact with the floor and looked up at Scott. I think I cracked a smile or nodded because he continued without me speaking.
"I spoke to my boss about everything and he brought up one point that I can't shake. He asked if alcohol was involved in any of this and I said, 'Yes, in all of it.' He wouldn't even let me continue talking, he just said, 'Well there you go. That explains everything.' I can't stop thinking about it. We can't continue like this. One or two beers are okay, but getting hammered every night--it's just not good."
I couldn't believe what he was saying. When Katie came over to sit with me after the fight, she asked if there were any circumstances under which I think I could forgive him. I had said, "No more sex and no more alcohol." Not only has he reached the same conclusions, but he also put just as much thought into the relationship as I had. He said he didn't sleep at all Sunday night. He wants to take this seriously.
"I actually put some thought into that," I spoke up for the first time. "I've already cut myself off and I haven't had a drink since then," I gestured to my Diet Coke sitting where my dinner used to be. "I already decided no more alcohol."
"Well one or two is fine."
"Not for a month. I need to prove that I can do this."
"I don't fight like that, Sarah. The only person I ever fought like that was with my ex-wife. You and I fought like we had been married 20 years."
"I don't fight like that ever either," I mumbled.
"We fought before we knew how the other person responds," he continued. "Now that we know how each other works, let's use a code word so the other person will know to just stop so we don't ever hit that point again."
"Ha, like a safety word?"
"Exactly," he chuckled. "A word that isn't used very often so we recognize its use."
"I vote for 'banana hammock,'" I wanted to lighten the mood.
"We could use 'banana hammock,'" he said, not laughing quite like I wanted him to. "But this word is what I use, so let's use that."
Scott then asked for his phone charger and was surprised when I handed him the bag I packed his things in. He remarked at the bulk of it.
"Wait. Why is this already packed?"
"I didn't think you were coming back," I looked at the ground.
"Aw, it was just a fight. Couples have those."
It made me realize how new to this I really am.
He said we would do dinner soon and I walked him to the door. After initiating the first awkward kiss, I wasn't going to do it again so I was relieved when he extended an arm to hug me and kiss me.
~Thursday, July 12, 2007
Scott said he'd call tonight and he didn't. I wanted him to. He said we weren't over--he didn't even have to think about it. But I don't know why he wants to be with me.
He just flipped out exactly like he did on Friday. We were in bed together and I said if I wasn't moving fast enough for him, I could stop. He agreed and I called his bluff. Then he got up, got dressed, and began packing everything he had here. He said he was drunk. He said he didn't want to be here anymore and he wanted to go home. I began to cry; I didn't know what I did wrong. I grabbed his arm. Stay. Talk to me. He yelled at me not to touch him. But I didn't know what I did wrong. I stood in front of the door and told him to be a man and talk to me. He ripped my robe sleeve trying to move me out of the way. He didn't touch me, just tried to move me by my sleeve and it ripped. It's an old robe, but it surprised me. I dropped to the floor thinking if I looked small he would lighten up, but instead he tugged me out of the way of the door.
Just this morning we were talking about Fight or Flight Syndrome and I said I was a fighter and he said he flees. He fled.
He was so great to me, even up to the minute he flipped out. He was my first chance at love in years and I don't know what I did wrong. He said he would call, but didn't. I wanted him to call. I wanted him to apologize and tell me how sorry he was. Instead I had the police sent to my door when I was naked. They searched my closets and asked me to press charges. I said he never touched me. He said we were still together. I don't know why he would say that after this ugly fight.
I wonder who he called, what he's feeling. Does he think he fucked things up? Is he sorry? We had the perfect morning this morning. We woke up at 4:30 a.m. and I laid on him while we watched TV. The world was asleep, but we were awake and it felt like our little secret. He cooked me breakfast. We played around in the pool. He told me I was fun. Then he snapped and I don't know what I did wrong. I was happy this morning. Now I'm shaking and I'm scared. I thought he liked me. Everyone did. I can't remember the last time I was treated as great and as loving as him. I thought this was my chance. He said we were still together. I wish he called like he said he would. We were so happy. I don't know what I did wrong.
~Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Scott stay. Talk to me. Tell me what's wrong.
No. I don't want to be here anymore.
I don't know what I did wrong.
Don't touch me.
Be a man. Tell me what's wrong.
Don't block the door.
Don't run away.
