When I Realized I Loved Him
He was my friend for years before we started dating. I cared deeply for him as a friend and he kept doing nice things for me… like bring me a dozen roses on a bad day at work or pick me up a souvenir coming back from a trip outside NY or something like that. He was always so sweet and caring and just a really stand up guy. What attracted me to him (outside of his Math text books on his bookshelf – that’s a different story – and YES I’m a nerd) was the fact that he is a man of his word. How rare is that these days, I thought to myself. Everyone says one thing and does another. I’m personally guilty for that as well. But not him. If he says he’s going to do something, better believe that it’s getting done. He is the single most reliable and trustworthy man on the face of the Earth that I’ve known.
It was a few days after Valentine’s day in 2001 that we actually said the words “I Love You” to each other. But even then, I dare say I wasn’t “in love” or didn’t realize it. I was very closed off to him because I was afraid to open up to yet another man who may just high tail it outta there. But sometimes you have to lose something before you can realize it’s worth.
It was November of 2001. My grandmother had passed away in August of 2001 and no need to recap what happened in September of 2001. Emotionally… I was completely raw and unravelled. My baby was in the process of looking into an apartment housing complex that was provided to him by his workplace. It would be his first time moving out. And I found that I had the desperate need for him to invite me with him. “Come move in with me” was all I wanted to hear. But he never said it. I didn’t understand then that he simply wanted to explore the world on his own and spread his own wings. I was looking for him to affirm this “love” that I wasn’t even willing to admit that I felt for him. While hanging out with a bunch of girlfriends one afternoon, I voiced my discontent with his moving out and me not being asked to come with him. And one girlfriend announced:
This INFURIATED me to no end and was probably fueled by that percieved lack of validation from him. One Saturday, we were on the phone and I was being stank. I mean. S-T-A-N-K to him. And he asked me what was wrong. And I let him have it… full on with expletives and rolling of the neck (as if he could see it over the phone) and yelling and whatever else I could put on that. He waited for my tirade to end and stated calmly into the phone “You know what? I don’t have to accept any of this. I’m out. This is over.” In my haughtiness I said, “You better be sure about what you’re doing. You don’t want to lose me.” He said “I’d rather be alone than be treated like this.” *click*
The next 16 hours were the most HELLISH I remember in all my life (aside from the hours waiting for my mom to come out of surgery). I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I paced about. I had cold sweats. I cried incessantly. I called all of his friends to find him (because he’d stopped answering his phone and emails). I EVEN EMAILED HIS MOTHER. To no avail. I finally called his best friend who was in Philadelphia visiting his girlfriend at 6 AM (remember — I didn’t sleep) and started out by saying “Do you know where Earl is? We had this fight about nothing really and it escalated…” I didn’t get to finish my statement before his best friend cut me off and screamed on me, ” WELL MAYBE THE PROBLEM IS THAT YOU THINK IT WAS ABOUT NOTHING!! IT WASN’T ABOUT NOTHING TO HIM. IT MEANT SOMETHING TO HIM. SO THINK ABOUT THAT!” I’d never heard that man raise his voice and it shocked me in to doing something drastic to get my baby back. I got on all 3 trains it took me to get to my baby’s house at 7 AM, hoping he was home. I just remember pacing back and forth with a magazine in my hand, prepared to camp out on his door step till he did come home. Walking up his block, all I could think to myself was this elaborate speech about how we should stay together and it makes sense (very analytical). When I saw his car parked on the block it gave me the slightest glimmer of hope. I walked up and rang the door bell. His mother answered. I was TERRIFIED of this woman.
Me: Hello Ms. F… How are you today?
Her: *staring me down*
Me: Um… I was stopping to see Earl………. Please?
Her: He’s not here. *crosses arms*
Me: With all due respect ma’am… I saw his car on the street. I know he’s here. He and I really need to talk. Please, ma’am (thinking to myself… WOW! I’ve NEVER been so brave!)
Her: *staring me down*
then she turned and went down stairs after mumbling what sounded like “wait here”.
She returned up the stair well and opened the door and invited me in. There was my baby in the shadows by the stairwell. My heart leapt at the sight of him. She sat us down in the living room and told us to work it out and shut the door. I proped myself up to give my speech about all the analytical everything I came up with as to why we should stay together… and I looked into his eyes and turned into a blubbering idiot. I collapsed against his chest and totally lost it blurting “I missed you so much’s” and “I love you’s” and “I need you’s” and when I was still for long enough, I felt his chest heaving and sobbing too… and echoing my sentiments all the while we’re clutching on to each other. I couldn’t live my life without him. I couldn’t be without him. I never felt that way or told anyone that I felt that about them… ever. And from that point forward, I would do whatever in my power to make sure that I didn’t have to live without him anymore. Because I was in love with him and now realized his worth to me in my life.
(Long story, I know, Clink… but i needed to document it anyways).
Gonna go call him…*sigh*