The following is the fourth chapter of a series titled, “Spring Awakening.” Within two months I dated two people who both played significant roles in shaping how I view life, love and happiness. What I learned along the way surprised me.
This is Part Four.
Post-breakup depression is a tumultuous roller coaster. We second-guess ourselves and over analyze. We ask ourselves, “What did I do wrong?” And sometimes our wrongdoings are more obvious. Sometimes we know exactly who to blame even when we put blame on the wrong person. Sometimes the other person betrayed us so much that we had no choice but to run away. One thing is for certain, it’s difficult to move on from a break up with someone you loved, but it’s impossible to move on when it’s your fault.
There was an absolute silence in the car.
I arrived two hours late to our dinner date after a late meeting, and a best friend who had a mini-meltdown. Genie didn’t have to wait, and I told him that. But he waited.
When I pulled up to the restaurant parking lot, there was Genie, perched on top of his car roof, listening to music while wearing a maroon beanie, his long blonde hair swooping out behind his ears. I rolled down my window as I pulled up to the nearly empty parking lot and told him to hop in.
Genie barely looked at me. We didn’t kiss. We just sat there. Silent. In an empty parking lot. I had left him there waiting for me for two hours. I didn’t exactly expect a warm, ‘hello.’
There was still a cloud of melancholy hanging over us. I didn’t know what it was. Did I break him? Was it my blatant disregard for his attention and care that made him realize we couldn’t be together?
You see, Genie wanted to show me what it’s like to have a boyfriend that makes me feel better, a guy who will massage me after a long day at the office, a guy who will cheer me up with words of encouragement and show me love so strong I forget all my stress and troubles. But I didn’t want to be adored by him, or any man. Do I like attention? Sure. But the thought of someone taking care of me, putting me on a pedestal is absolutely terrifying. I didn’t need to be somebody’s princess. Perhaps the problem is I’ve already been in a serious committed relationship for two years with my career. I had no time to make a man feel needed by showing weakness.
Genie began playing a song on his phone called, “Nicest Thing” by Kate Nash.
“I wish you couldn’t figure me out
But you always wanna know what I was about
I wish you’d hold my hand
When I was upset
I wish you’d never forget
The look on my face when we first met”
Tears ran down his face as he stared intently into the night, unfazed by my presence as I stared at him, watching him melt apart as he replayed a scene in his head. Was I to blame? Did he wish I cared about him this way?
He uttered, “The only guy I ever loved didn’t love me back and I cheated on him.”
I sat there staring at him as the woeful melody took over our space and filled it with a story: Genie’s story. I wasn’t the one who broke him, I wasn’t even the one who caused him to be upset that night. He had his former lover on his mind, the only guy he ever loved, his only heartbreak. He couldn’t move on because it was his fault they broke up. He cheated and he caused the pain. Since the day we met, Genie was trying to make me feel the way he wished the last guy made him feel. He wanted to make someone happy.
The song ended.
“Do you love me?” he said.
“No. Do you love me?”
“No,” he answered.
I decided to take the conversation a step further. “Am I the one for you?”
Genie shook his head. No.
At that moment we admitted to each other and ourselves for the first time, out loud, in the open, simple and plain. Genie and I were on the same page.
ONE WEEK LATER
I don’t know why the fuck I was so jealous and disgusted to see him on another guy’s Instagram but I was, and I was over him. Why was he sitting on this ratchet guy’s lap? And at Charlie’s no less! Ugh so over it. Fine, Genie. I’ll move on too.
I opened Grindr and began perusing.
Within minutes, there was a message in my inbox.
“Hi, I’m Chris. I think you’re really cute.”
Spring had only just begun…
to be continued…