The Tipping Point

Today I saw her.

I had finished (nearly) writing my thoughts out to her regarding what I felt, how she was wrong and why we were right together. None of this, of course, matters but it’s important to me that I share with her because there is the smallest chance that she’ll learn that she is loved and some men are good.

Instead, she’s going to use it as an example why men suck, why we are terrible and disrespectful creatures. Can’t win with her.

She looked beautiful as she chastised me, mocked me. She was busy being a bitch but at least she looked great doing it.

The day began early as I woke up early to print something. Do some laundry (want to look fresh), jog and shower. I hadn’t had success at her house so I’d decided to just wait at the school’s bus stop, the one I suspected she’d be at (I’d accidentally ran into there while walking with friends).

I got to the bus stop at 10:47am. One of her classes got out then but I wasn’t sure how long she’d be on campus. I sat in the morning sun, finished writing in my notebook. I was nervous and apprehensive but I breathed and focused on my goal. I just wanted to give her this notebook.

I had a lot to say.

I sat and waited, and waited and waited. Nothing. It was 4:48ish and I went to meet some friends briefly before one last check. It seemed like she must have gone some other way. No luck, again. I went inside to get some wifi and water. Resolving that I’d wait for one more bus and then give up for today. Maybe tomorrow?

And then I stepped outside and looked across the street and… there.

The woman I… Game time. Without thinking I just started walking. I didn’t look at her, just waited for the light and crossed the street. Coming up beside her as she stood in the sunlight. Blue Tee and light blue jeans. Her hair was down (part of why I recognized her) and she turned away.

She wasn’t happy. I said hey… I wrote this for you. She didn’t want it but I managed to get it into her hands. She was confused by the red thread bookmark. I explained it and was about to walk away but… it’s hard to walk away from that girl. I love her presence.

I should have known better, done better. Should have left it in her hands and walked away but … I didn’t.

It was one of those fights that you’re only supposed to have if you care. She was annoyed, she “didn’t know what I was doing there” — though it was obvious. I wrote to her. She told me that she had said I couldn’t

But she didn’t… and I reminded her, she denied it, of course, and I apologized if I misremembered (I didn’t) but I had already done it. And she took on this attitude of incredulous disdain. She mocked me, she sighed and said, “Oh my God” and she just generally made it clear how mad she was.

I, unfortunately, sat on my own emotions. We were in public, on the sidewalk, people were walking by and I had told myself: Just give her the notebook — but she was just trying to pick a fight — at least, that’s what it felt like.

I pressed my points and responded but I didn’t lose my temper, I didn’t yell at her or get angry. But I wanted to. Badly.

But how does that end…. it ends up with her throwing the notebook at me and getting on the bus furious with me. It’s a no-win scenario. So, I remained firm but quiet. Even moving in closer to her at one point (we stayed about 5 or 6 ft apart) so I didn’t have to yell as traffic zoomed by.

I had been in the sun for hours, a little dehydrated, a little hungry and now I was trying to tell this woman who’s I adore more than I have words for that … I love you… I didn’t say that. She would have laughed in my face but I wish I had.

I struggled to find any words against her anger. And she mocked me, literally repeating me at one point. I’m okay with that, for some reason; what’s wrong with me? That bullshit and I’m okay.

We talked about mixed messages and she said, of Instagram, she didn’t follow me back, it was a mistake if she did (right… you accidentally follow someone for 3 days and then block them).

She told me she was with somebody and that I was being disrespectful to her? How? How would he feel if he found out she had a notebook from me (I had to resist the urge to say, “I don’t care. I care about you.”) and then some rant about how everyone is telling her what to do and what she should be doing and she didn’t need me telling her what to do.

After I gave it to her, I was walking away and I said, “I do hope you read it.” I don’t know wh… I know why I said that, it was starting a conversation. Fucking idiot.

Which prompted her challenge and then a back and forth. She didn’t want to read my baggage, my journal, and feel bad or whatever. (I actually thought it was pretty uplifting).

She threatened to just throw it at me, she pleaded for me to take it but I refused. I had written it for her, I had come to far not to give it to her. And besides, I told her I’d just show up at her bus stop until she took it (this was not my preferred choice).