I have to leave.
Talk to me.
Get away from the door.
Be a man.
If you don't back away from the door right now, I'm going to climb down your balcony.
I don't understand what's happening.
You just ripped my sleeve.
I need to leave. right. now.
Your key is in the door.
So this is it?
No, I'll call you tonight.
I don't believe you.
~Tuesday, July 10, 2007
On our way out to dinner, my phone began to ring.
"That's strange," I said while fumbling through my purse to retrieve it, "That's your ring tone. Are you calling me?"
Scott felt his pocket, "Nope."
I looked at the screen, "Oh," and I dropped it back into my purse.
I held up my hand and waved it side-to-side. It was Christopher. He called me out of the blue the previous month while I preparing to go out with The Musician. He never explained his disappearance on me over a year ago, but he was happy to get back in touch with me. We made plans to meet up, but I canceled to go to the movies with Scott. Since Scott and I settled down, I have yet to pick up Christopher's calls, which means that he's been dialing incessantly.
"So what, you keep us all on the same ring tone?"
Busted. I have 5 groups of ring tones: family, coworkers, girlfriends, platonic boyfriends, and boys.
"We were together for about five months. I haven't seen him in over a year. I'm not going to."
"Well you do what you have to do."
I frowned at his response. It was too apathetic for my liking. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"You do what you have to do. I don't mean it as an asshole comment. But I'd prefer it if you didn't see him."
That's what I wanted to hear. But I kept thinking about his initial comment: he gave me permission. I spoke slowly, choosing my words carefully. "Just to be clear, when I say 'boyfriend' and 'girlfriend,' I mean that relationship is exclusive." We decided on always being totally honest with each other when we first met, and I was using this opportunity now. With other boys I would have let the comment go and it would fester in me like an open wound, but I didn't feel like I had withhold myself around Scott.
"Yes, when the couple specifically decides that."
I pulled up in front of the restaurant and put my truck in park. I frowned.
"What?" he asked.
"It's just that I thought we did have that conversation." I thought back to the two conversations we had and tried to think of the wording. I definitely said monogamy.
"Last Thursday and Friday," I mumbled. I felt silly and foolish in the event I was wrong. I put myself through all that emotional torture over the relationship for no reason. It turns out I jumped into it by myself. And with myself.
I stared at him across the seats, "So we are?"
But the panic began to rise in me over this colossal confusion. What if I did it all to myself? How did I misread everything that badly? My breathing got shallow and I began to shake.
"Whoa! What's wrong?" he jumped out of the truck and ran around to open my door.
"It's just... I've been operating under that assumption for the last week."
"I haven't gone out with anyone else in the past week either."
Yes, but he was also laid up in my apartment because of his accident. The answer wasn't good enough. I clenched my fists over and over to try and get control of my hands. Scott looked down at them. He's seen me do this a few times already and knows it's a nervous habit when I'm upset. He saw it for the first time when I wrecked the motorbike and couldn't stop shaking from that. "But I thought we were monogamous as of last week," I whined.
He grabbed my hands and rubbed them, "I did too. It's just you put me in check when that guy called and you said you were going to see him."
"But I said I wasn't going to see him, " I sniffed.
"Well I didn't hear the 'wasn't' part."
"So it was just a reaction then?"
"Yes, you put me in check, " he put his arm around me as we walked into the restaurant. I was surprised that he put it that way--as an offensive chess maneuver--because I don't see myself having the power to hurt others. They only hurt me.
As soon as we got inside I ordered a very stiff drink to calm my nerves. He spent the meal telling me that he's 31, ergo he's beyond games. He's made it very clear he's looking to settle. Once again, before the anxiety attack could come full force, he put me at ease. I smiled at him.
"Hurry up, your pool is only open for 30 more minutes," he said, scooting back from the table.
"Wait! I still have half a beer!" I exclaimed.
"Scott, I will have you know that I am a lady and ladies don't--"
"Whatever. I know where you went to college. And I know that you can chug a beer because of it," he grinned.
Touche. The boy was right. "Fine. Race ya," and I picked up my pint glass and won.
"I love you," he laughed.
I knew he didn't mean it like that. He wasn't in love with me, he merely loved me as a person. And I was okay with that. I was happy with that.
But I still changed the subject just in case.
