“There’s no one else, I just need to do me.”
As I choked back the drops of bile swirling around my tonsils, I had to decide how invested I was willing to appear. By continuing the conversation, by pushing him to explain himself, I was giving his ego permission to place me in the same box as the other clingy girls who fall face first and end up just friends. Conversely, I didn’t get to be this crazy by leaving stones unturned. I need all the truths and based on his sharp contrast in behavior, it was clear there was more to it. And frankly, he’s tied me to all four bedposts and done unspeakable things to my vagina, he owes me.
The more he talked, the more I questioned, and the more irritated he became. He really wanted it to be over, but not badly enough to just come out and say it, so I continued.
Don’t get me wrong, he made perfect sense. He is a mess and needs to be alone. He needs to find that piece of himself. I just couldn’t figure out the timing. He’s moving in a month. I’ve already resigned myself to the unfortunate fact that I won’t be feasting on his beautiful cock after July, so why now? What happened during the last week to cause this epiphany and more importantly, why wasn’t I given the opportunity for a finale in the bedroom?
In the interest of context, I need to include additional information. The outcome had been uncertain and surprisingly, I do posses a modicum of decorum, but the crisis has been averted and I have been given permission to speak on the matter.
Beginning around the time of the first installment of I Don’t Want A Relationship and continuing through the middle of June, Sleeves faced the very real possibility of an advanced cancer diagnosis. His family history virtually guaranteed a negative outcome and he was understandably terrified. Not only that, but he had chosen to keep it everyone in the dark with the exception of two people: his father and myself.
For six weeks, the possibility of death loomed in the background, waiting for one too many drinks to catapult his mortality to the center stage. We talked. A lot. About everything. There were tears and stories and more tears. This particular form of Satan also carried with it the guarantee that his romantic life would be negatively impacted at least in some capacity, possibly permanently. It was brutal. Adding to the brutality was his limited recall of the bulk of those conversations. His memory or lack thereof is not entirely alcohol related and I’ve been a bit too snarky at times, but we spoke about real shit, shit that makes you feel. When I realized he didn’t remember, I felt like shit. Thankfully, he’s cancer free and will be around to torment Millennials for many years to come.
To say I saw this coming, would be an incredibly crass, yet entirely accurate pun. The procedure used to alleviate his fears also left him with a few temporary side effects. Side effects that would be better dealt with by someone he trusted and who knew what to expect. I didn’t mind, it was afterward that I was dreading; when everything went back to normal. When he didn’t need me to put him back together or be understanding of a bedroom blood bath; would he still want me once he no longer needed me. No. The answer was no. Just when he was finally himself again, he was conveniently ready to move on.
“It’s not like that.”
It is like that. It is always like that.
He spent the majority of dinner trying to control a nervous tick that I had pointed out earlier in the evening while he formulated an exit strategy. I don’t blame him really. He had worked up the courage to feed an INTJ a jumbo serving of bullshit and was just happy to make it out alive. Each time he opened his mouth, he ran the risk of inadvertently telling the truth, so he paid the check and we parted as friends. Just friends.
For the record, I do not dislike Sleeves. I am not angry with him. He is doing the best he can and I fully believe he is not intentionally trying to hurt anyone. I simply feel as though some aspects of our non-relationship could’ve been handled differently and I don’t feel he’s being completely candid with himself or with me. I am by no means perfect. We will remain friends and I wish nothing but the absolute best for him.