It’s June 1st, and that means the countdown to my move has begun! So far, everything has gone smoothly for my home purchase. Inspection went fine, and I received my initial loan approval on Wednesday. The only thing I’m waiting on for clear to close is the one thing I’m a little worried about… the appraisal. The asking price was significantly over value. And even though I negotiated down $20k, I’ve been concerned that it still won’t appraise that high. I was hoping we’d get the report today, but no dice. If it doesn’t appraise for the sales price, I’m not sure what I’ll do. Depending on how bad it is, I’ll have to hope the sellers will negotiate further with me — pay my closing costs, split the difference, something.
I’m trying not to stress out too much about it, but damn it, this house is absolutely perfect for me. It checks off every single item on my wish list. I’ve got lots of pictures of the place to post, but I’ve been holding off both here and on social media just because I don’t want to show it off until I know it’s a done deal. I guess I’m just scared of jinxing something. This is my first time buying a house completely on my own, and everything has been so seamless that it’s almost unnerving. Buying a house is supposed to be hard and painful, right?
Anyway, the movers are coming to pick up my belongings from storage on the 15th. On the 18th, a transport service is picking up my car, and we – me, Rob, Evelyn, the kids, five dogs and a cat – are hitting the road. Rob and Evelyn snagged a one-way RV rental, and I’m driving their giant SUV. We’re staying at three campgrounds along the way. We’re stopping in Milton, West Virginia, on the 18th, St. Charles, Missouri, on the 19th, and Salina, Kansas, on the 20th. We’ll arrive in Colorado Springs on the 21st. Evelyn flew out a couple days ago, and she closed on their house yesterday. I’ll spend one night at their place, then I’m scheduled to close on the 22nd. I’ve already got Comcast scheduled to come out on the 23rd cause no way can I live without internet for longer than a day. I don’t know yet what day the movers will be dropping off my things. They won’t be able to tell me until they load the truck.
The next couple of weekends are jam packed with activities. Tonight, I’m meeting up with some friends for dinner. It’s another couple that used to live in the Harbor, too, and I haven’t seen them in nearly a year. Chris and I had really isolated ourselves leading up to our split. I’ve told Kirsten a little about it, and I’m sure I’ll divulge more tonight after I get some booze in me. Tomorrow, Olivia is having a going away party with her friends at a trampoline park. Rob is having to coordinate it solo since Evelyn’s out of town, so he asked me to help chaperone. Count me in if I can jump too!
The following weekend, Chris and I have an appointment with our couple’s therapist here in Annapolis. It will be the first time I’ve seen him in two months. He still calls me once a week or so, and I’m not really sure why. He’s the one that asked for this separation, yet he’ll call just to talk about nothing in particular. I just talked to him Wednesday night in fact. He called me on his way home from work, and he slipped up and said “hey hun” when I answered the phone. I honestly think he’s lonely and has no one else to talk to. He asks me how I’m doing, wants to hear all about the house, the move, the dogs, what I’ve been up to. I’ve been completely honest each time we talk. In the early days when I was miserable, I told him that. Now that I’m actually starting to enjoy my freedom and get excited about my future, I tell him that too. I haven’t sugarcoated anything nor have I pretended to be sad just to make him feel better. I haven’t gloated, but I’ve been matter-of-fact about it.
When I ask him how he’s doing, I get the same answer every time. He’s hating life, he feels like he’s drowning, and everything’s falling apart. I asked him if he likes his new apartment, “It’s everything I wanted in 2007. Too bad it’s not 2007.” I asked him how work is going, “It’s a complete shit show. I’m at my breaking point there, and I don’t know if there’s anything I can do to make me love my work again.” I ask him if he’s still hanging out with his new friends, and he said, “Not really, no, because of everything at work going badly, we’re all just too stressed out to want to do anything.” The only positive steps it sounds like he’s taken is that he’s getting his finances in order (something that’s always been a struggle for him) and he finally deleted his last stash of porn that he was using for a crutch. Just like an alcoholic keeps that one bottle hidden away in the event of an emergency, Chris had kept one folder of porn as a security blanket.
