There’s so many things I want to say, things to share and update you on, and questions, clarifications from this whole thing. You will probably never see this letter, but I feel the need to do it for me. Catharsis, you may say. In my mind I feel this letter might sort out all the thoughts in my head, connect the pieces, and heal the wounds. Erasing it all would be ideal, but I know that’s not how it works. So I rather confront it all. Say the truths are they were, as they are. Acknowledge where I perhaps blinded myself. Here goes…
I never thought you and I would happen. Not at all. When I first saw you, I was drawn to your looks. I had always wanted to meet that “tall, dark, handsome” figure, one I thought was mythological, and there you were at work, at a school down the street. We didn’t speak much, but you seemed nice. I liked the way you dressed. I thought it was professional, clean, classy. We didn’t see much of that at the school, so it made you stand out. Your shyness and quietness also were intriguing factors about you. It was this air, this blanket of mystery around you. People acknowledged it, mentioned it, but it was never in a negative light. I think it made people more interested, more curious about you and drew them in. People had a good impression of you and I had one too. When I ran into you that night downtown, I remember being so embarrassed. I didn’t want to get an “unprofessional” opinion of myself. I hoped to avoid seeing you at work. Then, I ran into you and played it off in a funny way. You responded the same and it definitely lightened the mood. I thought to myself, this guy is pretty cool.
Then, the overnight trip happened. Not going to lie. I was happy to go with you. I thought, tall and strong. Plus, good eye candy. Woo! I told Em I thought you were hot and I might get my flirt on, but she told me you were seeing someone and it was serious. So serious, she thought that this was the one. This is it. She told me this woman was Asian and you had a thing for Asian women. I was a bit deflated and decided not to say much. You were taken and I clearly wasn’t Asian, so why bother. No chance. Done. Plus, you were from work, so I had to keep it professional. On the bus ride, you were in the far back so we didn’t get to speak. I thought this was a sign of things to come. That you would be withdrawn the whole time. That the load of this trip would fall on me. But then I look around at those kids, knowing they may never get another chance a something fun and outdoors like this. So I didn’t care. I’d do whatever we had to for them. Sitting at the teacher’s table for meals was a nice surprised. I expected to sit with the kids. We spoke. I think I shared about my family. Weird. I didn’t really know you, but here I was talking about my grandfather. Why? I don’t know. Maybe I wanted you to know a bit more about me. Maybe I was nervous and the result was babbling like an idiot Whatever the reason, you listened, held eye contact, seemed engaged. You had that aura that I could tell you anything. Or maybe that’s my flaw that I just trust people. Then, the night walk came (bad idea) and I was a bit scared. I wonder now if that was just an excuse to hold onto you arm or I really was scared of how dark it was. It was nice to take hold of someone who strong and tall. I had my “hero” moment with you. And I guess I never took you off that status…You would be associated with good, kind, respectful, a gentleman. Boy, how wrong was I….
From there, we started to talk more in the halls or when we bumped into each other. Running into you was like a rare sighting, so I would make the most of it. The staff room photocopier budding was always fun. I knew you were a nice guy and would always let me through. But again, I always approached with caution and never thought much of it. You were taken. Happily taken. This is harmless. Then at some moment, the flirting went up a notch. Maybe it wasn’t even flirting in your eyes. I joked about you getting me a tea. You did it. On more than one occasion, without even me asking. Green tea, black. You remembered. Then it became talking more and at some point, since you had my number for supplying, it was texting. Maybe this is where I was wrong. You were in a 3 year relationship. I should’ve stopped. No excuses. I just really never thought it meant anything. Harmless work flirting. I didn’t even think I was your type. The Blue Jays game was an interesting event. You text me if I am at Jessica’s and that you’re on your way. All the girls were like, “What?! Is he serious?!” I just figured you wanted to join the fun, young group (haha) and since we had been talking, you felt comfortable with someone more familiar. I was seeing someone and looking forward to seeing him. Yet, moments before you came, I rushed into the bathroom to see how I looked. You walked in all relaxed and cool, sleeves rolled up showing your tattoos. I didn’t realize you had that many. We weren’t at the apartment long until it was time to go and I will admit, I “hogged” your company because I didn’t want one else to. Why did I do this? I don’t know. Was it the cider? Was it something else? I just wanted your attention and I think I got it. You surprised me a bit on the subway opening up about your relationship and that oh so deep, philosophical questions, “Do you think men should have kids?” Without hesitation, I gave you my answer, prefaced by the statement that I am a traditional girl. I remember telling you it would all sort out. She would come around. Then, a mistake. Jokingly and flirtatious saying, “Don’t worry. I’ll have your kids. They’d be so cute, white and Latin mixed kids.” Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. I barely saw or spoke to you during the game. My date came. You sat with other people. But I do remember you getting up and leaving before the game. You would later tell me you went to keep drinking and you didn’t know how you got home…Tell tail sign that I would ignore.