I woke up at 6:30 in the morning cramped. I willed myself to fall asleep without moving and, as far as I could tell, I hadn't. I stretched out of the fetal position and looked lazily to the other side of my bed.
It was empty.
I saw the kitchen light was still on, so I got dressed and headed into the kitchen to flip it off before returning to bed. Instead I found my back door wide open and Scott sleeping on my couch. I sighed and was relieved he didn't leave, but I wish he would have come to bed. Would it have been so awful to sleep with me?
I sat down on the edge of my couch and rubbed his chest until he awoke. He looked at me and fell back asleep. Fight still on, I guess. I headed back to bed and set an alarm so he could get up for work. Each time I woke him up, he soundlessly fell back asleep. I considered my obligation fulfilled and turned off my alarm. Finally he dashed into my room, said he was late, and kissed me goodbye.
I felt horrible in the morning. I couldn't shake off the pit in my stomach. And it dropped even more when I saw he left his cellphone behind. I was spending the day at my father's house and he needed it for work, so I tucked it in my purse and drove to his shop on my way out of the city.
"Did you just wake up?" he asked.
"No, I've been up."
"You're awfully quiet."
I was quiet because I didn't know what to say. I don't know how to react to the whole "It's not you; it's me" line. I wasn't going to let him hurt me or show him that I cared. The wall was up.
He stroked my face, "I'm sorry that I got mad last night."
I thought it was queer that he would describe it like that; I never really thought he was angry throughout the whole ordeal. I ducked my head out of his eye line and nodded at the ground.
"What did we fight about?"
"We didn't fight. You flipped out."
"I don't remember anything." It explained why he apologized for getting angry--he didn't know what happened. All he knew was that he slept on the couch and I was obviously not okay. I wasn't entirely surprised he couldn't remember the night. He was still on his painkillers and drank a lot the night before, including shots of jaeger. His tolerance is high, but it's still a lot for his 6' 1", 150-pound frame. "What did I say?"
I left out a lot of details. I didn't tell him what he said about marriage. "We had just finished having sex and you kept saying that you really, really liked me and that you had to leave before you screwed things up."
"Mmm. From what it sounds like, this is what happened: I don't want sex to ruin the relationship. The relationship is way more important to me. It sounds like I wanted to protect it." He brushed back a strand of hair and embraced me, "I know it sounds really fucked up, but this was a good thing. Believe me."
"So why did you stay?" I told him about the state my apartment was in when I awoke.
"I don't know. I must have passed out."
He scratched my dog's head as she tried to climb out of my truck to be with him; that dog loves him more than any guy I've ever dated. When he's around, her whole face lights up and follows his every move. "You stay with Momma," he whispered to her in the cartoon voice we both reserve for her. Then he brushed dog hair off my black spaghetti-strapped shirt, "You taking her swimming?"
"Will you be back for dinner?"
"Yup." I finally tilted my head up towards Scott so he could kiss me goodbye. The kiss was almost precarious: I still refused his stare and chose instead to look off to the side and our lips met with gentle trepidation.
I had hoped that he would admit some of the things he yelled at me last night, but he was pretty nonreactionary. He never explained what he said about being spooked or the exact depth of his affection towards me. He only interpreted his actions, not his words.
~Monday, July 09, 2007
"Oh my god."
"That's Courtney," he pointed.
We were sitting at a bar outside of the city. He re-met all my friends and we were having a pretty perfect night out. He'd randomly come up behind me and nuzzle and kiss my neck. He laughed it off when Helen called him by the wrong name. We were the only people in the bar dancing and kissing and we didn't care.
"Which one is that? You have so many exes that I can't keep them all straight. Oh!" Courtney. The last girlfriend he had. The one he said he could picture himself marrying and now she's engaged to someone else. That Courtney.
She sat at the table in front of us and kept looking in our direction. She was older looking and very plain in her glasses and pin-stripe button down. Complacent, I called her. I leaned back and smiled; I'm much prettier. I didn't even need confirmation from anyone else in the room to know it either. Courtney stoically sat next to her fiance, an older man with salt and pepper hair, unwisely dressed in a Parrothead Hawaiian shirt. She looked back to Scott and then grabbed her fiance's hand, not making eye contact with either man.
"Does she live out here?"
"No, she lives in the city."
"Well, what are the odds that the both of you would leave the city one night to go to a small bar and watch an 80's cover band?"