She rewrote my visit to her house and our talk on the porch. She wasn’t expecting me, she was unprepared and whatever… Her point being it didn’t count as a mixed message (like Instagram which she hasn’t been able to figure out, I guess?).

Her bus was taking forever and I had hoped it would end our conversation for us as I looked for a clean exit.

I made the mistake of saying she hadn’t been clear, she hadn’t been able to look me in the eyes and tell me how she feels (after telling me she could look wherever she wants, she proceeded to look me in the eyes).

And she said… what? She wants to end communication, she doesn’t want me around, we can’t be friends.

She didn’t understand. I reminded her that I meant what I said, I made promises to her last year and I meant them. She asked what I meant by that and I struggled to explain. I felt like I had cotton in my mouth (my mouth was literally dry by the time I was done).

I reminded her of the park and that I stood there and told her I would be around for her, be there for her (if she allowed it), and that I had meant it. I wasn’t joking, I’m not a liar, when I say something like that, I really truly mean it and that promise doesn’t just disappear because your mad at me.

She released me from that (in the most mocking way possible).

She made excuses for not taking it, which was strange to me, I just didn’t understand. She wouldn’t read it, she wasn’t going to read it, she’d say. She didn’t have time, she was very busy and wouldn’t have any time. She already had too much stuff to carry (she was carrying something with a plastic bag but her backpack clearly had space for this tiny notebook). That suggestion, by the way, put it in your backpack didn’t go over well with her. “Don’t tell me what to do. I have everyone telling me what to do.” (or something along those lines)

I didn’t want to tell her what to do (I’ve wanted to tell her how to do things, I suppose… for the sake of efficiency but never to control her).

She would thrust it toward me but, no…. She did say she hadn’t responded to my email or talked to me. She acted like she couldn’t be more clear but that was bullshit. She was full of it… it was strange.

I did have a moment or two to take her in. To just look at her… to be reminded of that face I adore.

Her threats were meaningless. My suggestion that she burn it if she didn’t want it around was met with her retort that I should burn it. I should take it and burn it and be done with it.

She didn’t understand why she mattered, she told me I had all these friends (I do) and a close friend (she accused me of holding her back) and it was strange. I know I don’t need her. I know I want her.

It’s as if she’s so completely rewritten history to suit her own “safe” narrative to justify staying with this new guy. I know that’s normal.

I wanted to beg for her to… to just listen to me, to just stop hiding how she really feels but she’s so stubborn. And it just felt like she was bullshitting me. I’ve seen her acting and it felt like she was saying the lines, saying the part she was supposed to say but she wasn’t feeling it. She didn’t say, “I’m in love with someone else,” she said, “I’m with someone else.” She didn’t say, “I don’t care about you anymore,” she said, “I don’t want to talk to you, we can’t be friends.” She didn’t say, “I don’t love you and never did,” she said, “I don’t want your baggage, I don’t want to feel bad.”

How can you feel bad, girl, if I’m so bad?

By this point, I felt sure she wasn’t going to read it but I had known that going in. The point wasn’t to force her to read it, it was to give her the choice. It was to put it in her hands. I’ve never wanted to control this girl. I’ve wanted to own her as she owns me but her fierce independence is one of her best qualities.

Finally, I began to walk away. I want to say, “I love you and quit being a fool,” but instead I was just like, “Okay…”

She threw the notebook at me. Or tried…. I didn’t look back right away. I saw it on the pavement but I couldn’t see her. I just went and hit the button to cross the street.

A woman asked if what class I was heading to. I smiled and told her I was going to meet some friends to try and grab food. She was off to English class. The light changed and I didn’t look back. We chatted as we crossed the street. This stranger and me. It was surreal.

I told her to have a good day as I turned toward my friends, walking without looking back. I was starting to feel the weight of it all. As I turned the corner, knowing she couldn’t see me and walked back into a building so I could see her, I could feel the crushing weight.

I went to the full-length window near the doors of the building and I looked toward her. I could barely make her out and the bus came quickly as I struggled to maintain my composure.