Here you start to ask me out. I contacted you after the game (or spoke in person), I forget now, but I wanted to apologize for what I said. I felt so stupid and realized how wrong it was, even as a joke. Again, as always, you were cool about it and told me not to worry. Then, you started to ask me to hang out. Grab dinner. Grab some wings. Meet up at the Black Horse. I would ignore. Sometimes say I’m busy. It did feel good to be pursued. I haven’t really felt that in my life. I liked it. I can’t lie. But then I also stood my ground and told you, “You’re in a relationship. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” You replied that you just wanted to be friends. Tell tail sign that again I would ignore.
You stopped for a bit, then we started talking at work. Your room now. I now had the audacity to come to your room. Why? Again, no good reason. You were telling me about your trip to Peru and Bolivia. I thought it was a guys trip. Then, I asked the question of who you are going with and you said your girlfriend. It pissed me off because of what you had told me before. This guy here is going with someone who he questions being with, doesn’t want kids and was asking me to hang out. Writing this now, I feel even more stupid. This is where I should have run. This is where I see you are someone who doesn’t know what they want. You were tumbling back and forth. Sad, you’re almost 40. Anyways, my stupidity is clear now, but it wasn’t then. I did give you the cold shoulder. You did notice and I remember you texted me asking what was wrong. I should’ve cut you off. Then and here. For good. I replied playing it cool. You started to come see me in my room. I consented. Graduation day I told you to come see me. Wrong, so wrong. I wanted you to see how I looked, in my white dress, hair and make-up done. I wanted validation. I wanted to hear I looked good. I was pretty. Then, I took it too far. I texted you saying it was good you left because we would have kissed. Wow. How low could I go? Was I really that lonely? I guess so.
Staff party rolls around. And the one act that I genuinely wish I could take back happens. There’s many things I wish never happened, but I don’t regret because they’ve shaped me into who I am. But this act, was wrong and I think in a way, I have paid for during this break up. When you got up to leave, I should’ve let you. I shouldn’t have stood in that hallway and asked you to stay. I guess I felt I had something over you, some type of power/influence, because you had shown interest. And you did stay. When you did actually leave, I kissed you. Was it the wine? Maybe. Was it because I wanted to feel something? Maybe. There in the middle of the street, we kiss passionately. I see this different side of you. I didn’t expect your reaction. You held me strong, held me close. When I walked away, I was so dizzy and I did say to myself, “What did I just do?” I tried to play it cool the next day. To be honest, it didn’t mean much to me. I was just more embarrassed to show up to the staff meeting with you there. I didn’t want to be with you. I guess I just wanted to see how far the flirting could go. No mastermind plan to steal you away. You came looking for me. I could’ve cared less. You asked me to wait. I laughed and said no. Not interested. I’m young. I have opportunities. I encouraged you to fix your relationship and wished you all the best. You hugged me, kissed me on the forehead (ironically as you would when I ended it) and left. Reaching out to you in July was another big mistake. I was lonely. I felt rejected. Adam. Matteo. Men in general. I wanted to feel good about myself. Feel desirable. There was a void. I wanted to fill it. Fast. I should’ve never asked you out for coffee. I shouldn’t have kissed you again. When we finished walking at the park and I said forget about me, I should’ve meant it. I need to start doing what I say. You drove off. I was a bit hurt, but had dinner plans with someone else. I didn’t care. I was keeping my mind occupied and the summer had just begun.
