Missing him…

He is still away but is texting and calling. Mostly work-based but then to see if the socks he found are mine. He tells me how he wished we had spent more time at a location he saw today on his dive, meaning he’s sorry I’m not there to see it with him. He texts me thank you for taking care of him today because of what I ordered with year end funds. I say I am getting better at taking care of him over time. Tonight I am going over his sons cover letters and resumes for a job application. We are emailing then he texted me a thank you and said I really helped. I am excited for his son and him. I am sure he is proud of what his son is going to be doing. His ex wife or one of his ‘girfriends’ are not the one he turns to, its me.

I am going to Belize, no resistance from him, and I asked him to come for the second week. He is going to join us, at least he is planning on it.

Perhaps he is really seeing the light finally. He knows I am capable of leaving and he would be lost without me. Maybe he realizes it. Maybe he knows. Breathing the same air at depth, when he would have been out, when he would have had to bolt to the surface, that meant something.

But what good does that do us really? He wont say anything and I have to assume what he has said is true. That he doesn’t think of me beyond work. That things wouldn’t be different if he wasn’t my boss. That the last time we were in Belize he was thinking  of ‘her’, a married woman. That he had his other ‘friend’ over for dinner on a Saturday night. That he went to two concerts this summer with someone else, who? And I saw a text from the married ‘friend’ show up on his phone while we were traveling so that is still going on at some level. I have to remember this and keep trying to move on.

He loaned me a book on transitions while we were away. He seems to read a lot of self help books. Its a good book. I am in transition. Something has ended and I don’t know what will begin. That is what I’m seeking. A beginning. Will it be him? Should it be him?

Advertisements

Meeting Four

I am back from the meeting.  He is still there because he had an opportunity to log more cold water dives. At the meeting we stayed in a hotel on the far side of town. He had a car rental so we drove back and forth together. We would see people and go our separate social ways then reconnect as needed. It was all very natural. But the dives…

Dive one, he had a free flow at 80 feet and 43 degrees. I was instantly by his side and gave him my regulator. I was on my alternate air and we were both breathing off my tank. I had my gauge in between us so we could both see how much air we had on the ascent. Our bodies were close. He was dependent on me and I was there for him. I know he realizes how significant that was.  I gave him my air without a moments thought.  I was there when he needed me.

Dive two we went alone, just the two of us, on a wreck. I have fixed his regulator but we stayed close in case he had more trouble. Everything went fine.

The next day we were on a boat. There were five of us and the lead was paring people into dive teams. He said the two of us should buddy “because it just seems natural.”  This is someone who doesn’t know us at all!  The dives weren’t bump free but we did fine.

During the week we had a free night and just the two of us had dinner at a small little Italian restaurant. It would have been very romantic if it could have been. Okay, it was a little romantic. The last night of the symposium everyone was going out for drinks after the dinner. We got in the car and I expected us to go to the bar but he drove us back to the hotel. His ankle was hurting so I assume that was why we didn’t join the others, but we never talked about it. It was just the natural thing to do.

The next day we had free so we went on an adventure. We had one other person with us who  totally gets us so it was relaxed and fun. Over dinner the waiter brought one check for all three of us. We asked for separate checks so he brought one check for the other guy and one check for me and my boss. We were like, no we need separate checks too and the waiter apologized for making assumptions.  That happens all the time.

The symposium was fun. He was in my room 3 times during the week, but who’s counting?

1. I can’t remember why? His room was across the hall and it was dark but he didn’t change it, mostly I think because he wouldn’t be so close to me.

2. To help me with my presentation. He sat in my room for hours going over my talk. Me on my bed and him in a chair.

3. To look over the rocks we collected at the quarry that day.  It was the last night. We were in my bathroom together, side by side, arms touching on occasion, as we looked over the fossils. He has one fossil he found that he insists is a clam but it totally is just a rock. LOL! I don’t want to burst his bubble so I let him believe it. We finally say goodnight. Its 10:00 on Sunday night and I won’t see him until Friday. He counts out the days to when we will see each other…Tuesday you are doing this…Thursday I fly back…Ii will see you Friday, etc… He is tall, handsome, and looking into my eyes as he stands in the dark doorway of my room. I am melting. I say ‘be safe’ as I lean against the door frame of the bathroom and we say goodbye. It was almost as if he wanted another ‘Alaska’ but I am not going there. No means No and if he wants something different, he will have to be able to talk about it. The next day there was a change in plans and he gives me a ride to the airport, even though I didn’t need one. I had a shuttle.

