Rain

Its pouring outside. I always think of him when it rains. I think of Alaska. I think of him at the foot of my bed, leaning on my bed, talking for hours while the rain poured.  Its been 4 years since I fell in love with this man. It has been difficult, painful, and beautiful. I feel this stage of our friendship is coming to a close. I don’t know if the new stage will be the end or a new beginning, but change is coming.

Recent ups and downs consist of him saying it will suck if I leave, to me telling him I don’t want to leave him, to him telling me of a joke he would like to play on his son for his birthday, a voice dub on him playing his ukulele and singing happy birthday he did for someone and changing the name to his sons. That’s what he does for his ‘not girlfriends’ and he sends me a text. Ouch. I am hurt by this and I think he sees it in my face. He texts me at night about his sons successful job interview. We talk for hours at work. He says one afternoon, ‘well here we are’ as I look out the window. I have no idea where he is going with this so I say ‘and time is flying past us so fast’ and he agrees. I am on my way to the bathroom and end up sitting in his office. I finally say, ‘how did I end up in your chair, I was on my way to the bathroom?’ he says, ‘because you always do’.

Tomorrow is the last day I will see him for a month. He leaves for the antarctic. The  day he comes back I will be flying to my moms for Thanksgiving. I have been helping him get ready for this trip. He is worried about doing the dives and has told me his fears. I appreciate his comfort level in telling me so. One memorable moment in Alpena we were riding the boat back from some dives. We had spent most of the time chatting with others but towards the end I was sitting on the cooler on the back of the boat, watching were we had been. He sat next to me. There we sat, side by side, sharing a cooler, talking about things. He said then he was not looking forward to the dives in the Antarctic, my response was a sympathetic, ‘I know’.  We do dishes side by side at the office, same sort of talk. Him speaking about his concerns, me listening and being sympathetic and understanding.  Tomorrow I have to say goodbye for a month. Its not exactly like he is sailing across the Atlantic. It is not for six weeks. But I am going to miss him just as much so it will feel like exactly that.

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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.

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.

Watching yoga

We were running a training course in Florida at a research station.  It was late, like 9:00, but I wanted to do yoga before bed. He had brought his matt on the trip so I asked if he wanted to join me and he said no.  I went out to the pier, put on my headphones and strategically placed my matt in view of the deck where we were staying, then forgot about anything but yoga, my music, and the moon that was out.  It was a beautiful night.  I stretched and danced and did push ups and basically had a very good session.  As I rolled up my matt I saw him out of the corner of my eyes on the deck standing up into the doorway.  It was about 10:00 now and I was surprised he was coming outside that late, maybe something was wrong.  When I went to the deck, he wasn’t there.  That is when I replayed the vision I had of him in my mind.  He wasn’t coming out, he was going in. He had been watching me do yoga and when I rolled up my matt, he snuck back inside.  The next morning I commented on how he had missed such a good yoga session and he said, “no I didn’t, I was sound asleep and not missing it at all.” the liar…weeks later he was having back trouble and his doctor prescribed yoga so he asked me about some moves that he saw me do in Florida “or somewhere” as he tried to cover it up. He is a giant, adorable lousy liar.

Follow this epic tale of finding love over 50, based on a true story. The story is ongoing so the end is TBD. Follow, comment, and provide support to the main character as she finds herself in love all over again in her 50s, this time with her boss. Updates will be posted every Friday at 5:00. 

Next week: Not there when I needed him.

One week later

They didn’t talk much after that for an entire week. He was on leave at his old house getting rid of things. It was a bad week. And it gave both of them time to think.

She decided her marriage had to finally end. She contacted her marriage councilor asking him to help her get a divorce. While nothing happened and she didn’t have any intentions, that he felt that good and she was now keeping secrets from her husband was the tipping point. No matter how this story ends, she has no regrets about ending her marriage and if nothing else comes out of this, at least she did finally free herself from that.

When he returned a week later she said she wanted to talk about it. His response was awful. He said he didn’t know what she was thinking but there would never be anything between them. It stung. Badly.  She said maybe they should talk about it later and left his office. Ouch.

Within a few minutes he was in her office apologizing. He said he can be too harsh sometimes. Then went on to say professionally it was not an option and personally they are different people.  This was all true and she agreed.

She then thought about it overnight and realized he actually had intentions that night. Would he have actually made love? To this day I really don’t know.

The next day she said she thought it over and needed to explain. He stopped everything that he was doing and listened. She explained how it was such a wonderful week and wanted him to know that he made it that way. That she had no intentions of seducing him. She is married and he’s her boss. That it wasn’t about sex. That he makes her feel safe because they can be close and don’t have that. That she still needs their relationship, that laughter in her life. He agreed but said we can’t go there, meaning sex. She agreed and said that it would be a disaster. Even so, what he said hurt. It still does.

 

Follow this epic tale of finding love over 50, based on a true story. The story is ongoing so the end is TBD. Follow, comment, and provide support to the main character as she finds herself in love all over again in her 50s, this time with her boss. Updates will be posted every Friday at 5:00. 

Next week: Rethinking

That Last Night

She had to catch the shuttle to the airport at 4:00 am to catch her flight.  They were with a group at the bar. It was late and she hadn’t packed up yet so she decided she would stay up all night. A friend bought her a whiskey. She offered him a sip and he downed the entire drink. He didn’t want her to get too drunk, so he drank it.

