caminante haciendo camino
dreaming of the past
2004-04-21 | 5:31 p.m.

I took advantage of the fact that almost everyone is out of the office and I took the morning off. I had several errands to run. But I didn’t really do any of them. I really just needed a few hours to myself this morning. And I got them. Well sort of. Yesenia and Carissa were there too. But at least I got a few hours with nothing demanding my attention except for my morning coffee.

It was a dream, actually, that precipitated the need for some down time this morning. Well, several dreams over the past week or so.

I’ve been dreaming of AJ. And I’m disturbed by the fact that he’s still there, somewhere in my subconscious, and probably somewhere in my heart too.

I met AJ (name obviously altered to protect the innocent, and the not so innocent) in college. We were in the same language program and we had several classes together. But it was during an evening Portugese class that we struck up a friendship.

He was tall, with dark hair and dark eyes. But what really captivated me was his charm. He was the most charismatic man I had met. Later friends and family would tell me that his charm was insincere. And that I was simply blind to the false veneer. They may be right. But during those evening classes all I could see was a handsome, intelligent, charismatic man.

He and his roommate used to play a card game before class. It was called Magic. I was intrigued, probably more by him than by the game. But in any case, I asked about it. We struck up a conversation and he invited me to join him at a game shop the next day so that he could teach me to play.

I did; we played; we talked; we laughed. The connection was instantaneous. It was as if we had been friends forever.

And so we were friends. We were together always. Our lives merged; our friends merged; our plans merged. And, yet, if asked, we were just friends. Neither of us were willing to label our relationship as anything other than “friends.”

But we were honest enough to recognize that there was an attraction. And being the two highly sexual people that we were, we were going to act on it. We decided we could handle it. We’d be friends. We’d be friends who had sex. Simple. It was what we both wanted, without the complication of calling our relationship anything but a friendship.

Not so simple. There were so many reasons that it was never simple, never could be simple.

One “complication” was his on-again-off-again girlfriend. When AJ and I met they were off. But, being the long-suffering woman that she is, she was still around. Another “friend.” Are we seeing a pattern here? Anyway, she was there. He insisted they weren’t seeing each other, that she had no claim over him, that she was the one who insisted that they remain friends. Her jealousy and (understandable) bouts of insecurity were a strain. But it was his fault. He needed her around too. She was his safety net. So, no matter what AJ and I called our relationship, there was always the ex who I’m sure knew exactly what we were to each other.

Then there were our friends. I’m sure they, too, knew. But we insisted that we were just friends. They worried about both of us.

But there was a bigger “complication” to our wonderfully simple plan of being “just friends” who just happened to enjoy a sexual relationship. I fell in love and he didn’t.

Well, that’s not entirely correct. He loved me. He just didn’t love me enough. He told me that I was everything he had ever looked for in a woman. Except for one thing. I was a size 14 instead of a size 4.

This was about the time that my self-confidence crumpled and I found myself in the kind of relationship that I had previously thought only a stupid woman would countenance.

To the rest of the world, we were as we had always been. We were friends. We were friends who slept together. We were friends who lived together.

Nothing had changed. Yet everything had changed.

I had told him that I loved him and he had responded that he could love me if only I weren’t fat.

He had also started sleeping with other women. With the ex. With others. And still with me. I put up with it.

I thought I had to. I thought I didn’t deserve anything more. I thought I was lucky that he was still my friend and that he still wanted to sleep with me. I thought I could change his mind. I thought I could make him love me. I thought I could make myself worthy of his love.

It wasn’t until I started law school and he went to the East coast to start medical school that I realized that I was much happier with him so far away. With the geographical distance I gained some perspective. My self-confidence started to return. Law school, the friends I made there, and the things I accomplished there had much to do with that.

I realized that I didn’t have to earn his or anyone’s love. I deserved more. Oh, I still loved him. But I finally knew that it wasn’t enough. Our “friendship” wasn’t enough. If he couldn’t or wouldn’t return my love, I had to walk away.

So I did. He came home for Christmas break, assuming that we’d pick up where we had left off. I couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it. I walked away. I took my love, my hurt, and the self-respect I had managed to scrap back together and I walked away.

That was over four years ago. I thought I had purged him from my heart and my mind. But last night was the second time this week that I’ve dreamed about him. I don’t know what to make of that.

* * *

Before I go, I need to send out a heartfelt GRACIAS to both lealoo and r-y-r for adding me to their favorites lists. Can you feel the love, people?

Listening To: "Fallen," Sarah McLachlan
Reading: nothing
Feeling: melancholy

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