When He Has a Girlfriend (Part 2)

I had a message from him when I got back to the office. “I’m not sure what you say to you about number two. Under what circumstance would you let me have my cake and eat it?” he asked. I knew I didn’t want to continue the conversation over text where our words would get misconstrued … again. So I told him I’d call him that evening.

What was I going to decide to do? What was I going to say to him? Why was his relationship so complicated? Things were not looking pretty.

Don’t forget to read part one of When He Has a Girlfriend if you haven’t already.

***

You’re an idiot“, I said. I’d done pretty well to not go completely ape shit on M’s sorry ass after he’d told me he had a girlfriend – is it because I suspected it all along or because I was good at disguising how hurt I really felt to him? – but I wasn’t holding back any more. He was surprised I was still talking to him, and even though he made it very clear he wanted to continue chatting, I told him I wasn’t sure I even wanted to talk to him anymore. He asked me what I was thinking, and I was telling him … except the bit about falling for him. Because how could I?

Why would you go for a Victoria Sponge cake if you knew you wanted something else?” I asked. He told me it was a non-physical relationship, but even that was kind of hard to believe. If a non-physical relationship is the kind of thing you want, please don’t let me stop you. But this is the man who had admitted he has a sex addiction, a high sex drive, and would send me the filthiest of sexts. I mean, they really were smut. The kind of thing I would be too embarrassed to repeat in front of my closest friends. Him being in a non-physical relationship didn’t really make sense. Why go for something like that when you’re already asking someone else to fulfil the physical bit that you’re missing? He was asking me to be his dirty little secret.

We continued with our ‘have your cake, and eat it’ analogy because it was easier for me to refer to his girlfriend as a Victoria Sponge than to call her his girlfriend. I was just glad I didn’t know her name or know what she looked like. I knew I’d obsess over her if I knew anything about her.

I was a lot calmer than when we spoke at lunch time (maybe because it was nearly 1am, and I’d just woken up from a sleep). I asked him how his day was, not that I really cared, but because I didn’t want to think about this situation he had put me in. Or the fact he has a girlfriend now. He reciprocated the question and to be honest I can’t remember what I said … I hadn’t done a lot of work that day, I’d expended most of my energy thinking about him. “But you are happy at work, aren’t you?” Like hell he cared about that.

The normality of that conversation made me feel a wave of sadness wash over me. I was listening to what he was saying, without really listening or responding. I was still so confused and there were a million things whirling around my head. The whys, the hows, the whens, the WTFs. I loved our phone conversations, and even though he told me nothing would change as friends, and that we could carry on as normal, I knew that wouldn’t be the case. “I know that there’s more that you’re thinking that you’re not telling me” he said in my moment of quiet … quite ironic coming from him wasn’t it? Of course there was. There was the fact that I’d never told him I didn’t want to be friends with benefits with him, that I wanted more than that, and look where we’d ended up now. But it was too late now.

“I‘m going to go“, I said. “It’s always nice talking to you, but I was having a good sleep until now, and now I feel a bit shit“.

He replied: “I don’t want you to feel shit“. I really wanted to retaliate with “a bit too late for that“, and I wish I had (hindsight is a beautiful thing). But I couldn’t bring myself to say what I was thinking. So instead I told him I’d be fine. I don’t know who I was trying to convince more: him or me.

***

I’m writing this very much in real time – the events of When He Has a Girlfriend (Part 1) came about from Monday through to Wednesday last week, and this phone call in When He Has a Girlfriend (Part 2) happened on Wednesday night or the early hours of Thursday morning. After our phone call, I told M that we should remain friends. I did it more for my own sake – because I wanted to draw a line and to stop wasting time on it, and because naively or admirably, I always believe in being the better person.

I don’t know if there will be a Part 3, but I do know that writing it out has given me some clarity in my head. I’d be lying if I said this was easy for me – there’s been a lot of tears, and I’ve had a real difficulty shifting this grey cloud above my head but I know I’ll come back in the most beautiful way possible when I’m ready to. After Brexit, Trump, and all this stuff with M, I’m really looking forward to seeing the end of 2016 now.

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