He debated going over to say hello, but decided against it. He leaned over the table and grabbed another beer out of the bucket. We had been drinking a lot the week he stayed over. I'd come home from work, he'd take me out to eat at one of the restaurants he used to work at, and we'd come home and drink seven or eight beers. A piece. I told him I needed to cut back, but purely for the reason I didn't want to get fat. Besides, buying 3/4 a case of beer from the grocery store every night was starting to feel expensive.
We left the bar early--he had to work the next morning--and headed back to my place where we immediately stripped and fell into bed together as we had done every night the past week. Afterwards Scott got up and got dressed.
"I have to go home."
"What? It's after 2 a.m."
"I have to leave right now."
Previous excuses from previous boys began to fill my head: I left my alarm clock on and I have to go home so it won't annoy my neighbors. "Fine." It was cold and distant and everything it should be when I emotionally shut down.
Scott crossed the room and laid his head on my chest as I looked away, "It's nothing you did. You didn't do anything wrong. I just have to leave right now before I screw things up."
"You're screwing things up right now by leaving."
"The last time I felt this way, I married the girl!" he let out in a strangled high pitch. "I'm spooked, alright? But I'm spooked in the best possible way. It's like I found this pot of gold with you and if I don't leave right now, I'm going to fuck things up!"
My feelings were hurt. But they weren't. He was yelling at me, but he was yelling the best possible things to yell at someone. I was confused and I didn't know how to react. We just encountered his ex and now he wants to leave and I didn't know if the two were related, but I did know that leaving right after sex is the worst possible timing. I just wanted him to climb back in bed with me and fall asleep with me. I wanted to believe his words, but I didn't know if I could trust them. This is just another beginning of an end, I thought. I remained stone cold and distant, "If you want to leave, fine. You don't have to justify your actions to me."
"I'm not justifying anything to you! You don't get it!" he hollered. I heard him walk out of my bedroom and into my kitchen. I heard him grab his cigarettes and open my back door to smoke. I was afraid to show an ounce of emotion or an ounce of anything, so I remained motionless in the fetal position and facing my bedroom wall. I willed myself to sleep; I didn't want to hear him leave me.
Out on the balcony I heard him go "Arghh!" I didn't know if the frustration was aimed at himself or at me. I hoped it was at himself as I closed my eyes.
~Friday, July 06, 2007
My hands tightened around my steering wheel.
"You just totally looked at me like I'm an asshole," Scott said.
I woke Scott up early in the morning. I told him he had to get up and walk around to see if he could drive himself to the doctor's or not. If he couldn't, I would call out sick to work and take him. Instead he grumbled and said he wanted to sleep. He said he would be fine. I went to work and he called me and said he got a 1:30 appointment, but he couldn't ride his motorcycle. I had to go to my boss again and tell her that I needed to leave early. Scott and I hadn't even been together long enough for my employers to realize my change of status, so I know I must have come off as some insane idiot.
Scott had been protesting everything I tried to do since his accident. I wanted to take care of him like he took care of me. The only difference is that I readily gave up control and he didn't. I tried taking care of him and I was only getting balked at. I told him I knew what I was doing--five years as a lifeguard and I'm both fully certified and experienced at handling first-aid--but he wouldn't listen. And instead of calling out for the day like I wanted, I had to leave early, explaining my whereabouts to my boss.
"I'm trying Scott, I just don't know what to do with you. You've just been so argumentative that I don't know if I'm doing the correct things."
He softened up, "You're going a great job. I'm just trying so hard to not be codependent like I have been in the past."
"It's not codependency when you're openly bleeding."
I pulled my SUV, which feels safer and safer everyday, into Scott's doctor's office and quickly noticed it was a free clinic. He goes to a free clinic.
I've never seen a free clinic before.
I was embarrassed, not for the people inside, but for me. I had come from work to take him, meaning that I was dressed professionally and sporting my $400 Coach leather bag. My purse alone would pay for their collective doctor's bills. My doctor is a friend of the family. I can call him up and go see him whenever I want. And if he's too busy, I can always call Harvey's father, also a doctor. If I had known, I would have changed and left the bag at home.
We grabbed seats in the corner. At least I was sitting next to Scott. And good for him for getting medical attention within his means. He could get money from his parents and go elsewhere, but he chooses not to. That's admirable.
