Before Christmas, I made the rounds sending Holiday wishes via e-mail, e-card, traditional Christmas card, and/or phone.
The big invisible question floating above my head: Would I send Wasn't Christmas wishes? Honestly, I didn't even have to think about it: Of course I'm wishing him a Merry Christmas. Some people wondered why I would bother. The answer was very simple: He's a human being who has been in my life for many years; he has been through a great deal this year, things far worse than his current relationship woes.
A few days before Christmas, I called and left Christmas wishes on his voicemail, truly not expecting anything in return. What I didn't really anticipate was how final my message sounded; it came out sort-of like a Christmas farewell. It took me by surprise.
The next morning, I awoke to a rather nice text message, telling me how great it was to hear my kind voice; he then gave me a very specific time when he would call.
I don't know if he called or not; the time wasn't good for me. Whether he meant to or not, it felt a little like he was trying to squeeze me into his schedule--fitting me in around his girlfriend.
Christmas morning, he called to wish my family and I a Merry Christmas. He also made it very clear he was spending the holiday with family only (i.e. no girlfriend) and wanted me to call him anytime that day.
Again, I got that "squeezed in" feeling. The timing was good for him.
I really just wanted to spend Christmas Day and night with my family; I didn't feel like getting into another directionless, hint-filled conversation with him. My mom said, "Honey, you are a genuinely sweet soul, but don't you dare feel guilty about not calling him. The time is good for him, not for you. You don't have to jump through hoops."
I didn't call him back.
Over two years ago, I realized we were never going to happen. If I had a dollar for each time he invited me into his life, only to go M.I.A. for a couple of weeks before returning as if nothing ever transpired...as if he never said those words that touch your heart...
I've tried to just be his friend, but no matter what, it always comes back to those familiar hints. Always implied, never realized. As one of my friends said, "He is Willoughby to your Marianne." (From Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility, for those unfamiliar).
He hasn't called; I assume he's less than pleased I didn't call him when he said he'd be available.
Same story, new year...only I'm not going to be a recurring character in his story. I've written myself out of the script. The End.
Now, for The Beginning...