Revisiting this all now, I realize how wrong I was from the beginning. I almost don’t recognize myself. Here I am claiming to be a good woman, wife material, and I acted in the exact opposite way. I clearly wasn’t respecting myself or you. Or her. I’m embarrassed sitting here at my dinner table reliving what I was. I hope to never ever be that person again. Now I am seeing a bit more clearly that I am reaping what I sowed…
I’m not going to recount the day you reached out to me, meeting up to talk, our first date and the subsequent dates after. I am tired at this point and frankly, I’ve already replayed it in my mind a few times. I will say this. I was vulnerable when you messaged me. I had just stopped seeing Mark. I missed him and then you pop up. Perfect quick fix solution. I wonder if you knew I would reply. You said you waited 2 weeks to message me. You had broken up with her. Not gone on the trip. Knowing you now I think that was a lie. I think she was on the trip, you were alone and you took the opportunity to go behind her back. You claim you’d never done that before. Em would say otherwise and now I definitely know you did. I was stupid enough to believe you and stupid enough to be flattered by this. A guy. Chasing me. Wow. Good for me. No, more like you’re an idiot. I think you were bored, had time on your hands with she was away. I doubt you were really interested in me. I think I was more of an ego boost to you. It felt good. You wanted more. It was never really about me? Was it? It was only about you. That’s why when I told you what I wanted, what I was about, you just nodded and smiled. Yea yea, you were probably thinking. Like I care. Like I’m listening. This feels good. Don’t know if it will last. Just enjoying the ride. I would know this is true because when I saw your work agenda, you would still have her birthday written in. By now we were a few months of dating. You claimed it happened because at the beginning, I was giving you the run around. I really was confused and didn’t know if we should continue. It was up and down. But write down her birthday? You weren’t sure about leaving her. As usual, you were being yourself. Uncertain about everything.
It was a punch in the stomach. Before my birthday too. Before going to meet my dad, step-mom and sister. I should’ve left you then. I was clearly back-up, rebound girl. You were really never sure about us. As always, you chased me down, found a way to wiggle your way out of it. Assured me all these things. Your feelings. How you looked at me. Blah blah. I fell for it. Again and again. Like when I tried ending it at the beginning of September. I actually did. Over the phone, you called me too. I stood my ground. Then, I texted you from Lula. Asked you to come. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Why was I so weak? Why am I so weak? I couldn’t shake you off. I had this firm belief you cared. You said you saw a future with me. I figured you left this other woman for me, so that’s a good sign. Like who would do that if they didn’t care or weren’t serious? You even got her out of your house. I thought these were all signs…They were. I just wasn’t reading them correctly…
Meeting your parents, sister, nephews and some of your family continued to solidify my belief in you. The visit to your sister’s you asked me first about it, felt like a step in the right direction. Early. But a good sign I thought. I was curious to see you with your family, with your nephews. Kids are a good indicator of a person. They are so honest. I saw how much they loved you. Looked up to you. I said, “Wow. He’s better with kids than I expected.” Those boys don’t really know who you are David. Maybe it’s better that way. For their sake, it’s better for them to keep this “positive” image of you. You meet my family too. My father and step-mom really did embrace you with open arms. So much care into their invitations, the food, presentation. I don’t think you wholly appreciated it. That hurts me. You didn’t see the value in the people I love or their actions. Why? What blinds you so? It was the same with me. At the end you would tell me how being with an affectionate person was “an adjustment.” Really? Like a bad thing. Not like something to