The thing is… I don’t believe her.

I believe she is making an intellectual choice to repress her feelings to be with this man who can numb her pain and provide for her. But I don’t believe she’s in love with him. I believe she’s busy trying to convince herself she is.

I may be biased but I believe if anyone else had been able to listen in on our conversation they would have heard the same. This was not the words and tone of a woman who was over us. This was a woman who wanted things to be easy on her. She believes she’s figured out the best choice and challenges to that must be crushed.

She doesn’t want me gone because she’s moved on and is done with me but because she hasn’t.

As I walked, unaware of anything or anyone else, back across the street. I headed straight for the trash can. I hadn’t seen it on the sidewalk. It didn’t seem to be in the trash can. I checked on the grass lawn, and all around the sidewalk.

I asked the man standing there if he had seen a notebook. He hadn’t. The woman next to him, though, said, “Yeah, that girl that was here, she took it.”

I don’t think she’ll read it. In fact, I would not be shocked at all if she threw it away or buried it somewhere at her house (she wasn’t headed home, though, she was headed to his house).

As I walked back toward my friends I felt alive. Crushed and angry that I had that fight but alive. This was something I care about. This is something that is important and here I was getting it done. Maybe she reads the poetry, maybe not. maybe she…

A few minutes ago I spoke to a good friend (and a very long time ago, ex-girlfriend) and explained that it felt like she was completely committed to making the wrong decision. She wasn’t in love with this guy and she was in love with me, that’s how it felt and she was making a mistake.

My friend chimed in, “I did…” and it surprised me. Our situation was different, I was not ready and I treated her poorly. Here, well, I had done somewhat similar but not to the same extreme.

That’s how it feels, though. As if she’s intent on bullshitting me because anything else would be harmful to the safe little reality she’s built.

If she’s not in love with him by now… She just thinks she should be. And me? I don’t know, actually, I’m not willing to say she’s in love with me. Though, for her to get so angry, I really wonder. You don’t get that mad unless you care.

It felt, almost like… she was really mad I’d try and break her illusion. As if I were challenging a carefully constructed illusion. It’s strange but that’s the sort of anger I felt like was being spewed at me. Like, “Here are the facts, these are the facts and don’t challenge these facts, don’t you dare. I’m going to tell you how it is.”

Just a little too hard. As if … something strange was going on. The sighs of oh-my-god and what-not were not what you’d expect from someone who was, well, over me.

I know girls who are over me. They don’t give a fuck. I’d expect them to, well, not care. I would expect them to either take a notebook and have nothing to say or have left it on the concrete after throwing it at me.

Why does she care?

I wish I could just shake her and say, “No. Be god damn honest with yourself. Please, for fucks sake. Please for your sake.”

I don’t know what her truth is… it could easily be, “I’m not in love with either of you.” But it sure does seem like she’s hiding from it. I wish I could just confront her, demand to know whether she was still in love with me.

I do hope she reads it. I doubt she’ll get past the first few pages, though. I… I’m not the most eloquent writer’s, not the most compelling. I rant. I flow too quickly and I have my own grammatical quirks.

It’s the Fall Equinox. The tipping point in the season where the day is the same length as the night. How strange. How strange to be at this tipping point. The darkness growing now. The cool fall air reminding me of every ride I ever took with her.

She belongs.

For someone who’s “moved on” she doesn’t act like it. I don’t know what’s next or event how I feel about all of this. I’ve been rejected before, the clear-cut sort of deal where I was left hurt but sure. This is much worse. Her conviction seems so sure, not in how she feels about me or her new relationship, but in her choice. A conviction to her choice.

That’s not love, that’s fear and how do you deal with fear?

I wish I could remember word-for-word and all her hair strands (I did notice her fancy septum, it was cool). It was all too much to take in, though, and I suck.

All I can really say is it was worth it. Waiting for 6 hours or so to see her, to hand it to her. Absolutely worth it. Felt proud.

Some people matter that much. It was really nothing compared to the stakes. I just wish I had someone wiser than I to consult.

She did look so sexy, just a babe. I really was very lucky.

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