Saturday, November 12, 2005

Magic & Loss...

So the storm passed eventually; she went back up to school & I went back to work. Neither one of us wanted to say it, but we were both glad to have a break from each other. I mean, it wasn't exactly hell week that we'd been through, but we were both 21 years old, and neither one of us had spent so much time all up in somebody else's business like that before, so it definitely freaked us both out. And, as much as it had freaked me out, I worried that it had freaked her out more; we had never really had any real disagreements or spats before that week, and to quote the great Steve Howe, "It was the first time I saw a crack appear in the wall".

The next week, we talked a few times, and after a few days it seemed that we both missed each other again just like always...even though I was still a little paranoid, and, in retrospect, was probably a little...overcompensating might be the word, I dunno. I was just trying to be as palatable as I could to her, because even though i was not yet attatched to her the way I had been some others, I still didn't want to lose her; I knew she was a catch.

We had a trip we'd been planning for a while to go up to her school & attend some social function for the academic sorority she was in (one of those brainy, boring sororities; not the ones with the roofie parties) in a few weeks. It happened to fall right around both Valentine's Day & my birthday, so we were going to celebrate them together, and the thought of that helped to set my mind at ease that all would be well in the end.

I remember she did come down a week or so before that, after the ice storm had subsided, but while there was still a beautiful layer of snow on the ground; something we get far too seldom here. We went to go see the Violent Femmes that weekend at a local hall, and Alan & his girlfriend at the time, Mindy, came with us. We drove Maria's Volvo, Sherman, to the show, and I ran that huge tank of a car up onto an embankment while trying to parallel park it & put a big scratch down the side. I felt like I had just run over her puppy, but she was very sweet about it; I offered to pay for the damages, but she insisted that it just gave him more 'character'. For all our differences, we were alike in a lot of ways.

We had a great time at the concert, especially seeing as I had been trying to see the Femmes for about 5 years at that point, but some wacky incident always happened to keep me from the show, including the time that I wound up with a four-inch nail sticking out of my forehead...but I digress. We had a good time that weekend, and some of the best sex afterwards that we ever had. I still felt that something was a little different lately, but I figured that maybe we were just finally getting used to each other; after all...that big initial spark can't last forever (or at least that's how I've tried to rationalize things a few times; dunno how true it is, but don't burst my bubble).

The Sunday she was to leave, my new sister & brother were having a BBQ lunch for me for an early birthday, since I was gonna be out of town with Maria the next week. She had planned to come with me, but at the last minute, she said she had too much work to finish before the next morning & she was afraid she'd be distracted or have to cut out early, so she asked if she could wait to meet them some other time. I was disappointed, and a little hurt that she wouldn't take a little while longer out of the day to come meet all my new family members that had just come into my life, but I knew she was busy & I knew she was responsible, and even though it probably just made me a little more paranoid (a common trend for me in my early relationships, I'm sure you all now know), I gave her the benefit of the doubt. My sister & brother and I did end up having a great time, regardless...and we learned that we all liked to smoke pot back then, too, which clinched the family bond even tighter...

The next weekend was the big sorority event, and I was both excited & nervous all at once. I was nervous because it was the first time I would really be entering her social world, as opposed to her always hanging within mine, but I was excited to be with her on Valentine's, and to see her in her incredibly sexy formal dress, and, on a lesser, much more vain, but still valid point, to see how much cooler I was than all the lab geeks she had been dating before me; the answer to which was considerable, of course, but again, I digress...

We had a nice hotel room set up in the place where the event was being held, and we snuck off to it for a quickie before she had to get ready for her duties as master of ceremonies, or the main speaker, or the valadic-luade or whatever she was. She did end up looking incredibly sexy in her formal dress, even though me in my goofy-ass borrowed suit & foppish tie probably took her down a notch or so (she was too busy to help dress me, which is what you pretty much have to do if you want me to look acceptable in those kind of situations...sorry).

The event was very stiff & formal & everything I hate...and I don't think it was really her bag either, but it was gonna look good on her transcripts, so she played that room like a pro, and I was impressed. She drug me onto the dance floor a couple of times, and we ended up having a blast; we even both got a little drunk, which we had never done together before. All the little former chess club members stared in envy at us all night, because, say what you might about me, she was definitely the hottest scientist in the joint, and she was never much for public displays of affection, but there in her element, she cut pretty loose, and it was pretty nice...

After the shindig wound down, we retired up to our room, where she immediately kissed me, gently laid me down on the bed, slowly took off all my clothes, and then told me not to move, while she went into the bathroom. I didn't have any idea what she was up to, but I knew it was gonna be one hell of a birthday...

