The Great and Terrible Story of The Boy, Part 9 (Final Interlude)

I was headed home. Goodbye New York. Goodbye Boy.

I felt content.

Also, I was ignoring the universe.  And ALL OF THE THINGS.

In the airport, I saw Paul Rudd.  He was very short.  He had Dustin Hoffman hair from the 80’s. I looked at him like, Yeah, I know…  His look back to me was like, I know you know…

I got on the plane.  I thought about the way The Boy had smiled at me once while on the subway.  It had made my heart pound so hard that I simply had to look away. I thought about the time he made fun of the way his friend, John Lennon, walks and how it made me guffaw.  I thought about the way he touched my face when we kissed in the apartment earlier that day. 

Then I slept. 

The plane landed.  I turned my phone back on and there was a text from him.

I drove home from Vegas. 

He facebooked me the next day or so. 

I’d told him in NY that I’d be alone on Thanksgiving.  My first holiday alone.  He seemed mildly concerned about me at the time. The day before Thanksgiving I texted him asking if we could plan a phone call on that day.  He said yes.  We picked a time. 

I had made plans for myself to stay at a B&B on Thanksgiving in Springdale, Utah (near Zion Nat’l Park).  There was that teeny tiny part of me, the girlish, ridiculous, stupid bitch part, that was hoping he would just show up.  Like, I’d be walking down the sidewalk of the picturesque autumness in Springdale, and he’d come walking up the sidewalk toward me.  Or the cute gay couple who ran the B&B would say to me as I was checking in, “Oh, you’re Ashley? Here is your key.  And don’t be alarmed.  There is someone in there waiting for you.”

It was that last 24 hours in NY that derailed me.  If that had only been flip-flopped.  If only he’d been a royal ass the last 3 days of the trip instead of the first 3… 

He saved his goofy sweetness and gentle face-touch-while-kissing for the end, so that was my last(ing) impression.

Thanksgiving.  The time of our scheduled phone call. The reception in Springdale is quite dodgy.  And of course he called when I was in a dead pocket.  I got a voicemail from him.  His voice sounded amazing.  I tried calling back. 

No answer. 

Tried again. 

No answer. 

Oh, you betchya I was getting nervous.  

Rightly so. 

I texted him.  He texted back. 

Why wasn’t he calling me again instead of texting?

After a while, when it was clear he was not going to call, I started feeling this gaping hole, a blackhole, forming in my chest.  It was the most horrible feeling I’ve ever felt...maybe...but that's how it felt at the time. 

And I was confused, because I thought I’d prepared myself for this bullshit pre-trip.  I guess it’s kind of like taking birthing classes.  Take as many classes as you want.  When you actually give birth to a small human, it’s gonna hurt like a mother. 

I thought I just need to head home now.  Maybe getting away from Springdale will help me get away from my irrational hope that The Boy could change simply because we’d seen each other. 

Driving home it was clear to me that the blackhole would not be left behind in Springdale. No, it was following me.  Like a black cloud.  Like a Dementor chasing me. And I was effed, because I had clearly chosen the wrong patronus.

I got home and writhed right along with the fabric of the universe.  Actually, I was writhing all by myself, because the universe had moved on to laughing. 

My subconscious was trying to speak to me, but I was blocking it out.  It was screaming: 

You knew this! You knew! Self-sabotager!

I could barely sleep.  I kept thinking about him and other women.  He clearly was screwing other women, right?!

Here are only some of the possibilities that crossed my mind in the next several days of little to no contact from him:

-He’s seeing someone else.

-He’s screwing someone else.

-He’s screwing lots of someone else’s. 

-He’s a sex addict. 

-He’s an alcoholic. 

-He’s a sociopath. 

-He’s hiding something!

-Is he gay?!

It is now the beginning of December.  I cannot do anything or go anywhere without crying.  I had enough wherewithal to realize that I was mourning a fantasy.  A die-hard fantasy that I’d clung to for survival since he’d told me he loved me in an email 8 years prior. 

I was also mourning the truth- the true Boy that I got to know over the previous months and finally had some face time with.  The Boy in my fantasy was not in any way, shape, or form The Boy in the real world. And that was no one’s fault. No one was to blame. Don't get me wrong; Boy was still an asshole! Nothing could excuse him from that.  

