30 Days

We made introductions over salad, pasta and cider. We laughed over ice cream in the rain. We perched close upon the bench with shoulders rubbing nervously. We spent hours not wanting the night to end. We took dinner to the park and explored favored hiding places. We kissed among the throng of passerby. We laid on the floor listening to playlists of our collective childhood. We settled in side by side and listened to stories, to hopes and dreams. We’ve wandered and adventured. We’ve locked ourselves indoors and spent entire days beneath the covers.

In the 30 days since that kiss on the cheek I’ve become no more sure of where you came from or how you found me, but I am sure of how quickly and completely you’re winning me over.

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Hindsight

When relationships end and new ones begin, it seems so obvious what was lacking in the former once you have the new to compare it to. It’s become clear what my last relationship had, what drew me in and held me for a time; but it’s also been made clear what was missing, why it wouldn’t last.

We worked for a while, and then we didn’t. That’s the way things go with love, sometimes they last and sometimes they don’t. So we pick up the pieces, determine the degree of contact to remain (if any) and we move on — on to new, on to different, and ideally on to better. Here’s hoping we’ve learned our lessons.

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Prized Possessions

 

It was getting late and we had just wrapped up our post-dinner card game. You were a room away, getting things settled as I crawled beneath the covers, recalling the events of earlier that day; the surprise of an email notification for a file being shared with me. Recordings. The attached note explained that you were granting me access to five years worth of musical tinkering; The innermost bits of my musical brain, you wrote. This archive was your most prized possession and I was the first person you shared them with. I was stunned. I wanted to reciprocate. I wanted to match your decision to trust.

I’ve shared this blog before with mixed results; the last time I showed it to the guy I was seeing it was not well received. I’d been made more than a little wary of sharing this collection, but I so badly wanted to share my roughly recorded thoughts. Message sent. It was out there, there was no taking it back. If I thought I was nervous moments ago, it was nothing compared with the anxiety I was feeling in the minutes leading up to your response: Subscribed. That’s pretty gutsy, putting yourself out there like that. I’m impressed.

My phone buzzed beside the bed, the screen illuminating the New Message notification and beneath it, the sender: the ex.

Several messages sent back and forth, my frustration growing with each, when you walked into the room and settled into bed beside me. I laid my phone down and buried my face in the pillow, my mind fairly well wrecked. The unexpected contact was not one I wanted to tackle that evening or, really, ever again. We read the messages allowed, I explained the loves of my past and my history of mistakes. We laid there in the dark for a few moments, my nose and lips pressed against your shoulder while I listened to our breathing match and slow. Out of the dark came your voice, shaking a little more than usual, but determined:

This isn’t really a thing that I do. I’m an overthinker, this sort of anxiety usually cripples me, but I want to start. I want to share with you.

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Versus

You saw me as one sees a figure through a one-way mirror, viewed through the reflection of your own likeness. Your multi-faceted image projected upon my own. Your fears, suddenly my own to overcome. You pushed your ideals and hopes over mine. You made your security the priority. There was no we to you. There was no us. You refused to step from your comfort zone to provide and assist and comfort.

You couldn’t see that unpredictability could be a good thing, that constantly seeking security could be holding you back.

It was you versus me. It was a battle to fulfill your requirements instead of working together to fulfill one another.

I doubt now if you ever understood me. If you ever really wanted me the way I was. Or if you saw me as a malleable novelty to be turned and worked and crafted.

I’m no doll, no blank to be reformed. I’m Kate.

Love me, understand me, but don’t try to impose yourself upon me.

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Sort Of

 

“I’m sort of seeing someone,” I catch myself saying, feeling an immediate tug of guilt, realizing what a lie this simple statement really is.

I’m not sort of  seeing someone.

I am quite intentionally seeing him.

I see his tired mind at the end of the day when work begins to loosen its hold on his thoughts. I see his smile-creased eyes as we dance around the kitchen preparing dinner. I see his eyes flutter closed as I pull his face to mine. I see his blue eyes rise and fall as we hop from story to story, from silly to serious and back again. I see his comfort as we settle into the loveseat, as our bodies overlap. I see the hunger in his eyes as he pulls my shirt up and over my head and arms. I see his slender frame, dewy and fresh, as we tiptoe from the shower to the bed. I see his face fall slack as sleep overtakes him.

And I know he sees me.

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