A few minutes later, she flipped off the lights behind me, lit some candles, and stepped out of the light, completely nude, except for a pair of long, black lacy nylon gloves, and the sheer stockings to match...nothing in between. She held a little heart shaped birthday cake in her hands (that it took me a long time to even notice) with 1 candle in the middle, and was singing 'Happy Birthday to me" in the sexiest Marilyn Monroe voice she could muster. She looked like a dirty little angel, and I'll never forget it as long as I live. We made love the rest of the night, only stopping to listen & laugh at the couple in the room behind us doing the same through the thin walls. It was one hell of a birthday.

The next day, we woke up early so she could help clean up from the night before, and afterwards we went out to lunch at the House o' Pancakes, which she was really insistent about, I remember. Who knows, anyway...

Afterwards, we got back to her dorm, where I gathered my things I had brought for the weekend & got ready to drive back to town. I remember I was sitting on her little single bed, packing my backpack, when she stood up over me, held out her hand to mine, and said "Come here".

I stood up & held her hand, and she looked up at me for a second, then she looked down at her feet & said "We need to talk".

Oh, fine....

She asked me if I remembered the conversation we had a few weeks ago about how you shouldn't settle for second best in life, when you still haven't had enough time to figure out what it is you even want yet? I didn't remember talking about that offhand, but I suppose it was possible we did, and I told her that. But what was her point, I asked?

She looked up at me again & went on to say that she had grown to care about me very much, and even to love me, but that the more she had grown to know me, the more she found out how different we really were. She asked if I thought the same thing, and, taken aback as I was, I had to admit to her that I did. I mean, I had thought about it before; Maria & I were definitely attracted to each other, and we got along well enough together...but we didn't have any real shared passions; nothing that really drew us to each other, more than just liking each others company. We didn't like the same things for the most part (we didn't argue about them, but we just kind of had our own things we were interested in), we were in the most diametrically opposite fields 2 people could possibly be in; she was a scientist & I was an artist...I didn't understand her passion for microbes anymore than she understood any of my geeky interests; there were plenty of things in the way.

Truthfully, I had just never thought far enough into the future about Maria to even think about those things yet. I loved her, and our relationship had done untold wonders for my piece of mind & my faith in relationships in general, but it had all happened too fast & the shadow of other things was still hanging over my head too much the whole time we were together to see things as clearly as she could, I guess. And, even though it hurt to hear it, I knew she was right.

So, we talked for a while about what we should do...which amazed me, that people could actually sit & talk & be calm and rational during something as emotional as a breakup...that was definite news to me. We both agreed that we loved each other, and had the greatest respect for one another, but we both agreed that deep down inside, we just probably weren't right for each other, and, out of the blue & bad timing though it was, that this was probably the best thing to do.

She did apologize over & over for all this coming out on my birthday & Valentines, but she said she wanted us to have one more special weekend together...and that maybe, had it been special enough, she might have re-thought her actions...but I guess it wasn't that special. That sounds bitter; scratch that...if there's one girl in the world that I ever dated that I'm not angry or bitter about in the least, it's always been Maria. just as she was the first real 'adult' relationship I ever had, so was she the first adult break-up; we parted ways that day as amicable as can be...we hugged & kissed each other & wished each other the best, and somehow, it just felt right...like we were finally growing up, and learning to do the right thing. I thought that this is how adults handle these things, and maybe from now on, these things don't have to be some traumatic & totally disrupt my life anymore. Funny as it sounds, breaking up with Maria gave me as much hope & confidence back as being with her.


Boy, if only my other breakups had turned out to be like that....

Maria did ask if we could remain friends, and I told her that I would like to do that, but it might take me a while; back then (and still now, honestly), the only way I knew to deal with a breakup without going mental was to put the girl totally out of sight & out of mind, so I told her that at some point, I did want to be her friend, but it was going to take some time to get over it all first. She said that she understood, and that I was always welcome in her life, and to call her anytime.

Then, I remember it like yesterday; she put her arms around me, kissed me long on the lips one last time, looked up at me, and said "You'll always be one of the most special people I ever knew. I'm so glad I got to know you."

I told her that I felt lucky just to have spent the time with her that I did, and that I would always be there for her if she ever needed me for anything. Then I kissed her on the forehead, told her goodbye, picked up my backpack, and walked out the door.

I drove the hour-long ride home holding back my tears, but feeling prouder than I had felt of myself in years; and at the same time, I knew I was going to miss her terribly. I knew I probably hadn't had time to or hadn't let myself fall truly in love with her, but I did love Maria, and afterwards, I always wished the best for her. She never knew it, but she was a very important part of my life, no matter how little the time we spent together added up to in the long run. She was the first time that I tried; I tried to do things right; tried to be a man this time instead of a kid; tried to be honorable & faithful instead of an irresponsible punk; I tried to grow up. And no matter how it turned out, it was the first relationship that showed me that things between two people could be...normal, and happy, and genuine, and that people could be honest, and trustworthy. Maria taught me a lot, whether she ever knew it our not; I was lucky that a girl like her ever decided to try & shine a little sunlight into the blacked-out shades of a guy like me...and I'll never forget her for that.