Thirdly, The Boy Was The Only Man I'd Ever Had Sex With Besides My Husband Who I Was Married To!  
     a) I'd never had sex outside of a committed relationship before  

     b) I'd only had sex with one man in my 35 years 

     c) Sex was (and continues to be for me) emotional 

So I am mourning losing some part of myself that I don't know how to define- a part that involved mutual trust, respect...a bond where sex is concerned. I could never imagine sex meaning nothing for me. I gave that part of myself to someone who didn't care. This is best way I know how to explain it. Maybe you can help me.

Well, I text him, "Can you please call me as soon as possible?"

He called me that night.  (I do not get him)

I was definitely still holding on, you guys.  (It's astonishing to me, as well)

When he called I asked, "What is this thing between us for you?"

"Well, I think that I love you. But you have 4 kids, and I don't want an instant family. Also, you're planning on following your ex-husband wherever he goes." (I really hate it when people say that.  I have children who need to be close to their dad.  I am a mom.  My children come first. The end.)

I say to him, "You know, instead of, like, worrying about all of that, why don't we just focus on our feelings for each other? I think that I love you, too. Let's just nurture those feelings and figure out the rest as we go along."  

Have you guys puked yet?  Cause I just did.  

"Okay..." he replies hesitantly.

"Can we set a time to talk on the phone, maybe, once a week?"

"Yeah! I can do that! I don't really do that with anyone, but let's try it!"

"When do you want to do it?" 

"Um, this is a good time. Let's talk again this time next week!"

"Thank you," I say.  "This makes me really happy."

"No, thank YOU. You have certainly had more patience with me than most people.  I have really pissed some people off because they don't hear from me very much."

After our call, I need to think about something else.  So I go to karaoke.  On my way there, he texts, "Thank you!" with a photo attached that he'd taken while we were together.  

Can you believe this shit? I mean, ALL OF IT!

This is the part where The Boy falls off the very face of the Earth. 

Ta da!

There is no phone call the next week.  

I am ripped wide open. I am bleeding out. 

One day during this horrible time, I walked into my room.  Emma was in there.  I yelled at her for being in there.  She left and then I saw the reason she had been in my room.  This was laid on my pillow:  

Go ahead. Judge me. Judge away. I yelled at Emma for doing one of the most incredible things that anyone has ever done. I wanted to drown myself. I felt like the most worthless piece of shit that I didn't even have the courage to immediately go to her and apologize and hug her and love her and thank her.  One of those mommy moments that haunts me to this day.  

One time only, if I'm not mistaken, did I reach out to The Boy with a text that asked why he was ignoring me and that told him I was in pain because of it.  

His reply was something like, "Ashley, I am truly sorry that I am causing you pain.  I am not ignoring you, but I have been having a battle with depression, not to mention I'm constantly worried about finances and not having enough work, so timing is just generally lousy."  

And that was it.  

Until January 1st.  The fucker texted me.  "Ashley, wishing a happy new year. I have been thinking of you."

I was in a movie theatre watching The King's Speech when I got it.  I gasped, attracting attention to myself.  And then I cried.  And then it was over...all over again. 

Well, I soon had to focus on the foreclosure of my house and moving out by January 31st.  

Focusing on packing and moving was a good distraction. Not that I was partying or anything.  

Being in my new town home and leaving behind the home I'd moved into with Matt in '04 brought me an unexpected euphoria.  

But, lo and behold, 2 months later, on April 1st no less, I texted The Boy for the first time since the first of January:  

"I miss you."

Stupid girl. 

An immediate reply, "I hope this isn't an April 1 joke.  I miss you, too."

"It's not a joke. I love you."

I hate me...

Another immediate reply, "I love you, too, Ashley."

Let's just save anymore energy that it takes for me to type this CRAP.  This didn't pan out either.  Oh, really?????!!!!!!!  It fizzled about 6 weeks later.  

