We have responsibilities as humans, as people, not to fuck with the feelings of other people. We may not always ask for them or feel like we intentionally evoked them, but when we become aware of someone having feelings for us it is a basic tenet of respect that we communicate with that person with care.
Tom did not do those things. But who is Tom? Tom is Married guy, the one who has been the subject of so many of these posts. But I’m tired of secrets and I think I stopped owing him anything the moment he ignored his responsibilities in taking care with my feelings.
It’s been just over a month since I met Tortoise which means it’s been a month since Tom and I stopped running away from the conversation that we should have had years ago. We fucked for the last time that afternoon although I guess neither of us knew that at the time.
Then, and I’m not really sure why I thought to ask in that moment, but I asked him how to pronounce my name.
He got it wrong. He tried again. He got it wrong.
This man that I had loved for the better part of two years didn’t even know how to say my name. It was the motivation I needed to ask about us, to find out if he actually cared for me at all.
He tried to end it, tried to get up and walk away like he always did. He got angry with me, defensive, told me I always picked him apart and made him feel like crap. He told me I always set the bar higher for him than anyone else.
I found that laughable. For two years I had lived on emails and kik messages and less than half a dozen phone calls. I had never been to his house. I had never met him in a public place. Never had a beer with him. Never spent the night together. But suddenly, the bar I set was too high? My problem was it was set too fucking low.
I sat on him, both of us still naked. Today I wasn’t going to let him walk away or change the subject. I wanted answers. I wanted to know where this was or wasn’t going. I wanted to know if I mattered.
If you’re a regular reader you already know the answer to this.
I climbed off him and dressed. I walked out into my living room. I yelled at some point and I never yell. When he walked out the door, I cried.
He came back but there was nothing else to say. He touched me awkwardly on the shoulder, like how you might console a grieving colleague you don’t know well. Then he actually left.
It was necessary pain and long overdue. There was a huge sense of finality to it. There was no going back from this. It was impossible to lie to myself when the proof was standing impassively in front of me. There was a reason he’d put this off for so long. He knew how it would play out.
That night, I went to Tortoise’s house. We drank gin and watched Netflix and I slept in his bed with his arms around me.
Tom and I exchanged a few emails in the days after. I thought maybe the confrontation might have changed his mind. That was silly of me wasn’t it?
It’s been just over a month since I met Tortoise. I know this because he told me on the weekend it was our “month-iversary”.