Jewish Journal


January 21, 2012

Is It All Hopeless?



My boyfriend and I had a fight tonight.  Not a terrible one but bad enough that I’m back at my apartment alone and intermittently crying.  I’m not entirely sure what happened or why but we were sort of off all night.  Then, things were said and now looking back, perhaps I was cruel. 

It happens swiftly and softly without anger or even very many words but within a few sentences feelings are hurt.  We are watching tv and I try to fix everything by taking his hand, but he pulls it away.  I try again and again I fail.  Our bodies are still touching on the couch, but I feel as alone as if I were sitting in the middle of the Arctic without another person in sight.  He says he is tired.  I know what this means so I oblige him and say I’m going to head home now.  I can’t look at him on the way out.  I am hoping he will grab me and kiss me or just do something.  But he doesn’t.  He closes the door behind me.

I get halfway down the hall and then crouch down on the floor outside his door and silently cry, heaving softly.  I can’t decide what to do.  I don’t want to leave.  It all seems so stupid.  What are we even fighting over?  I just want to go back in and snuggle up to him and sleep next to the man I love.

His neighbor comes out to walk his dog.  I shoot up, with my overnight bag hanging off of my shoulder.  Are you ok, he asks, confused.

I smile like an idiot and try to brush past him.  Yeah, I’m fine.  I notice a pack of cigarettes in his hand.  Cigarettes.  Is that what we were fighting about?

Are you sure you’re welcome here?
  Yes, I’m welcome here, I think.  My boyfriend lives here, you jerk.  He continues down the stairs but now I am trapped.  I am too embarrassed to leave and walk past this guy and his dog, like I’ve been thrown out, so I march back to my boyfriend’s door.

I stand there for a while, trying to build back up my courage.  I am cold, and tired, and my bags are hurting my shoulder.  I can hear the tv playing the end of the show I had been in there watching not so long ago.  I want back in.

I knock on the door.  Why am I nervous, I’m thinking.

He opens the door.  He looks confused.  I recall there are still tears on my face.

I don’t want to leave, I say.  I look up at him pleading, hoping he thinks I look sweet instead of pathetic which is what I’m feeling.

He opens his mouth to say something, but barely a sound escapes and he closes it.  He looks down.

I’m stunned.  He looks back at me and his look says everything.  He wants me to leave.  He doesn’t want to let me in to the apartment I’ve had keys to for months.  I thought he’d be relieved to see me, but he’s not.  He wishes I hadn’t come back. 

Forget it, I can’t even finishing saying it, before the tears start falling.  How dare he, I think to myself.  I brush my hair aside, mainly to hide my face from him as I turn to leave.  He’s sending me out into the cold late night, with my bags, on the long walk back to my car alone.

I walk as fast as I can in my stupid little tight dress and black boots that feel ridiculous now.  He hasn’t closed the door this time.  He’s waiting for me to leave the building.  I guess his neighbor was right, I’m not welcome here.  The gate closes behind me.

I know I could let myself cry this whole walk back to my car, but I grit my teeth instead.  I will not let a boy make me cry.  I will not give him this much power over me.  I am too strong to cry over this.  Over what?  I ignore the embarrassment I feel as I pass people on the busy street, hoping they’ll think I’m walking to my boyfriend’s apartment instead of being kicked out by him.  I fantasize he’ll drive up beside me and demand that we fix this.  But I know there’s no way in hell, this is happening.  He’s tired and probably just wants to go to bed and not think about me.  He probably thinks this wasn’t a big deal.  It was me who wanted to leave, right?  And I was making things weird in the first place.  Why do I always do that?  Am I determined to sabotage every relationship with a man I will ever have?

He has no idea how rejected I feel right now.  I check my phone for a non-existent text.  But I only do it once because I know him, and I know he won’t text.  What will tomorrow be like?  Are we over?  Or did nothing happen?  Will he call in the morning to discuss our evening plans and think that nothing worth mentioning transpired?  When do I get to a place in my life, where boys don’t make me feel like this?  Do I ever?

Drastic thoughts of what I could do tonight creep into my head.  But I won’t.  I’m not angry enough with him to want to do anything except fix us.  God, exactly a week ago one night, I thought things were perfect.  He used the word soulmate for the first time and I was swooning even though I know he doesn’t load the word with all the meaning I do.  He was so tired before I left.  Oh my baby, I feel so bad for him when I see how exhausted he gets from work.  I want to sleep too but I know I won’t.

No matter what happens to me in life, no matter my accomplishments, no matter where in the world I am, or how much things have changed, it seems this ugly constant remains.  I am sitting here in front of my computer feeling alone, crying about a boy, knowing I won’t sleep.  I wonder if I should give up on love.  Not relationships necessarily – they seem to come easily to me.  But this idealistic schoolgirl dream of true love I just can’t seem to let go of.  Why do I need to believe this so badly?  I just really want to believe that there’s someone out there for me.  And I really started to believe it was him.  And so why am I home alone without him?

Tamara Shayne Kagel is a writer living in Santa Monica, CA. To find out more about her, visit www.tamarashaynekagel.com and follow her on twitter @tamaraskagel. © Copyright 2011.

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