320 Days Remaining
My daughter and I went to Vancouver this weekend for a concert (Jason Mraz/Christina Perri - absolutely amazing!) and some shopping with some great girlfriends, and it was a great trip. We've been planning it for months, and of course I was looking forward to it. I really wanted some great time with my daughter; I love music in general and those performers in particular; and I knew I'd have fun shopping in downtown Vancouver. A pal of mine booked us a hotel and also gave us a gift certificate for the Pan Pacific Hotel so that we could have a bit of a fancy dinner while we were there. There was so much to look forward to in Vancouver.
|Pan Pacific Hotel, Vancouver|
HB and I, although our relationship has been rolling with the waves over the past nearly three years, had finally decided that this on again-off again thing wasn't working for us, and that his move to Vancouver would be a perfect time for a clean break. Despite the fact that we care about each other deeply, and continued to see each other about once a month and texted daily after his move, we had a talk about six weeks ago where we agreed that it would be best for us not to talk anymore. It was time for us to stop hanging on to something that won't be. (I fight against impossibilities - I am of the opinion that love should rule, and for me it does, but I can't control how others see it nor how they react to it. Darn it.) So we hadn't spoken nor texted for almost five weeks.
There was a slight issue: HB has my spare car key. My daughter is thisclose to getting her driver's license and wants to be able to use my car once she has it, and it would make life so much easier if she had her own key. Besides, why should HB need my spare car key anyway? My good friend Red has been trying to contact him (she lives in Vancouver) to get the key back for me, but he ain't so good with replying. So I decided (with a little help from Red and Stoney as to how I should approach it) that I would send a perfunctory text saying that I would like my car key back, that I would be in Van on such-and-such a date, and would he mind leaving them at the front desk for me to pick up while I am there. Simple. I wrestled with it, because I knew that opening the door to texting or talking with HB again might be difficult for me, but in the end I managed to compose a very succinct, not too emotional but not too distant, text, and sent it off to HB. I had a hunch that he would be more likely to respond to my attempts at communication than he would be to Red's.
Sure enough, he replied almost immediately, and we texted back and forth a bit. Now, I knew that I should remain withdrawn and distant, not inviting too much intimacy, and to a point I think we did manage that, but I also know that I was avoiding saying the exact words "leave the key at the front desk". I believe I said "drop the key off at my hotel", which could be open to interpretation. I told myself that I would see if he replied with something along the lines of "can I see you while you're there?", and that I would be able to decide whether I would be strong enough to say "I don't think that would be a good idea". I don't think that would be a good idea. I know that I would very likely fall apart inside if I saw HB in person. But part of me so wanted to hang on to the possibility of seeing him. It's been two months since I've seen him and I used to see him every day. We lived in the same house and cooked meals together, watched movies together tucked into his bed, and supported each other in our daily struggles. Of course I wanted to see him.
I imagined texting him the room number and telling him to leave the key at the front desk. I envisioned sitting in our hotel room after the concert, all dressed up with hair straight and shiny (the way he likes it), glowing with excitement and happiness as my daughter and I chat about everything that had happened, and hearing a knock at the door. I could clearly picture myself opening the door to find my darling HB smiling widely, and rushing into his familiar and comforting arms. I knew none of this would happen, but I certainly can admit that a huge part of me wished it would. I still care about him immensely and miss his place in my life, and I can't just wish that away. I've been trying to deal with it, but three years doesn't go away that quickly. I can still have my fantasies, can't I?
|Am I the only one who dreams of a knight in shining armor?|
HB didn't ask in his texts whether he could see me or not, and I was left to wonder how he interpreted my messages. I assumed that he thought we would see each other; after all, we had not agreed to cut off communication completely, and me being in Vancouver would be a good excuse to meet briefly and have that minute re-connection that I know I crave (and I had hoped he did). I also knew that he would never expect me to be strong enough to just say, "No, HB, I'm sorry; I can't see you while I'm there." And he's right - darn it, he knows me all too well. I knew if he wanted to see me, that I wasn't going to say no.
As I was on the way to the ferry, I texted him to let him know when I would be arriving. He said he had plans to go to a movie that evening at 6:30, so "I won't have much time to see you :-(". There was my confirmation that he did expect to see me while I was in town, and I was too weak at the thought of actually laying my eyes on him after two months without that I did not say "that's okay; just leave the keys at the desk"...what I said instead was "It's okay; my concert starts at 7. Do you work in the morning? Would it be better then?" Argh.
That was when I really had to think about this 365-day dating hiatus and what my rules were. I knew that if I saw HB over the weekend, and he hugged me and showed any interest in kissing me, my third and sixth "Don't"s ("no hooking up with an ex" and "no kissing") were going to go right out the window. As much as Aries thought that he should be an exception to my no-dating rules, HB truly is the only person who could make me break them. I would want to so badly. I also don't want to let myself down. This inner struggle really symbolizes my entire "life after HB". Technically, we haven't been a couple since early 2010. Emotionally, I'm still completely involved with him. It's bad for me. I have to stop.
Circumstances conspired so that I did not, in fact, get to see HB at all. I also did not get my key back. I was so frustrated with how that part of the weekend went down that it took a while for me to actually find the relief that I hadn't had to tempt myself with the physical presence of HB. Instead, I got upset that I wouldn't get to see him when we were so close in proximity to one another, and mopey because I hate that he now has this entirely separate life from the one we shared, and a little emotional because I still miss him and I had really started to look forward to holding him. Even just for a minute. But after the disappointment died down, I did heave a sigh of relief that I wasn't faced with that temptation in person. I went back home feeling all right, sent him a text that re-closed our suddenly open communication, and now I'm writing about it, which always helps me process. I hate the way things with HB have ended up, but I have to work with them the way they are. I can wish all I want that things would be different, but I can't force it. I hope this is one more little step toward me letting go of him for once and for all.
I guess I need to go to my Toyota dealer soon, and get a new key cut. I'm not going to keep pursuing this. If he wants to hang on to my key as some way to stay connected to me (as Red suggested) then he can have it. And, I suppose, I still feel that way myself...as long as he has my key, he still has some part of me. I'm trying to take my heart back; he can keep the car key.
Wish me luck.