Like I said, I texted him, "I need to talk to you. It's important."
He texted back almost right away (which RARELY happened), "I can call you tonight when I'm done teaching." He specified a time that he would call. But the call didn't come for hours after that time. During those hours, I swore, I cried, I ate candy bars.
When he called, I answered the phone and he immediately sounded put out.
"Hello?" I answered.
"Hey," he answered curtly.
"You okay?" I ask.
"Not really," he replies.
"I am just so incredibly stressed! And I have this excruciating toothache."
He sighs a short, heavy, impatient sigh.
"So...do you have time to talk now?"
"No. I need to get down into the subway station and get home. My tooth is killing me!"
"Um," he starts, "I can call you tomorrow...?"
"Well, I have a break around 3," he says.
I can tell by the change in his voice that he knows I'm pissed, "So...I'll talk to you then."
"Okay...well, have a good night."
"Bye," he says and I hang up.
Cry time! Oh, I really cry it up!
Twenty minutes later, he calls back.
"Hello?" I answer again.
"Hey, uh...I just got off my first train and came up to the street to call you. This thing with you and me...it's going to be fine. I'll call you in the morning, okay?"
"Okay. Thank you."
He calls the next day in the morning as promised.
I ask how his tooth is. "Horrible," he replies.
Before I can talk to him about my issues, he says (I HOPE YOU GUYS ARE SITTING DOWN. I'LL WAIT...SITTING? READY??),
"I have something to tell you. And you're not gonna like it."
"O..kayyy..." I say.
"Um, a friend of mine, who is also an ex-girlfriend, is coming to visit me for Halloween. I thought that would work out just fine, because you'll have already left. But she didn't tell me that she was going to book her ticket for 10 days before that, which overlaps the time that you'll be here."
He continues, "So can you change your ticket?"
In the absolute shock I was experiencing, all that I could muster to articulate was, "Well, there'll be like a $150 change fee..."
"I'll pay it," he interjects quickly.
I begin, "Sooo...wait a minute. Okay, uh...why can't she change her ticket? Why am I the one who is inconvenienced- the single mom with 4 kids that I have to make arrangements for when I'm in New York?"
I add, "Did this thought really not occur to you?"
"Well, no. Actually, it didn't."
"Can you, please, ask her to change her ticket?"
The Boy then says, "If I ask her to do that, she'll be like 'Fuck you. I won't come at all!'"
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! was happening in my brain.
"Wow," I managed to eek out.
"Well, fine. Whatever. So my ticket. Should I just change it for sometime after that?"
"Yeah. If you could."
"Well, I'd like to talk to you now about some things that have been on my mind..."
"Yeah! Go ahead!" he says all supportive sounding.
"Um, I think it's pretty clear that we are planning on having sex when I come to see you. And I want to. I really do. But I've only ever had sex with my husband. And so this is a big deal for me. I need to connect with you more before I get there. You clearly never want to have a phone conversation. And also I'll text you and most of the time you don't text back for days. And I'm just left thinking, 'What the hell am I doing?!'"
He interjects again, "You certainly aren't the first person to complain to me about that. I've upset many people because I'm not good at responding."
"But, yeah, I mean, we can do that," he says.
"But, you know, if you don't wanna have sex...(out of the blue he gets bitchy) then guess what, LET'S NOT HAVE SEX!" he says like an upset preschool teacher. "But, god, after being married to a gay man for so long, you should go out and have some sex!"
"Well, it's just not that casual for me-"
"You know," he is getting strangely pissy, "I've had waayyyy more sex than you have, infinitely more sex than you. And I've never been married. So what?!"
"Uh..." I reply.
At this point, I truly am so shocked by this entire conversation that I can barely process the rest of WHATEVER it is he said or I said. Therefore, I have no memory of it. I do remember that it seemed to end better than how it started. Somehow he made me feel better about things. Yeah, I know...hard to believe. But I could not let go of any iota of possibility that he was just going through a bad time, and things would eventually be hunky dory. I mean, I had invested so much time and energy, so many YEARS on this guy.
The rest of my day is shitty. So shitty that I decide I need to drive down to Vegas that night.
I text him, "I am going to Vegas RIGHT NOW."
Then he calls me! ?????????????????????????????? is happening in my brain now.
"Are you okay?" he sounds very stressed.
"Uh, yeah! I'm great!" Did you miss the part when I said I'm going to Vegas??
"Why are you going to Vegas?" still sounding very stressed.
"I just need to get away."
"To do what? What can a single, sexy woman possibly do in Vegas? Don't answer that."
I think he's making a joke so I laugh.
"Seriously, Ashley, why are you going to Vegas? Vegas just sounds like a horrible, awful place!"
"Well, I get to stay in a hotel and eat yummy food and maybe see a movie that won't come to Cedar City."
"Okay, but men have to hit on you. They do, right?" Is he...threatened? Can't be. Not after the asshole he was this morning.
"I guess," I answer, "but I'm not going to any clubs or such. I might do that when I'm with a girlfriend, but that's not what this trip is."
He audibly sighs.
"So, okay. Ashley. Do me a favor. Do something in Vegas that you've never done before. Like have a glass of wine or..." He is simply perturbed. I do not understand at all.
"Do something new. Be adventurous. It's not gonna kill you to...have a glass of wine!"
I am so confused by all the words he's saying. I'm not sure where this is all coming from.
"Um, Boy, you sound mad!" I say.
"Mad?! I'm not mad. I'm sorry."
"But, Ashley, will you have a glass of wine for me? You're not going to, are you?"
I laugh, "No." I was not drinking yet at that point in my life.
"Do you think you're better than everyone else?"
Oh my god. "No!"
Then he starts in on Mormonism. I eventually stop him and say, "This is not the time I'd really like to discuss that."
Again, so confused that I don't remember how the phone call ended.
He calls me twice the next day. And then the next.
The calling tapers off, as I thought it would.
Then the day that his ex-girlfriend/friend was to arrive in NYC came. I had all kinds of anxiety, but tried to be adult about it at the same time. I called my brother, Tommy, on Halloween. "What are you expecting from this trip, Ashley?" he asked me.
"Well...that we'll be in love and this will be the beginning of a relationship and-"
"No, no, no, no, no, no..." replied my brother.
My younger brother had to explain to me that 1) I should never assume anything and 2) sex means nothing. Which meant, yeah, he'll be having sex with his ex-girlfriend and that should not bother me. I was ready to call The Boy and say, Screw you and screw the last 20 years. I'm not coming. Apparently, I'm a complete idiot.
I saw my therapist. I explained how things had been going with The Boy. "WHY ARE YOU GOING TO SEE HIM?!" She was utterly perplexed. (Looking back on this now I guess I am, too...tee hee)
So what my therapist and my friends helped me conclude was that I could at least hope the sex was good. I got on board with that. The past few months I'd been feeling sexier than I'd ever felt in my life. Since my divorce, about 5 months prior, not only was I getting hit on quite a bit (even in Cedar City), but a lot of these dudes were in their 20's. I guess, that makes me a MILF or something, right?
So I now started referring to this trip to see The Boy as My Sex Trip. Yep, I had to whittle it down to that. Could I have gotten sex in Cedar City? Sure. But The Boy fantasy had always been a sexual one, too. He's gorgeous and pale and...sexy! As far as I could remember...
End of Part 6