I had a problem. A huge one. And I dealt with it the same pathetic way I dealt with most problems. Denial. I ignored it and hoped it would go away. I’d been doing that with Dan for months. No, years. And I started doing the same thing with Greg. But with Dan, pretending he wasn’t there was easy. With Greg, it was impossible. I couldn’t get him out of my head. I didn’t want to ignore him and I didn’t want him to go away.
So I went away.
Since the day I finally confirmed my marital status to Greg, I avoided him. I hated it and I hated myself for doing it. But when I saw him, I melted inside. The only way I could resist him was to keep my distance. I went to the gym earlier so I wouldn’t see him. It was horrible and I was miserable. I wouldn’t admit it to myself, but every single day I hoped I’d run into him… while I was supposedly trying to avoid him… which was never what I wanted. It was killing me.
Every night he texted me. Every night I wanted to answer. And every time I didn’t, I hated myself just a little more. He was so damn nice to me… even when I was ignoring him. How? How could he be so kind? So understanding? It only made me want him more. I was treating him terribly and he was… wonderful. He never stopped, never disappeared, never quit. For weeks. Every night.
He worried about me… he checked on me.
Amy… are you okay?
Why are you avoiding me?
We were friends. We’re still friends.
Talk to me… please…
He tried to make me smile… and laugh. And he succeeded, even when I was wiping away tears as I read his words.
I have nothing to look at when I’m running on the treadmill.
I haven’t had a smoothie in weeks.
I really miss those smoothies.
And I knew he wasn’t talking about smoothies.
I crammed my things into my bag and hurried out of the locker room. I was late. I was dying to run into Greg, but I still wasn’t honest with myself about that. I forced myself to get out of there. As I rounded the corner to the glass doors, I sighed with a touch of relief. I made it. And with a touch of disappointment. Damn. I made it.
Only, I didn’t.
When I reached the door, it was already being pulled open from the other side. By him. With his stupid smile and his stupid hair and his stupid perfect arms. Fuck. He is beautiful.
“Hi Greg.” I knew I had to get out of there before I melted. Or cried. “I… um… I have to go.” I had absolutely nowhere to go.
“Wait… please…” He touched my shoulder and ran his hand down my arm. And he didn’t take his hand away. He kept it on my arm as if he knew that would make me stay.
I thought my heart was going to burst like an overfilled balloon. But I just stood, frozen, hoping he would say something more so I wouldn’t have to figure out how to speak. And after a moment silently staring at me, he spoke again.
“I just want you to know… I’m not going to give up… unless you tell me that’s what you want.”
“I’m not going to tell you that.”
He smiled. “Then I’m not going to stop.”
I was on the verge of tears and he could see it, yet he made me smile. And I knew I had to stop ignoring everyone and everything. I had to do something to fix my life.
To be continued…