Sidenote:  I had an epiphany. When The Boy and I professed our desperate love for each other through the emails in '02, the exhilaration, or more aptly put, rapture, I experienced wasn't any different than what I felt reading the Twilight Books back in '08. It filled a void. When I was reading those, I was in a constant state of ecstasy. Fantasy. That is all.

I only cried once this time.  Swear to God, Allah, and Tom Cruise.  

I was much better this time.  Much better.  

Besides, I had already met The Artist.


  1. He was/is a fucktard. Oh, wait, I've said that before. I wish my muffins had made him ill.


  2. Good heavens. I sincerely hope that your behavior never repeats itself again and that whatever relationship you're in works out splendidly. Anyone who is flakey, depressed, and broke should not have any access to your children ever. End of story. And yes I can say that, being a the child of a single mom who married three times beyond my father and spent my childhood bringing man after man around. My concern is not that you yelled at your kid for being in your room when she was trying to be nice to you but rather that she was "mothering" you and coaching you to "be happy". Good heavens. That is what a therapist is for not your child. She is the child you are the mom and she has absolutely no business trying to "clean you up" after whatever relationship you're in doesn't pan out. I have always felt that he suffering I experienced (and my 5 other siblings experienced) was much less about the divorce itself and almost completely about the way that my parents behaved after it. I see so much of my sad little girl self in her letter that I wan't to cry.

    1. It is a big jump from Ashley's story to yours. She did not introduce her children to this man. Most any single mom will be in tears from time to time. This whole blog is about the incredibly tough and unlikely situation she is in. It's not a Disney fairy tale. Kids leave letters like this even when Parents are generally happy. Because they care. Which does not mean they are changing roles.

    2. Yo. Yoyoyoyoyo.

      Let me assure you, this never repeated itself, NOR WOULD IT. Do not project yourself onto Ash's children who do not see a 'parade' of other people in and out of their mothers life. I'm sorry that happened to you, I really am, but, no--don't project that.

      Secondly. Sign your name. It gives your words weight if you own them. Otherwise, they are like dust in the wind. No, it doesn't mean they sound like you are from Kansas, it means they bear no weight. Be proud of what you say, regardless of what it is you said...even if others aren't going to agree.

      Which I don't.

    3. Agreed.

      With Mrs. Vohs, BTW.

  3. Thank you so much for telling this story, the whole long mess of it. I completely relate to the phenomenon of a fantasy turning into a less-than-perfect reality. I had a crush very much like yours on a boy in 8th grade who I eventually dated (after dating others for many years) in my 20's. It ended badly and messily after 4 years despite the fact that I'd wanted to marry him since I was 13. Sometimes its better that the fantasy remain a fantasy, but we don't realize that until after the whole thing has come crashing down. I'm sorry your fantasy didn't work out...It really sucks when you realize the one thing you thought could be perfect isn't. I was amazed how much I related to every aspect of this story. Thanks again.

  4. Since I just barely read this whole thing--I saw a lot of the same issues I had with my now boyfriend. I met him at age 20--a "bad boy" nonmormon. I rejected his offer of marriage for a temple marriage. He was my "go to" fantasy for about 30 years. He then got a divorce. I had a friend call him. He was just divorcing--his wife moved out 2 weeks after he called me and he was a mess and I put up with stuff I shouldn't have and maybe had I called him on it several years before, it would have gotten to this point THEN instead of the past few years. I was so needy--and being in a marriage that is so very wrong for us on every level--we have ot have somewhere to go in our minds to survive. Somehow--after losing both my parents in 2 months--actually the day my mother died--I had a complete shift. I had lost more than he could ever take from me--and I CHANGED. I realized if he wanted me--if he wanted to come along for the ride, more power to him, but I had had all I needed in life--my kids, my parents, my dogs--even my ex. I would survive WELL without him if he continued to not realize what he had. Now he worships me. Go figure. No more of those unanswered texts or not answering my phone calls, but he taught me well--I never call him so he can't "reject" me in that way--and as hard as he has tried to get me to call, I still refuse. BUT he now treats me with respect and I demand it. The damage we went through because of our marriages is extensive. I don't know that we will ever get completely through it. (This would be Colleen Parkinson--cl2--from fb wildflowers.)


Post a Comment

Popular Posts