Scott got called away and then I realized I was sitting alone in the free clinic. I pulled out my mp3 player and unwound the earplugs to listen to my music and zone out, but then I realized my surroundings and put the mp3 player away. I opened my lunch, drive-thru from McDonald's, and began to eat instead.
At the sight of my french fries, three Mexican children ran away from their mother and grabbed the seats around me. Three Mexican children surrounded me and stared at me while I tried to eat. I looked helplessly at the mother, who didn't care what her children were doing.
I looked at the kids, "You're not supposed to eat food from strangers and I'm a stranger."
They don't even speak English! my head shrilled. I ignored their presence and ate hurriedly. Clearly their mother wouldn't want a stranger feeding them no matter how hard they begged, right?
The children kept speaking to me in Spanish. I never took a single Spanish class. I didn't know what they were saying, so I kept ignoring them while sending mind waves for their mother to collect them. This is just rude.
Then one kid leaned towards me and blew a raspberry. I just got spit in the face by a Mexican kid who doesn't speak English at a free clinic. It's a doctor's office, which means one or more of them are probably ill, and now his saliva was on my face.
I quickly began to lose patience. I am from upper-middle class suburbia. I grew up around senators and quasi-celebrities. I spend more time at the country club than I do at the free clinic. If my mother knew where I was right now she would flip the fuck out. I'm about to flip the fuck out. What am I doing here? I have no business being here. Why didn't I call my own doctor for Scott? I should just get up and leave. I should just--
"Hey baby it's just going to be a couple of more minutes," Scott leaned his head out the door. I saw that his arm was in a sling.
I jumped out of my chair, "Are you alright?" I whimpered. The sling meant he was hurt; my heart leapt at the sight of Scott.
And that's why I'm sitting at the free clinic on a Tuesday afternoon.
The verdict was a separated shoulder and a chipped collarbone. The doctor said it's only going to get worse before it's going to get better and wrote Scott a prescription for hydrocodone. And absolutely no motorcycle riding.
We filled his prescription and then I drove to his house for the very first time. I had been telling him for a few days that I really want to see it. I joked that I needed to make sure he wasn't married anymore or living with a girl and that's why I hadn't seen it yet. As if it were possible, Scott's apartment was smaller than mine, but it was immaculately kept.
I collapsed on his futon while he packed a bag. It was decided he would stay with me for the next few days. He couldn't drive, much less use the left side of his body, and I lived closer to his bike shop than he did. I could pick him up in the afternoons and his boss could swing by and get him in the mornings. This also meant I had to give Scott my spare key. First week in and he's staying with me and has the key--this relationship was moving quickly.
As predicted, the hydrocodone made Scott loopy and pretty out of it. We rented a movie and he immediately fell asleep, taking up all my couch space. I squatted on the floor and brushed his hair back, trying to wake him up.
"Come on, let's go to bed. This couch isn't good for your shoulder."
"You're taking such good care of me," he murmured.
"I'm trying, but you're so stubborn."
"That's one thing you'll learn about me fairly quickly." He opened his eyes and cupped my face in his hand, "I don't know what I would do without you. I can't drive. I'd be stuck in my own apartment and not be able to do anything."
"Well you took care of me."
He sighed, "I know. I can't believe it. A couple of weeks ago we were just riding motorbikes together. Then you wrecked and then I wrecked and now I'm here. I just don't know what I'd do without you," he repeated. "It's crazy how all this happened."
I dismissed it and put him in bed. Everyone knows that hydrocodone has opiates in it.
~Thursday, July 05, 2007
I sighed and stared out my office window at work. The weather had gotten so badly so quickly. I flipped on my IKEA desk lamp as the sky turned a foreboding gray. This morning I drove to work with the windows down when it was both sunny and breezy, but now I saw rain pour onto the parking lot simultaneously in two different directions. It's a good thing I didn't actually buy that motorbike, I thought. Otherwise I'd be stuck at work because I wouldn't want to drive it home.
My phone began to play The Killers "Mr. Brightside" and I picked up Scott's call. "Hey babe, I don't get off for another 30 minutes," I answered.
"I laid my motorcycle down."
"It started to pour and my front tire hydroplaned, then my back tire hydroplaned. I was just about to steady myself when I hit a pothole. Instead I laid the bike down and slid about 20 feet. Right up to the red light. I was lucky I didn't slide into the intersection; that's a major road."
"Are you okay?"