After I left that day, I never saw or heard from her again. Wherever you are, here's to you, Maria...you were one of the good ones.

18 Comments:

Blogger ThePassAlong recalled...

After reading, I can only say "Thank God!" I am thankful, not because your relationship with Maria ended, but because you finally found adultness within a relationship. I was beginning to wonder if you were ever going to have a decent relationship. I do not know what your future relationships hold, but I am content in knowing that you had at least one good one. I believe that you place to much emphasis on Kara. As much as you want us to understand her, you fail to realize that your words reveal more than you can actually see. We see the truth, in a sense, and you remember fantasy, or at least what you want to believe about her. Maria hopefully did you some good, you seem to cherish her memory.

Saturday, November 12, 2005 2:44:00 AM  
Blogger The Mrs. recalled...

Wow! You are right - this is the first adult relationship you have had... it sounds like Maria was excellent for you and that although she wasn't "the one" she was integral in your discovery of how relationships can be. Excellent post. Keep up the good work.

Saturday, November 12, 2005 4:02:00 AM  
Blogger Oh So Wonderful recalled...

This was a beautiful post. I wonder what it would be like if you met Maria now...

Saturday, November 12, 2005 4:41:00 AM  
Blogger flossy-p recalled...

I love nothing more than those moments when you realise you're smiling a big proud satisfied loving smile at the memory of someone. It's rare, but when you catch yourself having one of those moments, it makes you feel wise and able - and that life is, well, kinda glorious.

Saturday, November 12, 2005 5:14:00 AM  
Blogger Mint Tulip recalled...

Awww...I wish Maria the best too!

Saturday, November 12, 2005 8:11:00 AM  
Blogger Manda recalled...

an untainted memory.....

something you can look back on and be proud of. something you'll always think about with fondness.

wonder if i have any of those?

Saturday, November 12, 2005 8:39:00 AM  
Blogger Pharod recalled...

Man, I almost cry reading this. Very emotional post.

Saturday, November 12, 2005 9:46:00 AM  
Blogger chicaleecious recalled...

WOW! That last one kind of made me tear a li'l. It's the kind of bitter-sweet ending that you read about in books or something.

I'm glad that at least, you've walked away with something positive (a nice memory) through all that.

Maybe the timing and the differences weren't exactly right, but moments like this are nice to look back upon and make us smile.

Looking forward to hearing more....

Saturday, November 12, 2005 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Beth recalled...

That was such a grown up way to respond to the end of a relationship.

I aspire to that myself - unfortunately I'm still at the childish tantrum stage myself.

I can't wait to hear the next story!

Saturday, November 12, 2005 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Charlotte recalled...

oh wow. that was kind of ... st. elmo's fire ish. it just kind of reminded me of billy and wendy and how they walk away as two adults, oh it ws kinda cute! i'm so glad she didn't break your heart!

Saturday, November 12, 2005 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn! recalled...

i DID cry reading this post....sniff...how sweet.

Saturday, November 12, 2005 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger mad recalled...

That was beautiful....I hope someone thinks back on me with such fondness :)

Saturday, November 12, 2005 3:59:00 PM  
Blogger Luke recalled...

Even though things didn't work out between you and Maria, I can tell you realize you're a better person for experiencing it.

On an unrelated note, you tell us you missed a concert because you had a four-inch nail in your head and don't finish the story?!? I realize it's not part of your self-discovery, but I do hope when you've brought everything up to date, you go back and tell us that story some time.

Sunday, November 13, 2005 4:40:00 PM  
Blogger Kendra recalled...

Wow, I haven't heard someone speak so much truth in a long time. This inspires me to let go of my beloved mr. wrong and move on to find my true match. It's so hard when love gets in the way, but I'm proud that both you and Maria were able to do it. Now maybe I can do the same.

Sunday, November 13, 2005 5:28:00 PM  
Blogger Jhena recalled...

this time, a nice ending . . .

Monday, November 14, 2005 3:03:00 AM  
Blogger PAINKEY recalled...

THAT'S BEAUTIFUL

Monday, November 14, 2005 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger The Other Woman recalled...

I have spent most of the day reading your story after my girlfriend sent me the link. I don't know if she was trying to tell me something or what.
Attached is a link to mine that I started writing last week.
http://otherwoman.ebloggy.com/
I deal with a lot of drama too.

Monday, November 14, 2005 9:57:00 PM  
Blogger cjay64 recalled...

Hey EXBF, you have an amazing gift. I stumbled upon your blog by accident. Man, you write with a lot of insight and feeling....much respect for your honesty and forthright manner. I intend on reading all of your blog. Maybe one day, I can get the courage to blog my own life...I have a lot to share.

C Jay

Monday, November 14, 2005 11:37:00 PM  

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