Continuing on from the doubts expressed in Part IV of That One Relationship, Jimmy talks about the increasing sense of literal and figurative dislocation…
It was now the end of May. I still had that gnawing feeling that something wasn’t right but I kept it to myself. I didn’t want to be that boyfriend. So, I lived with it because I loved him, even though I hadn’t told him that yet. I thought that relationships were work and you go through stuff like this. My boyfriend was leaving town for work. He’d be gone for a week. He confided that he was nervous to go because he was going to the same city his ex lived in. I told him that he didn’t have to see him if he didn’t want to. He agreed and packed his bags and we went to lunch before he caught the train. As he left, I had a feeling that something wasn’t right but again… mouth shut.
Later that week, I was getting ready to move into a new apartment but I got the call that my grandmother had died. I had to go out of town for a few days to go to the funeral. I was beside myself. My grandmother and I were very close. She was my biggest fan and I could always count on her for words of encouragement. It was a terrible deep loss for my family and me. I called my boyfriend to tell him what happened. Voicemail. I left a message and got a text a couple hours later saying that he was at work but he was sorry my grandmother had died and he would call me soon.
Well the next day I was at the airport and I didn’t get a call from him. I called him and got his voicemail. I proceeded to call him once a day while I was there and only got a hold of him the day before I left to go back home. Just to be clear, he never called me and never sent a text. It was I who reached out to him. He apologized and said he was really busy with work. We didn’t talk that long but he said we would see each other when I got back.
That whole trip was weird. It’s never fun to go to a funeral. My grandmother happened to live in the same city as one of my exes. This ex had actually met my grandmother and when he heard she died, he called me and came to the small party we threw in my grandmother’s honor at my aunt’s house. He and I then went out after the party so I could get away from my family and blow off some steam. I explained to him what I was going through. He told me I shouldn’t have to put up with that. We had a nice time hanging out and I realized this ex and I could be friends.
I was all moved into my new place. I had gotten condolences sent from a good number of my friends. My boyfriend and I had decided to meet up for dinner. I hadn’t seen him in the first two days I was back in NYC. I met him at the Apple store so he could pick up his computer and then we went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. This wasn’t the homecoming I had expected. There was this huge distance between us. It had never felt this large before. That gnawing feeling was back with a vengeance.
Toward the end of the meal, he apologized again for not calling me. I told him that it really hurt that he couldn’t pick up the phone and call me when my grandmother died. He said he didn’t think he was the type of guy I needed in that situation. I was a bit confused and told him not to tell me what I need and don’t need. He then went on to explain that while he was out of town he had met up with his ex to talk. I stayed calm and cracked a joke that it was fine and at least they didn’t sleep together. I make jokes when I’m uncomfortable. After those words came out of my mouth I saw his face. He wasn’t laughing. I knew what that meant.
I asked him if they slept together. He told me they did. He then proceeded to tell me that while I was gone, they had rented a weekend house by the beach to see if they could work things out. He then went on to tell me that he realized they couldn’t but also realized that he shouldn’t be dating anyone. He was breaking up with me. I was devastated all over again. A small voice in my head told me to get up and leave and don’t look back. I ignored it. I stayed and tried to work it out with him.
I told him that we could work through this but that this could never happen again. I felt disgusted with myself that those words even entered my brain let alone came out of my mouth. We left the restaurant and went back to his place. The whole walk there that small voice was telling me to go home but I continued to ignore it. He and I slept together that night and it was only after that I went home. Feeling dirty and even more disgusted with myself.
To be continued…