He was supposed to say "yes." You're supposed to say "yes" when you've just been in a scary-sounding accident.
"I need you to come get me and possibly take me to the ER," he finished.
I buzzed my boss to tell her that there was an emergency and I had to leave. I had to fulfill my girlfriend duties, and I didn't mind, I just didn't think it would be three days into the relationship. In the rain and the rush-hour traffic, it would take me 30 minutes to cross town.
"That's fine. I tried to ride further. I made it to a tattoo parlor. I figured they had everything I needed: antiseptic, bandages, stuff to clean me up with and get me out of the rain."
In the SUV the coincidence hit me. I met and got together with Scott when I wrecked the motorbike and he took care of me. Two weeks later and he wrecked it and now it's my turn to take care of him.
So I was surprised when I got to the tattoo parlor and found him in the chair getting the back of his neck inked.
"I have so much adrenaline going through me right now, I'm not going to feel anything anyways!"
Oh my god. Oh my GOD. He just had an accident, bringing up ERs, he can't move his left arm, AND HE'S GETTING A TATTOO.
"Um, how much longer are you going to be?" I asked. I mean, I only ran out of work early to pick your body off the road, no worries on the tat thing.
"15-20 minutes," he responded.
"Well seeing as how we are only two blocks from my building, I'm going to go let the dog out."
"You don't want to stay and watch?"
"I would, but the dog..." Hell no I didn't want to stay and watch.
I returned, the dog freshly peed and I was out of my work clothes and into sweats. I got to examine Scott for the first time. His ankle was cut to the bone, he had a road rash stretching up his calf, his shirt was torn where his shoulder took the brunt of the fall, but the boy was grinning.
"Now we drink," he said.
"That sounds familiar," I smiled.
We recreated our first date by going to the same dive joint we went to after my accident. The first time we were there the place was packed and we were forced to sit in the corner at the back bar. This time the place was empty, but we walked around to the back bar and claimed the same barstools. And ordered the same drinks. This time the conversation was more comfortable and intimate.
We didn't stay as long as we did the last time. Scott's adrenaline was beginning to wear off and what he was gaining in pain, he was losing in patience. We stopped by a drug store and filled a basket with big bandages and hydrogen peroxide and made sure we were restocked on Advil. While we were paying, a guy behind us points to Scott's ankle, "Hey man, you're bleeding."
I picked up the basket and waved it at him, "It's why we're here."
Scott began to balk at me. He was in pain, but he wanted to do everything himself. He didn't want to stand in the shower while I poured entire bottles of hydrogen peroxide down him from his shoulder to his ankle. He didn't want to sit still while I rubbed Neosporin on the 10 cuts and gashes he had. He didn't want Band-Aids, he wanted the wounds to harden. In the end, he would only accept my Superman ones.
He doesn't have health insurance, and I checked his shoulder and nothing was broken or poking out where things shouldn't be poking out, so we decided to try and wait until the morning where he could just go to the doctor and not spend as much money (thanks American health care!). However every time he woke up in the middle of the night, he would cry out as he grabbed his shoulder. I didn't sleep well; I was afraid of rolling into him or accidentally knocking him. Every time he cried out I asked if I should get dressed and drive him to the ER, the closest one is on my street not two miles away, but he insisted on waiting until the morning.
~Wednesday, July 04, 2007
The next morning I steeped my tea bag in my mug and sat down on the couch and rolled my computer to me. I clicked around on a few web sites before landing on my MySpace page. Sipping on my tea, I stared at my Details box. It was time to change my relationship status.
In the end it was my decision to not be single anymore. Yet when it came to the follow through-- announcing the relationship, changing the MySpace status, actually saying the word "boyfriend"--I still wasn't ready. I closed out the Firefox browser and got dressed.
I slipped on my favorite Lucky jeans with my favorite heels, planted my sunglasses on top of my head, and headed out the door. I drove to the motorbike shop where Scott worked this Saturday morning; I owed the shop a check for the damage I did to the bike. It was gay pride weekend in the city and he was busy helping customers who wouldn't actually deck the motorbike on test rides. I waved and took a seat by the counter.
In walked a boyish girl with her father in tow. She sported a white Yamaha bike jacket in the middle of summer as she wandered through the motorbikes. When Scott approached her, she said she wanted a bike to match her jacket. I stifled a laugh. What a tool, I thought.