be happy and grateful for. It was a burden. A cross to bear. To have someone verbally affectionate, physically affectionate, supportive was too much. You made me feel wrong. But this is who I am. I love. I love purely. I love wholly. I’m all in. I want to build someone up. Encourage, motivate. Be that partner that supports them through all. The one they turn to. The one they know has their back. But this is where we clashed. Your manifestation of “affection” was different. Your upbringing was different. Your experiences with women in the past was different. And here I was, in all my naïve glory, giving you the best of me. All of me. Unfiltered. Because I loved you. I trusted you. I worked with our differences, understood as best as I could. Shaped myself to your liking, preferences, attitudes. You didn’t like to go out a lot. Fine, let’s stay in. You don’t like that activity. Fine, we won’t do it. I didn’t care. I was willing to compromise certain things…I thought it was mutual…
But as much as I thought it wouldn’t matter, as much as I thought I could get away with it, I couldn’t (or will never) compromise my faith…my God. It really was unexpected to see how much you hated church. You put on quite the show, a very good performance. But appearances only hold up for so long. The battle ensued. The tension grew. And it all came crashing down. It’s God, David. Such a good thing. The best thing. I wasn’t pushing you to drugs, drinking, partying. I was trying to take you away from your family. It was just church. A place to be better, to be loved on, renewed and restored. But that’s it. In your eyes, there is no need. You are fine. You are a “good” person. You take care of your own problems. You don’t need God. In fact, you don’t need anyone. And this was it. Whether you blame my mom, for wanting someone good in my life, or me for “pushing” this agenda on you, I just wanted to share with the person I loved what was meaningful to me. What was so special to me. Maybe I was a poor, very poor example of a Christian, so you didn’t take me seriously…and that’s where I can’t blame you. I don’t regret taking a stance when it came to the faith divide. It was a huge realization for me. I want someone I can pray with, go to church with, talk about my faith and both the joys and struggles that come with it. I want my children to grow up in the church. To have the solid knowledge that they are loved, created with purpose by a merciful Father. That they see their two parents strong in the faith and have that example. That they grow up to be unwavering Christians. Not like me. I want them to be better than me. To not make the mistakes I did. I need the support of a God fearing man to do that. I know you’ll think but look at my nephews, they’re good kids. They’re good without God. Yes, they are great kids. But I want my family to be grounded on more than good morals, good values. Good isn’t enough to ground a family these days. You need something more. Something stronger. And that’s God. He is the rock to stand on. The only certainty in the world. The only certainty among people.
I don’t disagree with this relationship ending. I wouldn’t say that that’s what hurts. I think the unveiling of who you are, truly are, is it. Believing so strongly in someone, in their character and words, only to be completely blindsided by their contradictory actions. I didn’t know you by the end David…It’s fine you didn’t want to be with me. But why that approach? Why the lies? Why not be upfront? Why the need to go behind my back? Sure, party, drink do whatever. I don’t reap those consequences. But what was the void? Why see other women? I am really that horrible of a person? Am I not pretty enough? Sexual enough? Smart enough? Did I mistreat you so? Was the church thing so bad you had to get back at me in some way? Was what my mom said so bad that it justified your actions? You couldn’t even look at me in the end. Your touch was different. It was cold, empty. I felt like you were disgusted with me. What was it that I did so wrong? And yet, there I was, crying like an idiot, being open and vulnerable. Trying to end things on a positive note. Trying to be considerate of both of you. I should’ve been considerate more of myself.