Now he’s on his own and before we parted I said I hope all goes well. He commented on how he won’t have his buddy with him, aka me. 🙂  He’s only been on his own for one day now and we have already talked twice, sigh.

I can’t believe this has been going on for this long. This was the fourth one of these annual meetings we have attended together.  Next year is Lake Tahoe. Gulp.

 

Our Friday

We have ‘the annual meeting’ coming up in one week. The one that started this whole story in Alaska. This meeting will involve drysuit dives again. We went to the pool together yesterday, just the two of us, to test our drysuits and refresh our skills. We are getting our gear together, it is hot. I change to my swimsuit and he is in his swim shorts. We gear up together, side by side, and then step outside to cool off before we zip up and seal ourselves inside our drysuits. I don’t need help but he zips me in anyways and I do the same for him. We don our dive gear and enter the pool. Its much cooler now as we descend together. Underwater we test our buoyancy skills, he shows me a few things, I do the same for him. He jokes around and makes me laugh. 30 minutes later we ascend together. We laugh about a few things and comment on others. He finds a shell from Alaska in his pocket. Sigh…we are a team. The dive is seamless. I brought swim goggles so we can do laps afterwards. The two of us pound out 30 minutes of laps in lanes next to each other.

When we are done he gets out of the water and I see him standing there, dripping wet, shirtless, and smiling. He looks like a giant boy who just received the birthday gift he always wanted. Oh to have a man who will do laps with me.  This is what I love.

He is hungry and we get lunch at my favorite place. We sit at the window and make up a scenario about the people at the table outside. We laugh a lot. On our way back we talk about many things. He comments on something he said and how his dad would have said the same thing. I ask about his dad’s sense of humor. I say how nice it is to be around his laughter.

We get to the office and talk between work. Somehow we end up talking about learning from our past. I tell him about my therapist’s take on marital baggage. I say I have so much and its a good thing to recognize it for what it is. To understand my hypersensitivity to things is to acknowledge these things matter to me. He said its also important to understand, because I am so sensitive to these things, they might not be what I think they are.  I agreed and tried to continue my point and he restated, things might not be what you think they are. Was he just talking or was he making a point?  I have no idea.

I am trying to normalize our relationship in my head but its not working.  Its Friday so I say goodbye without much ado and then leave when we are finally done for the day at 6:30.  He texts me later that night saying there is a show on TV I might want to watch. We text back and forth a bit into the night.  This type of interaction is why its all so difficult.

Just the day before I find out he has been to two summer concerts, one I would have love to have seen. He didn’t ask me to join him or even tell me about them when he went. Who is he going with? Why does he hide it or not tell me? It hurts because I don’t know. It could be innocent or he could be going with someone he doesn’t want me to know about. I have no idea. Its Saturday night. What is he doing and who is he with right now?

Should I give up on the one man I love? He is my boss so the answer is yes. But what about when he is no longer my boss? It will be too late. He will have blown my trust by then. Or are things not what I think they are?  The only thing I do know is he is making me crazy and that has to stop.

Crash

Monday I get his weekend update. His friend from Hawaii was in town. He had her over to his  house Saturday evening. He  made her pizza. I sit there and listen, trying not so show my heart breaking. She was married and divorced twice. One marriage lasted 16 days. I ask how is that possible, he says it fell apart at the honeymoon. I say she must have been young, he says no. I stay out of his office for the rest of the day and he is in mine of course.  I can’t see him loving someone who never had kids and had such failures in her relationships. I am making excuses. He had her over on a Saturday night, just the two of them.  We walk out together at the end of the day but I don’t look at him when we say goodbye.

The next morning I get in early and his coffee is already on his desk when he comes in so I don’t have to sit and talk with him. The moments I loved yesterday become today’s dread. I am in my office all day and he comes in often. It is Tuesday and I will be on vacation for a week starting tomorrow. At the end of the day he is on the phone with a  friend. I get ready to leave and he is still talking. I panic at the thought of saying goodbye. I think of him with her last Saturday night. I bolt out of the office while he is still on the phone without a goodbye.

He is texting me by the time I get home, telling me about the friend he was talking to. Asking why I left. I said I needed to get out of there. He said wow, he was sorry to hear that. I said don’t take it personally. We texted some more then I didn’t respond anymore.  We texted the next day as I traveled to see my daughter, then again the day after, him letting me know about his brother’s advice to me about seeing the eclipse. He is being very sweet and attentive.