Christy asked me yesterday if Chris decided he wanted to move to Colorado after all, would I want him to? No. Not like this. I’ve already told him that we cannot reconcile unless I know he’s getting healthy. Unless I know he’s ready to participate in life with me. And I just don’t feel like he’s there. It’s almost as if he’s calling me more often because he knows I’m finding my happiness again. He knows my life is back on track and I’m moving on. So he’s calling me so he can feel worse about himself. He’s a self-loather, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if that’s what he was doing. And that is not what I would call getting better. Chris would have to show me with his actions that he’s truly working on his issues, and even then, he’d honestly need to date me all over again. That will be hard once I’m on the other side of the country. My feelings are waning, and I’m not sure I can get them back. Not after what we’ve been through. I’d be willing to try, but that’s all I can offer him right now.
Maybe my heart will flutter a bit when I see him on the 9th. It makes me sad to say this, but I don’t think it will.
In other news, when I told the boy toy of my official arrival in Colorado Springs, he quickly devised a plan to make a trip out there the last week of June. We’ve been flirting with each other every day since our little tryst last month. I think that’s partly to blame for those waning feelings I mentioned. I have no interest in a relationship with the boy toy, nor does he. We’ve been doing this dance for nearly 12 years (remaining good friends when either of us are committed to another), and it’s 100% no strings attached. However, it has reminded me what it feels like to be desired. To have someone ache for you. To have someone yearn for your touch. I’d completely forgotten. For four years, Chris didn’t touch me. I didn’t feel like I could be desired anymore. But when I confided in boy toy about our separation, the look in his eyes could’ve burned right through me. And that spark lit a fucking fire in my gut. It was on.
We had nearly 80 people fly in from out of town for this particular event, so in an effort to save some money, we paired people up to share rental cars. Boy toy was the one coordinating the event and travel, and of course he had paired me up with him. It reminded me of our days in Baghdad — breakfast, lunch, dinner, and work together. And we fell seamlessly back into that routine. We spent the entire week flirting, but never acting on it. Day after day of torturing each other — a brush of my leg against his under the table (in front of a standing-room-only crowd of people no less), a sarcastic crack followed by an intense eye lock that seemed to last an eternity, a reminder of a raunchy dream I’d had about him in an elevator ten years earlier (while we were riding the elevator in our hotel of course). One day I laughed and told him I loved this game we play. This game that nobody ever seems to win.
On the last day he was in town, riding the high of a hugely successful event, we boozed it up at the hotel bar with about ten other coworkers. Several drinks in, I got brazen, and my hand found his thigh under the cover of the bar overhang. I felt him tense up beneath me. I made a run to the bathroom a short while later, and when I returned there was a room key sitting on top of my phone on the bar. But it wasn’t mine. Cue that intense look again. He had an insanely early flight the next morning, and was able to excuse himself with few questions from our coworkers. I waited about 15 minutes, then did the same.
As I made my way down the hall to his room, I stopped just outside to peek over the railing to the ground floor, just to make sure no one saw me. I turned to knock on the door, but it was cracked. I pushed it open, the room pitch black. He grabbed me by the arm, slammed me back against the door… and oh. my. god. I’m pretty sure our electricity lit up the room. I felt alive for the first time in years. I’m not even sure how or when we finally made it to the bed. The next three and half hours were a tangled mess of our bodies — our movements fierce, wild, painful yet pure pleasure. We were animals. At some point, I apparently yelled out, “Oh my god, I forgot you were such a freak!” He laughed as he reminded me of that just a week or so ago. We would occasionally break just to lie naked and talk about everything that’s happened the last many years. He told me about how long he’d wanted to touch me like that again. How nervous he was to see me in the airport at the start of the week. I’d been nervous, too, because I knew the minute I saw him I was gonna lose control. Neither of us were sure of what the other would want, but apparently, we were both riding the same wavelength.
I left his room that night covered in bruises, makeup smeared across my face, jewelry broken as it had been ripped off of me along with my clothes. And I left 100% satisfied. Before I walked out the door, I told him that I think we both just won the game. Now I have to figure out a way to up the bar come end of June.