Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The engagement ring

That started what became a routine of him showing up at my place after work and us sleeping together, or not sleeping, as was the case. Basically, he stopped by, we had sex, then he left. I hoped that meant we were totally in love, the key word here being "we." I knew I was. And I wasn't about to screw things up by asking him about his feeling. I thought about inviting him to come over during the day or on his days off, but I decided to keep quiet; I didn’t want to drive him away by making demands. Besides, I was too far gone by then. I tried to convince myself that he was just coming by after work to keep a low profile regarding our relationship due to our professional responsibilities.
And then one afternoon while I was at the restaurant for a meeting, I overheard the bartender talking about Dave kissing one of the waitress’. When I confronted Dave about it that night, he shrugged it off.
“Are you seeing other people or is this mutually exclusive?” I asked, hoping he’d give me the answer I wanted to hear.
“You’re the only one for me,” he said as he gently kissed me. With that kiss, I completely forgot about what I overheard. The idea of me and the rock star chef at Restaurant 321 fit my picture of the ultimate relationship. Besides, he told me I was the only for him. I could just imagine my dad beaming with pride when I introduced the two of them. I was on the verge of having all my dreams come true.
The following week, I heard a rumor that Dave was engaged. Engaged to be married. To someone other than me. My heart sank. I knew I couldn’t go on with this pretend boyfriend any longer. I was going to finally confront him when he came over for our nightly jaunts. This time, I wasn't going to let kisses, or anything else, deter me from finding out the truth.
“Did you give her a ring?” I questioned.
“What do you mean?” he answered.
“Does she have a ring on her finger?” I pointing to the fourth finger on my left hand.
“Well, yes…but that doesn’t mean anything,” he answered reluctantly. He down played his bride-to-be, telling me she was manipulative and made him propose, but he really didn’t plan on going through with the wedding. He hoped this wouldn’t hurt what we had together.
How could I have not seen this coming? How could I have let myself fall so hard for this man? Even with these questions swimming in my head, I still slept with him that night. Immediately afterward, I was filled with remorse and self-hatred as he walked out the door. This man who seemed so different from the other men I had quote, unquote dated was, in fact, another womanizer. I was devastated and afraid that this meant I was sentenced to a life filled with miserable, empty relationships with unavailable men like him. I craved real love. I needed someone who I could show the real me to—and have him love me anyway.

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