You tried to plan it out well. Have me spend time with your parents one more time. The excuse of your AQ course to not see me on weekends. How was the Jays game you took her to? Or Prince Edwards county you were asking your dad about and Googling? Did she enjoy it? Was I really that miserable of a person you had to do that too? After a year, was what I said, did worth nothing? Are you still with her? Are you happy? Is she worth it? Was the plan to start this new relationship, go on vacation with me, then end it with me and go with her? Clever. More cake. More eating. All of a sudden after 2 weeks, you reappear. You now believe our anniversary was on the 7th. It was always on the 6th. You believe Mexico would be good for us. Fix things. Hm. But I say no, it’s over. You call me out about money. Low blow. You knew I didn’t have a lot, my mom doesn’t have a lot. You know those vulnerabilities. It was humiliating. You wouldn’t sell me your ticket to go with my sister. You said you’d go alone. And that you did. You thought you’d call my bluff. I am worth more than $1,300 David. I don’t have that kind of money to waste, but it was worth it. I wasn’t going to let you have that over me.
That last week before the week you really showed me who and what you are. You called me out about the cheque and it not being in the mailbox. Then, you keep telling me to come on the trip, we deserve it, much needed break. Did the other woman not want to go? Were you embarrassed to tell her it was a trip with your girlfriend who now left you? Did you really have no other friends to go with? What about Blake or Jaime? They’re your party buddies no? When I tried calling you to sort it out (like adults), you wouldn’t answer. You resorted to text. Was it because she was around? You couldn’t manage to answer the call to the person who just gave you $1,300? Did the respect just evaporate overnight? Did the “love” really just recede to nothing overnight? Must have. Even the day before the trip, you couldn’t bring yourself to answer my call. Yet, you have the audacity to text me that you waited at the gate. That you were sorry. Sorry? No, you’re not sorry. And over text? How old are you? Then, you call and tell me to come. This place is paradise. Why didn’t you call her? Fly her over? Why me? What did you want with me? A Spanish translator? What more did you want to do to hurt me? Were you not done yet? Were your sadist needs not satisfied? That is what I don’t and perhaps will never understand. You couldn’t look at me, kiss me, yet you wanted to be on vacation with me…Hm…How was it David? Did you have a good time? How are those girls you met? You know, the ones you added on Facebook. We have mutual friends on there, don’t forget.
Your parents email was interesting. Was that your attempt to save face? To patch things up? A virtually pat on the back? What did you tell them? Who took the blame in all this? Did you tell that what you told me? That you are “avoiding the next phase in your life” and that you “like to drink.” Or is it going to be like the whole Master’s thing, you just won’t tell them so they don’t have a negative impression of you. I get it. The burden of being the “good son” fell on you. You didn’t deserve that. No one does. It’s a lot to carry. But isn’t putting this façade up even worse? At this point, that’s how I view our whole relationship. A façade. A lie. It’s hard to distinguish from what was real and what was a lie. I feel it was all a lie. An act. Every genuine moment we had, everything that every came out of your mouth is questioned. It’s tainted. There’s isn’t much left to remember, look back on.
Maybe I deserved all this. Because I how I acted. Maybe this is karma, returning it all back to me. Whatever it may be, I see it this way. We are often undeserving of the pain and hurt we are made recipients of. Nevertheless, we should embrace, for courage and strength are forged in the fire. Maybe I am too affectionate. Too kind. Too caring. Too open and trusting. Too family oriented. Too God fearing. Too much of everything you didn’t like. Didn’t appreciate. But, I believe someone will appreciate all of this. All of me. I refuse to believe what you said about my expectations of relationships. Yes, none are perfect. Yes, it’s not always 50/50. But I deserve to be respected. I deserve honesty. I deserve truth and loyalty. I deserve a strong man, not a coward.
Thank you. You’ve opened my eyes in many ways. My skin is thicker, my heart beats stronger. I am still me. I won’t change. I love myself. All my quirks. All my hopes. And here’s the hard part. As much as I want to see karma come your way, that you get what you deserve, see you hurt the way you hurt me, I can’t go that route. This is where I act like the Christian I say I am. I forgive you. For everything you did. For the way you blindsided me. For the things I know you did and those I don’t. You are forgiven. You owe me nothing. I wish you all the best. Health. Happiness. All of it.