He kept looking back as he boarded the boat. Each time his face looked more sad than the next. I kept biting my lip. Trying not to cry. At times I couldn’t even look up. The lump in my throat got larger as he disappeared into the swarm of people.
I was there. On the dock. Alone.
Every time he visits, my heart knows it will hurt a bit more when he leaves. With every goodbye the pain increases. The desire for him to stay digs deeply into my soul. Why does he leave when he knows he can stay? What stops him? I ask him this all the time and usually he responds the same way: “I don’t know.”
I don’t know how to convince him of how wanted he is. I don’t now how to change his mind. How to tell him I don’t want him to go and make him realize just how badly I don’t want him to go. I don’t have the words for it. I never seem to. If he could only feel what I feel when he leaves then maybe he’d understand. He can’t though. He isn’t me. So I have to wait. To wait for him to realize it.
I’m not very good at waiting.
I am however very good at holding onto things for longer than I ought to. This trip I told him of my rule. I have a time limit for relationships. If they don’t seem to progress after a certain period of time, I bail out. I won’t say how long I wait, because that’s the issue. If they know then they’ll manipulate you. Not that he would in all reality, but I am afraid of it still. Others have. That’s happened so many times before. That’s the problem with being empathetic. You can rationalize everything a person does and let them get away with dragging you on and on for so long. It’s torture of course, but you never tell yourself that. You make up excuses. Tell yourself that things will be alright. That they really do love you and just aren’t ready. But, that’s the whole point isn’t it? Not ready. If they aren’t ready then why are they in a relationship? So I have had to take responsibility for his flaw in my life. Which is painful. Very painful. It makes me out to be the bad guy when things end. Makes me out to be the selfish one. That really sucks. It’s not wrong to protect yourself from the manipulation! What’s wrong is the manipulation! Being lead on. The attempts to convince me to play wife when they have not committed to making me one. So I have to make personal rules…dare I say…laws. I have to protect myself.
As I drove away from the dock, eyes misty from saying farewell, I found myself trying to tune out my brother, who desperately wished to run and get some essential oils from the natural market down town. We were close and he tagged along with me and my mom. Not to say goodbye to my boyfriend of course, but to accomplish his own desires to make everything he owns smell like eucalyptus. “It reminds me of he spas in Hawaii.” He commented as I quickly grabbed a tissue out of my purse at the stop sign, waiting for an opening to slip into.
My mother was crying as well. Empathizing with me. She and I have the same personality type: INFP. So she and I feel things in a very similar way. Though during the week she seemed to be upset about something. She’d constantly be scolding my father, and they’d have whispering arguments in their bedroom a lot lately. Sometimes not so whispering arguments too. They’d been at each other for a while now. It’s constant after nearly 29 years together. They’ve been going through things I know. Dad having just been diagnosed with Celiac disease and upset about his eating habits and disfunction caused by the disease. Mom because of the disfunction it has caused him, and the insensitivity he always had towards her dietary needs and restrictions from her allergies and diabetes, and now his sudden demand for her to be more sympathetic towards how upset he was to have to change his eating when for over 50 years he hasn’t had to think about food before he put it in his mouth like she and I do. It was a lot of aggravation. I could understand. Still, she empathized with me, probably releasing all the stress and tension of everything else in her tears. Though I felt that there was much more she was crying about than just my feelings, my boyfriend leaving, and the issues in her relationship, but I couldn’t quite read what that sorrow was.
I drove to the natural market and helped my brother pick out an essential oil diffuser. It took him only moments. He never shops. He goes in, buys, and leaves. Never looks at anything else. Tries not to make eye contact. In and out. So he purchased and we left.
My tears were saved for the arrival at my apartment later that afternoon. My boyfriend and I had stayed at my parents house that week, because they had more room, Internet, and I wanted them to spend some time with him too. I had brought my cat Shelby with us, and she had been quite dismayed about the whole affair. When I released her from her traveling carrier in my apartment, she immediately began to rub herself on the floor, happier than ever to be in her own space. That night she and I cuddled as I cried. We cuddled as I read. We cuddled as I spoke to him on the phone that night where he recounted his trip back home and his plans for the next day. We cuddled as I slept. It was much desired affection to help me heal from the heartbreak of having had my partner in crime suddenly gone. Cats are wonderful creatures in that way. They give you companionship to help break the loneliness, and that was just what I was. Being an introvert didn’t matter that night. I was lonely. Completely and desperately lonely.
I felt pathetic.