Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chapter Two - A Bathroom Stall

He didn't email me back. I knew something was up. It wasn't like my fiance to just ignore my emails during the workday. I mean, sometimes he had meetings, but usually he would get back to me, or just tell me he had a meeting and that he'd be unable to respond...but on that day I had a pit in my stomach...I knew by the next day, my life would be different, I knew I'd be single.

I don't know how I knew that he was going to break up with me that night, but I just knew that was why he didn't write back. Maybe he knew that in just a few short hours he'd be coming to my parents' house to tell me the news and just could not bare to exchange pleasantries with me over email...or maybe he just was too much of chicken to email me, I don't know...and I never will know, because in just a few short hours I would see him for the very last time.

It was late August, just a few months ago I had started at 'BCN, I had hid my engagement ring - I mean, if I was feeling these waves of doubt clearly he was too - I mean we both had to be going down these unique paths of self-discovery and change. We had just graduated from college, we lived 5 hours apart - it would make sense that we both would have doubts...but it was comfortable, safe, and when we were together we had an amazing time. When we were together I never ONCE questioned our love for each other - or our dedication to the relationship, but maybe when we were apart we both felt like there was more out we both could move on and be there was more out there than just this.

It was about 11:15am when I got up from my computer. I went into the bathroom, my eyes started to well up with tears. Seriously, if I had ever had a moment...this was it. It was that moment when I started to break. I had never broken like this, and I wouldn't break like this again for nearly 5 years. This time I was losing it, feeling parts of my world break off and fall apart - disintegrating around me.

My tears started to really flow as I silently sobbed, my head in my hands, as Fuel's Hemmorage played over the airwaves. I felt it in my heart. Today was the day. I managed to clean myself up and head back to my desk. No one really knew what was going on. I acted like I was excited that he was coming up to my house that night. We were planning on going up to Maine and spending the weekend away - a chance to reconnect, spend time away from our families and friends, and just be together...that was the plan at least.

It was midnight before he got to my house. My overnight bag was packed. My parents were in bed. As I opened the front door he burst in. I tried to hug him but he didn't hug me back. His arms were limp around my waist. His face was stern, his words were cold.

"I don't want to get married," he said plainly. Almost as though he'd rehearsed it over and over in the car.
"OK," I started to respond. "We can put off the wedding, it's fine -" I started to continue as he cut me off.
"No, I don't love you and I don't want to get married," he said. It was like a million little knives being stuck into my heart.
"Oh," I said.

We went into my parent's kitchen. I hopped up on the counter and sat there. He stood across the room...afraid to get any closer than that. I was afraid to move, I started to ask him questions about what was going on, why he felt this way, and his answer was that he simply didn't love me and didn't want to get married.

I know that I held it together. I had a conversation with him. He stayed for about an hour. As he was about to leave we both were crying. We hugged and he said he would call me when he got home the next day. It was like I was living in a movie...a movie with a horrible ending.

We were trying to get through this awkward conversation. What do you say to the man who just gave up on you? Just took your heart and broke it in your parent's kitchen? I gave him back his engagement ring and walked him to the door. We went out on the steps and I sat he drove away, his Black Durango turning the corner to leave my parents street - I sobbed...I lost it. Started to become hysterical really.

It was now about 1:30am. I went into my parents room. It was only dimly lit by the soft glow of the TV. They were both sound asleep as I stood over their bed contemplating my next move. I didn't want to wake them, but I had no idea what else to do. So there in the middle of the night, I woke them with my tears...with my sobs of pain and grief. I began to feel the reality of what had just happened sink into my skin and surround me like a coat of thorns. Pricking and cutting my skin.

My mom sat up with me for a while. I cried, she tried to console and asked what had happened. I could barely answer her, I didn't really know what had happened or even why. I finally exhausted myself and lay in my bed. I was tired, confused and lost. I needed to tell someone, someone who would understand and be able to commesurate on my I picked up the phone and dialed her number.

Chapter One - Over My Head

It was a hazy, hot, and humid day at the end of July. We were sitting in my car in the parking lot behind the building. We were headed to Dunkin Donuts' to pick up coffee for some of our co-workers. It was the first time, since I had started working there anyway, that I admitted to myself that maybe I was in over my head....and I don't mean professionally.

My job was great. It was the kind of job every college graduate dreams of. I was actually using my degree in the field I studied - Communications. I spent my days making sure commercials were in the station to be put on the air. I was working at the legendary WBCN in Boston. I was only 21 years old at that time and I knew this was the beginning of a fantastic future. I felt very gratified professionally and very capable of doing my was personally, in my love life actually that I was starting to sink.

The sinking feeling in my heart didn't happen gradually, or at least looking back now, I don't think it did. If you had asked me how certain I was about my love life, up to that point, even a moment before I got in that car, I would have said with unwaivering certainty that I knew where I was headed. I knew that my life would always involve him. I would have bet money on it; until I got in that car.

"I love warm days like this," I stated. Clearly a little nervous, not sure what to say, or how to proceed. so I stated the obvious, who doesn't like warm days in Massachusetts?
"Me too," he replied. "Nothing like an ice coffee run on a hot summer day.""Yeah," I agreed. "Glad we're on the list!" I said with a laugh.

The list was a huge joke at work. The cool people were on the "list" meaning they'd get coffee when someone went on a run, and I was one of the people on the list. And today it was my turn to go get the coffees, and he had agreed to help me.

In the month I had been working at BCN I had met so many new people. I loved working and would spend a lot of hours there. The relationships I had with people seemed to grow and develop quickly. Part of that was because we worked hard, but when work was done we'd go out and get drinks or go to a concert. We were never just "co-workers," we all quickly became friends. And now, it was one of those friendships that was going to get me into trouble.

The truth was, I was engaged. I had a fiance who I loved, who I wanted to be with forever, or at least up until this moment I wanted to believe that we were meant to be together. But in that car, I felt attracted to someone else, and I finally admitted it to myself. I smiled, I flirted and most importantly, I did the one thing that it took years for me to admit to myself - I hid my ring.

It's true. I'm not proud of it, in fact, I think it is truly dispicable to HIDE your engagement ring by keeping your left hand out of sight...but it's true. I HID my hand. I kept it out of view as much as I could. Maybe I did that so that I would be able to keep the shreds of doubt from creeping up into the forefront of my mind, maybe I did it so that I could feel what it would be like to be 21 and available to possibility. I really am not 100% sure why I did it, but in hindesight I think I did it to be free. I think in the deepest regions of my heart I knew something wasn't right between my fiance and I. Not that my feelings in any way justify my actions. I shouldn't have hidden my ring, but I did.

Now, it's not like he didn't know I was engaged. I am sure he knew. I am pretty sure that all my new work friends knew that I had a fiance in New Jersey. I had never hidden that from anyone, but in my car that day he went along with it. He smiled and flirted and I smiled and flirted back. when we got back to the station we lingered in the car for a few moments. Just long enough for him to smile at me and my heart to flutter. I liked the attention he was giving me. I liked being the object of attention. And it was that attention that was going to lead me into trouble just a few months later.

In all honesty, nothing ever happened between he and I, on that day or any day. It was his attention that served as the catalyst for several of the great romances in my life. I see now that hiding my ring was admitting that I wanted more, more than my fiance was giving me at least. I got that more, but it was never from the guy in the car that warm summer day. I ended up getting so much more out of my life because of that day in the car. This event let to changes beyond my grasp. The events of the next few months would prove that.