I got a call from an old boyfriend yesterday. I was momentarily tempted not to answer. I could have easily let it go to voice mail, waited a day and return the call, but I figure why delay the conversation.
“Hey, what’s going on?”
Here’s the thing. Everyone has caller ID–you know whose calling. Why do folks still answer as if they are clueless to who’s on the other end? It’s kinda silly to answer with the traditional “HELLO”. Here you have a friend calling you, apparently they think enough of you to make contact. The least you can do is let ’em feel the love! Let ‘me know you are happy to hear from them, even if you’re not. It’s the new age, politically correct thing to do.
He’s tickled pink, one that I answered and two, I’ve let him know I know it’s him. He responds with his usual…missing my beauty. When are you coming down to see me, spend time with me?
I’ve been there; I just didn’t want to go through the conversation of why we can’t get back together. The short version; I’ve gotten over how badly you treated me, broke my heart…yes we are friendly, we friends but not close friends by any means. I can forgive, but my heart will not allow me to forget. So naturally we’ll never get back to being intimate or a couple. So I avoid this conversation in order to keep peace and spare us the dreadful. Besides, it’s been a few years…why can’t he let it go?
Now before I say this, don’t type me. It’s purely a coincidence…When I met this guy (let’s call him Al); he’d just gotten his gold detective badge. Yeah, he’s a cop. We literally ran into each other at a Barnes & Noble. I was thumbing through a book I was about to buy, he turn the corner and knocked the book my purse to the floor. We both knelled to retrieve his book my book and purse.
I’m a flight attendant, I’m astute and observant. I know how to see something without letting on.
While we were kneeled awkwardly on the floor I spot his gold badge on his belt. I assumed his gun was under his sport jacket. His dark brown hair was neatly groomed, his shoes were shined, his nails were trimmed and clean. These are the things I look at, they tell me a lot about a man and his smile was warm and inviting. His blue eyes seemed to look through me. I could feel my cheeks getting warm. My first instinct was to gather my purse and run. I knew if I stayed I may be in trouble.
He apologized; I accepted and turned to walk away. I headed to the store’s cafe ordered a hot tea to finish thumbing through the book. A few minutes later he showed up holding a plate with a scone, two forks and cup of tea. He asked if he could sit, share his scone. He introduced himself, omitting the title. We talked for about an hour and I knew at that point I could not run, I had no where to hide.
We chatted regularly by phone, often for an hour or more. He romanced me, I surrendered to him. After a few weeks I took a few days off and flew into town, to spend time with this guy. We were together as a couple for two years. On my first three visits I stayed in a hotel…after that I stayed with him. I often would arrange my flight schedule to be in his city. I’d leave the terminal, head to his home as if it were my home and depart from his house to go to back to the terminal. I had clothes, uniform and a tea cup in his cupboard. It was my home away from home. I juggled a lot to be with him. He told me often how much he loved me. How thankful he was to have my unconditional love. We were happy.
Or so I thought…
Of course I had a key. I’d all but moved to the city. He’d leave his car in the employee parking for my arrival. His car had an employee sticker. I had a set of car keys. He worked long hours and I would shop, prepare dinner and wait. I’d do laundry. Change linen.
Why would I feel I’d need to call?
I’d started the day with a 5:50am flight…the first two legs were great, on time…a storm cell was moving south canceling flights in it’s wake. Our schedule was 2 hours behind when we were able to land in the city where my home away from home was located. My one remaining leg was cancelled. I had the next 3 days off. I left the main terminal through the baggage claim area, hailed a cab heading for my home away from home. I didn’t call, I knew he was at work. I’d shower, change, grocery shop and prepare a great meal.
The cab pulled up. His car was in the driveway, as I expected it to be. I paid the driver, pulled out my key, inserted it in the door knob, opened the door…
There was a trail of clothes. Shoes…shirt…jacket…slacks…skirt…blouse…heels…purse…bra…panties…briefs…loud noises from the bedroom. The door was open. I stood there, wheels (suitcase) still in hand. They were so far into throws of sex they didn’t see me…didn’t hear me…heading out the door, careful not to slam it shut. I walked several blocks, no tears, lacking emotion, in shock. Really, are you fucking kidding me?!! Under normal circumstances, I would have striped and joined them. But, that wasn’t who we were. He’d talked extensively about monogamy, being faithful, trust, being Exclusive. This was what he wanted our relationship to be. He’d heard the stories about flight attendants, pilots on layovers, the mile high adventures. I assured him I wouldn’t be that girl–I’d made a rule long ago, no dipping in company ink…play separate from business. So, I made myself off limits to the ol’ gang…they respected my new found relationship.
I pulled out my cell, called another cab…headed to a hotel on the flight line of the airport. I checked in, headed to my room, called room service, ordered dinner and a bottle of wine–one glass. I showered forever, letting the hot steamy water run over me, as if it were washing away the last two years of my life. I wrapped myself in towels opened the bottle, munched on bread, picked at my dinner while watching the evening news…the storm had arrived…I didn’t give a shit. I fell asleep, in a deep sleep until the cell phone on the night stand woke me…Al. I didn’t answer…half hour later…Al. This went on until I turned the phone off. It was after midnight. A new day…another shower, dried my hair, put on a fresh uniform, headed down stairs, checked out and shuttled to the airport’s crew lounge. Getting home wasn’t a biggie, there was always a dead-head crew heading to my home base.
I’d forgotten that I’d turned my phone off. It was dawn when I stepped off the employee shuttle to my car. I turn the key the motor idled, I turned on my phone…voice mail was full, countless calls from Al. I drove home…
The next day I flew to Jamaica…to meet the ol’ gang. Three days of dancing, topless beaching, sailing, smoking pot & drinking rum…
It would be 9 days before I’d answer his call. I was in San Francisco. He lied at first…then he confessed…he cried…he promised…I said I’d think about it…I tried by visiting two weeks later. I ended the visit by packing my things, giving him the keys to the house and the car. I called a cab and headed to the airport. It was all dignified and adult like. I was hurt…they were his rules–I’d changed for him, but I never told him that. Didn’t think I had to, now it was, too late.
Time passed, I heeled, moved on. It was a time in space that was over, I forgave. He calls we talk…it’s all very friendly…but what’s done is done, that time in space is no more. He knows he fucked up big time. He’s said as much and more…I appreciate that, but like I said; I can forgive…I answer his call; Hey, how’s it going?