SometimesI still dream about him sometimes. You would think that after so many months of having absolutely no contact, the dreams would stop. Or the wondering would stop. I wonder about him. Is he OK? Did he find love? Did he leave another woman in his wake? And of course: Does he ever think about me? The way we left it, years ago, was with a question I had posed to him. We were on the phone and he had just told me that he had joined a dating site. After years of being my “beneficial” friend, after telling me he loved me, that I was his closest friend, after having the most incredible physical chemistry, after knowing how much I ached for him and how I would do anything for him, he blithely told me he had joined a dating site. Why don’t you want to be with me, I had asked. He said he didn’t know. I asked him to think about it and call me back. Gravely and earnestly, he said OK.
I waited. I counted the days that he did not call. Then I counted the weeks. Then at the start of each new month, I indulged in tapping out the number of silent months with my fingers. After a year, I stopped. Waiting for someone to call you back for a year is a humbling exercise, one that I do not recommend to anyone.
Now, I can’t remember if it’s been two years or three. The pain of those days is a distant memory. The heart palpitations and shallow breaths, the wide eyed nights staring at the ceiling in disbelief and anguish and misery, those nights are long gone. I never called him again. His casual dismissal of me and my offer of love was humiliating enough. I was not going to beg for any more morsels of his attention. Perhaps I should have been more demanding, though I think the end result would have been the same.
While I waited, I had sex with a lot of people. And for the most part, it was fun. And even during this little minxy phase of mine, I was aware of why I was in it. I was trying to see how he could have done it to me, how he could be so passionate, so charming, kiss me so deeply and with such feeling, and then drop me without so much as a goodbye. So I became him, a collector of passion, a purveyor of sex, a consumer of pleasure, but never a wholehearted participant of love. Never anyone more than once. I was not interested in leading anyone on when I felt so dead inside. But also, I was a bit repulsed by them afterward. Which of course is to say I was repulsed by myself – since they were really me and I was really “him”.
I’m done with all that now, and I feel more alive inside every day. But once in a while he still figures in my dreams.