More excuses: I overheard a call he received the Friday before. He said, yes 12:30, okay bye.  So maybe she was the one that pushed it into the  evening. Maybe he had invited her for lunch. I can see someone with so many failed relationships and no children being pushy like that. I can see him saying okay, then drawing the line when she pushes too far. He did not seem to happy about his weekend so maybe the evening went bad. Its not like we are dating so he has every right to have a date, but he knows how I feel.  He knows I am looking to get out of my job. He didn’t have to tell me at all though, so why did he? To be honest about things for when we go forward some day or to let me know he is dating someone?  I wish the first, but have to accept it might be the last.

P.S. Afternoon theory is a bust. I just saw his calendar on that day and his 12:30 was a dental appointment. He invited her over on a Saturday night. Hawaii here I come. I can’t do this anymore.

A Twist in the RomCom – Hawaii?

I am applying for a job in Hawaii and I have a shot at getting an offer. We were sitting outside on a bench having lunch. I was not sure how to approach the subject so I just told him. His immediate reaction was to try to talk me out of applying. After lunch he went right to his computer and read the job announcement. Within 10 minutes he’s saying I should consider it, if its something I would want. The next day he is talking me out of it again.  I have very mixed feelings too. I tell him I could leave my job, the institution, and not feel bad about it, but leaving him would about kill me. He blushed and said he was a pain in the ass. I agreed.

He has been super sweet ever since. He said he would be a professional reference for my application. I am doing dishes and realize his cups are not in the sick. We practically run into each other as I walk out and he walks into the kitchen. He goes to dry his hands on the dish rag hanging below the sink I am standing next to and asks if he can use my skirt. I laugh and say no!

As far as work goes, it would be a huge change, a demotion really. But less administration and more of the fun work. It would also be a pay cut, but housing costs are less in Hilo.

The offer might not come and I might not have to decide. If it did, it would be a financial choice based on the salary they are willing to pay. Personally, it would allow us to finally have a romance, 5000 miles away, but that  would  be more of a romance than  we can have now.  He loves Hawaii and I know he would consider retiring there. I think he realizes he could work for one or two more years and then join me. Alternately, he could be not thinking that at all. I have no idea. But the way he looks at me when we part ways says otherwise.

Sucked back in

We argued multiple times today over work related issues. When we were done with the disagreement, we are done.  No lingering hard feelings or anger. No consequences. Its work, he has an opinion and so do I. We express it and we are done.  This happened at least twice today. Each time we were back to our old selves when the discussion was over. Sitting outside enjoying a quick lunch together or laughing about something. At the end of the  day we do the dishes, together side by side, sometimes too close. We walk out together. I almost forget to go my separate way.  When I get home I text him what food to bring in tomorrow so I can make something for lunch. He texts back what he has and asks if its okay. I am in a reverse marriage. Yes I realize this post totally contrasts with the previous post. Welcome to my life.

Doubt is seeping in

I am starting to wonder at my obsession. He does not answer texts like he should. He does not respond to emails like he should. I don’t think its just me, he is not real responsive to others.  But then again, he sure was responsive to her for a while. Do I want to live his life? That is what I think it would be like. I can’t see him retiring in Maine. He would want to move to Washington and live near his best friend. Is that what I want? To live the way he wants to or the way I want? Is there a middle ground and if there is, would he be willing to go there? I’m not so sure. I do love him but honestly, he is difficult. I would be good for him, but would he be good for me?

Does he worry I am pulling away since he said no? Because I am. I have tried to keep a safe physical distance from him ever since. That look he gave me in Panama haunts me. It was a sad ‘I wish things were different’ kind of look. I looked away. I can’t handle it. I don’t want him to see how I feel. He got in the infinity pool with me until we were both freezing. That is not something he should do if he really meant “no”. But no means no and that is all I have from him so that is what I have to plan for. Moving on alone at some point. Perhaps the sooner the better.

 

 

I’m an emotional roller coaster

I go from happy as can be to hopelessly depressed. I love him I am done with him. I know exactly what I am doing to what am I doing? All in one weekend. I don’t hear from him at all until the end of the weekend. We had talked about seeing a movie on Sunday because he had plans on Saturday night. It must be something because he usually tells me what he is doing and he didn’t. So I’m thinking whoever it is I hope she has rotten teeth and bad breath. I try not to think about it. I work on my novel. I’m done with him by Sunday afternoon. I convince myself he forgot about our plans.  His date was a success and he hasn’t thought of anyone but her since. 

