It was Soldier asking if I could go to dinner on Monday night.
I ignored the message and continued my conversation.
I was still irritated with my last phone conversation with Soldier from two weeks prior. I knew he'd be calling but I wasn't sure when. I knew that he was busy following his Alma Mater's basketball team during March Madness.
Yes, I wanted to see him. However, I also didn't want to be that available to his whims. He would just have to wait to hear from me.
The next day around lunch time, I texted that I already had plans for Monday night. He called.
What about Tuesday?
Can't. Have plans.
Nope, Rose has soccer practice.
What about Friday?
I'd already set aside Friday thinking that it would be a good night to meet him. Besides, it was my weekend without the kids so I wouldn't have to get a babysitter.
Ok, Friday it is.
He could tell that I was still hesitant to meet with him. That evening I had a message from him on my answering machine at home. He was just checking in.
By Wednesday morning, I knew that I would have to cancel Friday night and drive home to visit my grandmother. We talked again and tried to reschedule for Thursday night. He had a family friend flying into town and couldn't get out of it.
Wednesday night he called me from a basketball game and said that he'd stay in town until we could go out. It was that important to him to see me. He was kind, nurturing, and supportive upon hearing about my grandmother's illness. It reminded me of his support during my father's terminal illness when we were initially dating.
His kindness cracked me open.
Suddenly, my heart was pounding loudly in my ears and I wondered if there was a chance again....
Thursday morning, I awoke to a text message from him from 3:20 a.m. He was asking if we could meet for dinner next Thursday evening instead.
By this point, I was more than irritated.
I couldn't stand waiting any longer to see him. It was getting ridiculous trying to schedule anything with him.
I texted to see if he could meet me for lunch instead. He didn't get back to me until after lunch. How freakin' convenient.
Could I meet for dinner next Thursday? He needed to get back to his post and he would drive back up to see me next week instead.
I can't. Rose has a soccer game. What's wrong wth lunch?
He said that lunch would mean limited amount of time with me. He didn't want to be rushed.
In my translation, that meant one thing: He wanted sex.
I told him I'd think about it. He commented on my hesitancy. I told him that I didn't feel comfortable with him yet. He began joking with me...
"When we meet, it is going to be a big deal. We have to call out the press, you know? We're signing a new contract. Its going to be televised and everything! We can't do that over lunch."
I had to laugh. I was also especially amused that he referred to our new start as a new contract... because though I have frequently referred to it as such here on the blog, I've never mentioned it to him in that way.
I could see his point. This would be our first meeting since he left my house in October. Both of us wanted to discuss our thoughts and feelings on how things went wrong the last time we saw each other.
After I hung up the phone, I was still uncertain as to his intentions. I also thought that if he wanted to see me that badly, he would make an effort to spend whatever time with me that he could. Besides, I was getting really anxious and wanted to get this initial meeting out of the way.
That evening, I texted him,
Tell you what... meet me for breakfast or lunch tomorrow and I'll meet you for dinner next Thursday.
He replied, "Lunch."
Cool! I was ecstatic.
Then he replied again, "Late lunch."
(Have you ever seen those cartoons where they light the stick of dynamite and you're waiting til the fuse gets down to the stick? You know its gonna blow but you're not sure when? Well, this was the end of my fuse.)
I called him. When he answered, I couldn't hold back anymore.
"I.. AM.. DONE.. It is SO obvious to me that you have a complete disregard for my time and what I have going on. I told you that I have to leave town to get back and see my grandmother and you want a LATE LUNCH?!? And I had to BEG you for THAT because the ONLY thing that you WANT from ME is SEX!!! I'm SICK of this! I can't stand it anymore!!!"
I was yelling completely uncontrollably. It takes quite a bit for me to get angry but once I'm there, every ounce of Latina blood comes boiling over the surface. Then it takes me a while to calm back down again. This was not one of my proudest moments.
My hands were shaking and I didn't hold back anything that I'd been thinking for months now. He couldn't understand much of what I was saying. He was at a restaurant with his family having dinner. (Oops.)
He said he wanted to call me after dinner. I told him he could try but I would not answer the phone.
I hung up, drove to the gym and went swimming. I swam lap after lap trying to cool off. I wasn't sure if I wanted to take the time to meet with him after all.
When I picked up my cell phone, he had called 3 times and left voice mails. When I returned home, he had left a message there too. The next morning, he called me while he was still in bed. He sent a text message.
I realized, that morning, that it wasn't him that I was angry at. It was our timing. We've had timing issues since we first met.
- 1985: He asked me out and I was dating someone else.
- 1986: I was single and he was dating someone else.
- 1987: We were to go out on our first date. That didn't happen because his parents wanted to spend time with him before he headed off to college. He stopped by my house to see me on his way to the airport.
- 1991: He comes to visit me in Dallas. I'm dating the man I would marry the following year.
- Mid to late 1990's - 2001: He checks in occasionally over email and yes... I'm still married.
- 2007: We finally begin dating only to find out that he has to leave for war for 15 months.
I guess our bad timing shows that its not supposed to happen for us. And this week just proved the point.
I finally texted back that I would meet him for lunch. I was still really frustrated and thought that when I saw him, I could at least clear the air with him. Maybe in person, he would actually listen to me.
I left work on Friday and called to tell him where to meet me for lunch.
To be continued...