Scott plopped down on my couch and uncapped a beer, "I got asked out today."
"The girl with her father."
"In the jacket?"
"Yeah, her. It was weird. I told her father that you and I went riding the other afternoon and he asked me later on in the day, 'So what happened with the girl?'"
"That the father is trying to set up her dates."
"I told him twice that I had a girlfriend. And then I'm driving the girls' motorbike back to her house for her and she wanted to ride on the back. I stopped to get something to drink--it was just so hot out today and I was so thirsty--and she asked why we stopped. I told her I needed a drink and she said, 'Oh, I thought it was so you could ask me out.'"
"And what did you say?"
"I didn't respond. I avoided it. And then she's driving me back to the bike shop and she asks for my number."
"Did you give it to her?"
"Yeah, she's a customer. But if she ever asks me out, I'm going to tell her that you and I got back together."
"Back together? We just got together last night."
"It's the easiest way to let her down."
I huffed. I was not happy with the situation. The story hit a little too close to home: I met Scott at the bike shop where he flirted with me and gave me his number. We had been together for less than 24 hours and the boy was handing out his number to other interested girls. Even a giant toolbag who buys a multi-thousand dollar motorbike based off a $100 bike jacket that she wears when she's not actually on the bike.
"I told you before that if I'm helping a gay man, I will act a little more flirty if it gets me the sale. It's the same with girls. If she wants my number, I'm going to give it to her. I'm not actually going to go out with her."
I huffed again and drank from my beer glass. The guy I'm seeing is openly handing out his number--his real number--to other girls. Hmph.
"What's wrong? You and I decided from the very beginning that we were going to be brutally honest with each other. So do it: be honest."
"I'm uncomfortable with you giving out your number to other girls!" I half-choked and half-proclaimed.
"The way you're looking sideways at me, you're skeptical. You're skeptical of this whole relationship thing and I know that. I understand that. I can work with skeptical. But what I can't work with, however, is distrust. You have to trust me. This isn't going to work if you don't trust me. It's the reason my marriage failed. So either you have to trust me or we're not going to do this." He grabbed me and pulled me to him, "Besides you're acting like I get asked out all the time. I'm just a skinny guy; it's flattering when girls like me. And the whole time I worked there you are the only one I went out with."
I was surprised Scott knew I was skeptical of the relationship thing. I guess Tell me when you're sleeping with someone else is a bit of a giveaway. But if he could handle my skepticism and all I had to do was trust him, I guess I had no choice. I had to take the leap of faith.
~Monday, July 02, 2007
The next night Scott came out with me to my usual Friday night haunt. He was meeting two of the most trusted people in my life: my best friend Mel and my coworker N.
We sat down at the table and Scott immediately took the blame for us showing up late. It wasn't entirely his fault, but he didn't want me to get into trouble. It was a kind gesture. Then he leaned across the table towards Mel, "To make it up to you for being late, how about you and I sing a song together?" Mel smiled and immediately warmed up to the evening.
My nerves, on the other hand, were shot. I ordered the fishbowl margarita and clapped when the giant drink was placed in front of me. It came with four straws, presumably because it has enough tequila in it for four people, but I happily sipped out of the one straw. Tequila for four would surely keep me preoccupied for most of the night.
Or for about an hour or so.
The next round of drinks came around and N's lesbian wife frowned at her Jack and Coke. Scott picked up the drink and frowned as well.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"It's not made very well," he said. "Let me go fix this," and Scott got up from the table and walked through the bar with the drink. I smiled proudly at his initiative.
Let me know when you start sleeping with someone else increasingly began to sound like a dumbass statement. My own words screamed at me in my own head.
I leaned forward to the table, "Y'all, I think I made a mistake."
"What did you do?"
I told them the story of the night before and how I turned down his offer. Both girls yelled at me, "Sarah! You didn't!"
"Yup. I think I should correct this."
"You need to. Immediately."
So when Scott sat back down--the new drink was on its way--I tugged at his sleeve, "I changed my mind."
"I changed my mind."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
Ugh, he was going to make me say it. Instead I skirted around it as best as I could, "You know, monogamy."
"Okay," and he leaned in and kissed me.
"It's just, I saw you with my friends, and... you know... you were so awesome to them..."
"Hey, you don't have to justify it to me," and he leaned in and kissed me again.
And I gave Scott my singledom.