 They left the bar together around 1:30 am? The elevator ride was only two floors up but it was the longest two floors ever. He was staring at her then he leaned over to kiss her. She started to lean in for the kiss and panicked, turned away, covered her face into the corner and literally tried to hide in the elevator. FYI there is no place to hide in an elevator so don’t even try it. Realizing how silly she was being, she turned around and the elevator door opened. He said goodnight and stepped out onto his floor.  

He was not going straight back home so she wouldn’t see him for an entire week and started missing him already. She texted him from her room. He texted her back. Texting with your boss while you both are drunk at 2:00 am in Alaska can be very dangerous. 

After much texting, he ended up in her room. They just talked. She had no intentions of making love to him, she had a husband to go home to. She staying up all night and wanted his company. He said he wasn’t sleeping anyways so he came up to help her pack and pick up something of his that she had. 

Moments she visualizes from that night. He sits in the other bed, looks straight at her and turns out the light. He opens the curtains to let in the view. He’s in his bare feet. He’s gorgeous. 

They lay in different beds with the lights out talking. Mostly her talking.  She says she likes him but finds it confusing. She asks him how he feels. He says he’s too drunk to talk about it and he better go.  She walks him to the door. She gestures for a hug and he holds her for she doesnt know how long. With her ear pressed against his chest, she can hear his heart racing. She can feel her body melting. She panicked and shoved him out the door. As she walked back into her room she saw the bed where he was laying just a moment ago. He left behind a perfect cocoon in the covers. She had 1/2 hour until she needed to get up, so she set her alarm, crawled naked into his cocoon, and it was still warm. 

The Totem Walk

He said if we run here we will end up at Totem Park. That was all he said, then they took off. He was always way ahead of her so she was surprised when she would see him at the turn, or across the street, or up the path.  When she arrived at the park he was no where to be seen so she ran on into the park, hoping to see him.  She did not so she went out onto the rocks near the water. A good 20 minutes later she ran back around the trail towards the park entrance, disappointed that he must have run on without her. Then two people and a dog saw her and yelled, “there is a large man waiting for you in the visitor center.” Oh my gosh, she had no idea, so she ran back towards building and saw him he was running out to meet her on the trail.  He had never said exactly what he intended so she didn’t know to actually meet him inside and look for him.  This shyness becomes a pattern that she still struggles with.

He had the trail guide in his hand and clearly intended to walk the entire park so they started down the trail, on the self guided tour.  How adorable, she thought.  They walked through the forest and when they found a totem pole they stopped and he read the panel to her.   At each pole they stopped, he read the panel, and they discussed the symbols.  One totem pole had a female with what appeared to be animal heads for breasts. This made for a great discussion and much laughter about how you shouldn’t touch them, they might bite.  They missed one totem pole and had to go find it. How sweet, she thought, more magic.

 Follow this epic tale of finding love over 50, based on a true story. The story is ongoing so the end is TBD. Follow, comment, and provide support to the main character as she finds herself in love all over again in her 50s, this time with her boss. Updates will be posted every Friday at 5:00. 

Next week: That Last Night

Disappoinments

There were disappointments, of course. Their relationship was new, complicated, and still evolving.  For example, she worked hard to make his first birthday in his new life a good one and he didn’t seem to appreciate it. In fact, he commented on how someone else in the office had tried to make his birthday great.  He was enjoying the attention but it was insensitive and still stings.  Then, he forgot her birthday completely.  Maybe he didn’t care about her at all.  When she told him it was her birthday he bought her lunch the next day, so that made up for it, sort of. 

 That spring they taught a class together. The students were the age of their kids. The students call her Mom and him Step Dad. They had different styles of parenting which caught both of them both by surprise and it probably disappointed him. No, they sure couldn’t have raised a family together, but at their age, that doesn’t matter anymore.  And they were both very reasonable when they discussed it.  The way he handled the difficult conversation impressed her.  He was her supervisor but never seemed to use the “because I am your boss” card. He treated them like a team.  She appreciates that every day to this day.

 

Follow this epic tale of finding love over 50, based on a true story. The story is ongoing so the end is TBD. Follow, comment, and provide support to the main character as she finds herself in love all over again in her 50s, this time with her boss. Updates will be posted every Friday at 5:00. 

Next week: Then came Alaska

How did he feel about her?

She reminded him of his mom, he said. He teased her relentlessly. They would talk for a few minutes only to find 3 hours had passed by.  He called her a distraction.  He would make comments about romantic things. She was smart but silly. The goofy things she did made him laugh. She laughed too because there were just some darn funny things that she did. That is how she is, a great source of entertainment for all.  They worked on many things very closely.  They both started exercising regularly again. She found herself thinking of him, more than she should. She traveled and missed him, not her husband.  She never really did miss her husband but was surprised that she missed him.  Time passed and they became closer, talking about things one does not talk about with one’s boss.  He shared things with her that surprised her, and she did the same. She was falling for him, deep inside she knew it, but was he feeling it too? How will she ever know?

 Follow this epic tale of finding love over 50, based on a true story. The story is ongoing so the end is TBD. Follow, comment, and provide support to the main character as she finds herself in love all over again in her 50s, this time with her boss. Updates will be posted every Friday at 5:00.

 Next week: They look like a couple