Then I get a very positive email from my favorite crit club friend about my novel just when I am wondering why I am even writing. I start to make mushroom soup convinced it will be amazing and I won’t bring any in on Monday for him. 

Then he texts me. He just got in from yard work. We could still make the movie but it might be too late. My pen pal writes me an email while I am texting him so now I have two men thinking of me at once. My boss says he reread the book the movie was made from over the weekend. So he must not have been too busy with his “Saturday night commitment” and he sure didn’t forget about our plans if he spent the weekend getting ready for it. And we are going to see the movie this week. After work or on a snow day if we get one. 

Back to being happy again. I tell him I am bringing in soup. I email my penpal and my quill friend. My daughter txts me and my mom calls. I’m doing fine. 

I would be perfectly happy if I knew he felt the same about me. I spiral down because I don’t know that at all. I’m sure he struggles with it but that means he would welcome another option. He too would have to get to know someone for years before he would make a commitment. But he would try if someone came along that interested him. That’s what scares me. Would I do the same? I have my penpal in my back pocket. The difference is I am keeping him there. I don’t think my boss would do that. He would keep it from me and go forward with someone if he found a possibility. My only real hope is that he realizes we are uniquely compatible and we won’t find someone else that we can get along with and enjoy like this. We are going on our 4th year in this reverse marriage and we choose to stay late and talk and have lunch and see movies and do dishes together. Even so, he might completely blow it looking for someone else because we don’t know how long we will be working together. If we ever do get to be more, it will be wow. The wait seems agonizing but I don’t think I will go through one day when I won’t appreciate being with him, if we ever do get it together. 

Saturday Morning

I am having a nice Saturday morning. I am writing and have music playing. I stop to appreciate the morning then wonder what is he doing? Is he thinking of me? There is a movie we both want to see. He mentioned it a few weeks ago and I didn’t recieve an invite, I never do. So it’s Friday at 5:00 and I am leaving. He stops what he is doing to say thank you. He asks about something, says there was something else but he couldn’t think what. I mention the movie. He says its playing near him I say I can metro he says he has something he has to do Saturday night but maybe Sunday. 

So. He has plans Saturday night should I be jealous? Or glad he would actually consider seeing a movie with me on a Saturday night? That would have been off limits a few months ago. I say just let me know and he says okay. He gives me that last look and I meet his eyes then pull away quickly. I am so afraid I will get stuck there and he will see into my heart. But I think he has already done that. 

2 years since Alaska

It’s hard to believe this is still going on. I just returned from the same annual meeting which kicked off this whole rom com 2 years ago in Alaska. This year it was in Rhode Island. We ended up having dinner alone the first night. I told him a family story. We chatted about his mom. At one point I looked up and he was just looking at me. I looked back and waited for him to saysomething and  he didn’t.  He was lost in some thought. So I said what? And he snapped out of it and said “nothing”. I organized a unofficial Bike trip and 8 of us, including him, rode 20 miles to a lighthouse and back. I could tell he was loving it, flying around on his bike like a kid. When I changed into my bike clothes he said “awwwwww” in his teasing but adorable way. We hung out together in a professional way during the meeting.  At one point a speaker refered to him with “let’s say it was your fault” to illustrate a point. I looked at him and we both shook our heads and said nope it’s never his fault and the guy behind me who works with is patteded me on the back. the entire audience burst out laughing. They all got the joke. Many times when we were apart he would interject himself in a personal, I know her better, kind of way.  For example, I was discussing an old issue and letting go of anger with this guy and he says across the bar to me how we’ve been talking about that for years. These are all ways of marking his territory and I am okay with that. I want to be his territory as long as he is mine. The last night someone offered to take our picture together and he said no in an embarrassing way.  Then a close colleague said later that someone asked if we were a couple. His response was thats why he said no to the picture. He doth protest too much methinks. After the meeting I took a week off to go to Maine. He honestly wanted to go with me but we couldn’t find a way around how it would look. Even so he seriously considered it but in the end we both agreed there was no way to do it. So at the airport I walked him to  the check in counter and we talked for a while. A long slow lingering goodbye, His soft gaze killing me. I said I was sorry he couldn’t join me And off I went alone. We texted and emailed all week. I bought him some used books. he asked how it was going, how I was feeling because I had a cold.  I’m back now and going on a bike ride tomorrow and he might join me. How is it that we can spend so much time together all week every week for years and yet it is not enough?  He must know by now it’s me.  It’s just a matter of figuring out when and how.