Things I Did Right

I feel like I couldn’t have done all that much right to be in this situation. This situation where I have to experience her birthday through Facebook. Her boyfriend brought her a cake, her friends surrounding her, the cute crown upon her head.

She looks so unhappy though. Except one picture where she’s looking at something out of the frame, her glasses reflecting the candles lit upon her cake, and she looks bemused. Appreciating something playing out in front of her.

This post wasn’t my idea, it was that of a close friend who, while she berated me for all the things I did wrong said that, in this case, I shouldn’t forget that I have learned, grown and… maybe, just maybe did some things right.

(She’s concerned I’m just going to dwell).

So what did I do right?

I loved her and meant it.

That is to say, I didn’t listen to the voice in my head that said, “You can’t hang out with her this much,” or “You’re getting way too attached to her,” or “WHOA! Whoa, she has entirely too much power over how you feel.”

I risked caring about her. — There it is. That’s something I did right.

I truly did take a risk in caring about her — I didn’t risk sharing with her how deeply I cared but I did care.

I was honest with her. At least, as far as I knew myself.

There are some lies I tell to most everyone that I could not dare say to her. I chose, though it scared me, to insist on being honest with her about who I was… And when I couldn’t, I told her that.

Even when I disliked things she did, I felt comfortable sharing what I didn’t like — not telling her she had to change or what to do. Telling her how it made me feel, how it appeared to me. I didn’t want her to change who she was but…

There was that moment at the bus stop when I was so mad she had tried to slip away when she knew I was willing to give her a ride. I just took her and looked at her and said, “Why? Why would you do that?” I was so annoyed that she wouldn’t let me just care about her, was all-too-proud to just ask me for a ride.

I put her first. This is one I failed spectacularly on, there was one particularly awful moment where I didn’t put her first and something very bad did happen. So, I’m not even sure this one should count for anything.

That flesh-ripping betrayal aside… I did put her first. Throughout my day, throughout planning my life. Even in wanting her to have experiences and explore the world for herself. I put her first… how many times did I drive her somewhere or stay up because she needed help. (One night staying at Denny’s till 4am so she could work on a homework assignment; knowing if we went home, we’d want to sleep).

I made love to her. I wasn’t going to count this one but I remembered that there were definite moments where, at least for me, the sex became more than just a fuck and was vital. Vital in that sense that I can’t imagine I would have survived unless I did express completely my passion for her.

It was thrilling. I was so sore the next day, who knew so many muscles could hurt. I wanted her to feel so sexually satisfied that she’d say my name whenever she had any sex remotely as good. I wanted her to feel me, to know.

As I got closer to her. There was one moment, as we were intimate and my lips grazed her ear I mouthed, “I love you,” over-and-over… I didn’t dare put breath to it; not a peep or a sound. I didn’t want to scare her away or think I was just saying it because I was taking her.

I didn’t fight dirty. I hate guilt-tripping, I hate those passive-aggressive bullshit moves. I was straight-up or I let it go or I brought it up at a better time or I really tried to understand her and you know what…

I’m sure I failed; I’m sure I let her down; I’m sure I sucked and she thought I was a loser but I took it because…

I listened. I wanted her to feel safe and to trust me. For me, that meant understanding, it meant listening to her. It meant hearing every word she could get out of her mouth or into a text message. Of course, I cheated — it’s easy to listen to brilliant people — choosing someone so savvy and brilliant. Made it very easy to listen.

I was forgiving. I had been so insecure in the past. I can read people pretty well — not always right, not by a longshot — but I have a better than average ability to read people. I’d read when she was being a brat, flirting with other guys, being inconsiderate or just plain obnoxious.

But those things were not who she was, they didn’t define her.

Learning that such things weren’t true about me or anyone else — none of us are perfect — was important and it allowed me to forgive her for the dumb stuff. Allowed me to forgive myself for feeling jealous or hurt or angry.

I meant every kiss. This may seem insignificant but I never kissed her out of a sense of obligation or pity or any other reason other than the intense desire to express that which words would fail to communicate.

I trusted myself with her. Maybe I was foolish but I did not like holding back with her. I did those embarrassing things in front of her. Was I done at this location? Did I want to go see that dumb party? Was I having an attack of depression? Did I want to touch her? Did I want to take her home or kiss her or flirt or just tell her about what I was truly passionate about?

Yes, yes I did those things; I didn’t just put myself out there, I tried to go further so she could see me for me. I didn’t have to pretend with her.

Porn was passé. Porn is a cheap thrill that sometimes use to thrill my male brains appreciation for the visual. She became my thrill and I just didn’t have time for porn. I’m sure I must have looked at it at some point during our dating but in all honesty, I don’t remember doing that. When I did get turned on and feel compelled to release it I either called her or enjoyed a fantasy that involved her.

She was my drug… and I’m still taking hits off the thought of her thrilling mind, delicious personality, and so sweet and sensuous touch. Wow.

I didn’t give up. I so often do. Even though she rejected me more than once, with math help, with hitting on her, with my attempt to kiss and more, I just didn’t give up. She was too important, I was too attracted to her.

I didn’t run away. I screwed up badly, I could have been petty or selfish. I could have forced her spend time with me but I didn’t. I stayed focused on what was best for her. I knew I had to help her accomplish what she needed, even if I was breaking down inside, even if I was devastated and ashamed I knew that my feelings couldn’t compare to hers. I had to first take care of her, then I could dip into self-pity.

I was more open with her, more truthful and more willing to take risks with her than I have been with anyone. We went on mini-adventures all the time, all the while trying to be very aware of how much I wanted to keep her safe — not from everything, only from those things that could do her serious harm.

I fed her. Guys underestimate the importance of making sure their girl is fed. I know I did. With this girl, I didn’t. If baby was hungry, the fucking world needed to stop until I got her fed. I wasn’t always on top of this but damn it was important.

I guess if I’m talking about that then maybe I’ve run out of things I’ve done right. What is deeper there is that I paid attention to her, I really cared about what she was thinking — and I tried to determine that through observation, not just asking her outright (I really avoided that) — I wanted to be the guy in her life that got her, that paid attention to the things that mattered to her. The things that would mean something to her.

I don’t know if there’s any more I can add. I’d rather have not wrote this at all. Really, what I wanted to do was send her a message through Facebook — during the course of writing this she kept appearing online in Facebook, then signing off, then back to active — but I am afraid. I’m afraid of rejection, afraid of being told to fuck off, afraid of annoying her or making the situation worse.

All I wanted to do was tell her happy birthday, sorry my card was late and I hope she had a good one… and I miss her, I wish she had been with me for her birthday. Even though going out in the cold to send her a birthday card probably contributed to how sick I am now.

Today, I felt her. As I was riding home in the passenger seat of my friend’s car, past the snow covered trees, the glazed bushes. The small snowflakes were quickly dissolving on the windshield and there was silence. I could feel her press her face to mine, the little nuzzle she would do, as I pressed my head back into the seat. I wanted to squeeze her tightly but I was left with no such touch.

I did her right and perhaps, most importantly, I chose someone who was worth my time, worthy of my efforts (and much more). I chose well. I chose an amazing girl and that was something I definitely did right.

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