“When I asked you point blank last summer what your dear husband thought of our weeks of texting, Staci, you said he knew you were texting me and was giving you a hard time about it…”
NOTE: A WORK STILL IN PROCESS. Read along if you’d like. Cleanup and editing are slowly in progress. But is it fiction or is it Memorex? Does it name names? Hmmm… Well now, that’s the question, isn’t it?
I ripped this up a while ago  to add details but haven’t smoothed it out or fixed any grammar probs or storyline discontinuities. Once again, it’s a work in progress.
The Third Option of Facebitch
An illicit texting short story – or a short story of illicit texting – or a short story of texting about something illicit
>Monday, 9:00 am
>Doug, you may be interested in this. >Questions? Fire away.
>You a U2 fan?
—— Original message follows ——
Saturday, 12:36 am
What gives Staci?
I never heard back from you
I saw this bit of wisdom on FaceBook the other day. Passing it along. Thought it might make sense to you:
“People make time for those they want to make time for. People text and reply to people they want to talk to. Never believe anyone who says they have been too busy. If they wanted to be around you, they would.”
So, have you still “been busy?” Too busy to get back to me?
When I asked you point blank last summer what your DH thought of our weeks of texting, you said he knew you were texting me and was giving you a hard time about it, but that you and I grew up together and you couldn’t imagine so many years without me in them. What was it exactly? Oh, yeah, “He knows that we grew up together and I cannot imagine many years without you in it.” Remember that? (The chat history remembers it, grammar and all.) Well I do. In fact, I was completely stunned by your response. It must have been a minute or two before the shock had worn off sufficiently and I was able to text back a rambling, half-coherent reply agreeing that it had indeed been a very long time that we had been apart and that your feelings were mutual since we had always been good friends. But your brief emotional confession caught me entirely off guard as I was quite unprepared for such unexpected sentimentality from you after so long. How many years has it been that you have been married and I have been entirely out of your life (and vice versa as well)? I had completely expected you to text back something like, “He’s pissed and wants me to knock it off, so I probably shouldn’t chat any more.” But you didn’t. Jesus, did you honestly understand the magnitude of what you had confided to me? Nevertheless, I took you at your word, Staci, and assumed you were being truthful in a fleeting moment of emotional candor. Yes, you might have been being “sappy” as you apologetically explained, but that didn’t matter to me so long as you were being honest. Then, from what I can only surmise from the extensiveness but odd timing of our numerous chats over the several following weeks, you must have continued to ignore your DH’s feelings since we kept our conversations rolling. Looking back, it seems to me that you would have had to have worked quite hard to have kept our texting hidden on your end when your DH wasn’t traveling every other week. Our conversations were a daily back and forth. Your phone must have pinged more than a couple of times a day with new message notifications. Mine sure did and I looked forward to each sharp staccato ping that announced the arrival of a new text from you. Funny, but weeks later you told me that your DH no longer cared about you texting me, that he was “fine” with it – quite a change of heart to have occurred so fast in those few short weeks if I say so myself. But the fact that you told me and expected me to believe that he flip-flopped so quickly after giving you what you said was such a hard time about it, concerned me. It was a red flag. At that moment I started to question, to question what you were really up to, wondering whether or not you had been telling me the truth and whether or not you were hiding your texting from your DH among other things.
Concerned something was wrong, I even went so far as to ask our old friend Kathy on a couple of different occasions if she knew of anything going on with you that may have been out of the ordinary just to make sure I hadn’t unwittingly stumbled into some domestic situation or was about to step on some potential land mine I wasn’t aware of. I even interrupted her vacation with a text or two just to make sure, to assuage my conscience that I wasn’t intruding into such a possible situation. But much to my relief, Kathy said she didn’t know of anything. She didn’t believe there were any problems and agreed to keep my delicate inquiries under wraps, and that if I were really concerned I should just ask you directly. So that was that. But I couldn’t really have asked you point blank, now could I? I mean, you know, “Staci, how are you and your husband getting along? Any issues going on there that explains all your texting or are you just really happy to see me?” Oh yeah, that would have gone over well now, wouldn’t it?
But now, however, I’m not so sure I didn’t step directly into the middle of something of that very sort at a very inopportune time. It seems at least one large land mine seems to have gone off since your DH suddenly made his formerly unremarkable FB page (which you said he hardly ever visited because he wasn’t into FB, btw) into a complete pictorial shrine to you and family. Remember when I asked you about the sudden overnight transformation of his page? You quickly and conveniently explained it away by blaming your mother-in-law saying that she had been nagging him for years to put up family pictures and now pictures of your recent trip. That didn’t quite fly with me; it was far too coincidental, so I made a note of it and let it go. But it was the singular appearance of the “Life Event: Married to Staci” message on his newly revamped public page, displayed prominently and alone, directly under his profile and background pics (which of course were both pictures of you, not of him) that finally lead me to believe something really was up. When I pointed this out to you, you completely denied there was anything to read into it. Maybe there wasn’t, but all the guys I know just don’t do that kind of stuff on FB, not overnight, certainly not shrines, and definitely not without a damn good reason.
Once I saw that, I couldn’t help it but I really started feeling sorry for your guy at that point. You must have really made it suck to be him. I can only imagine how upset he must have been to have needed to make such a statement, which, in retrospect, goes a long way towards explaining much of your later behavior.
But all that was months ago, and a lot has transpired since then. What I want to know, Staci, just what in the hell is going on now? What am I supposed to think? You told me in no uncertain terms that you, “couldn’t imagine [so] many years without me in [them],” and I let you know that feeling is mutual. And yet now you don’t seem to want to communicate at all, or at least you will do so only begrudgingly and only after I have pinged you a couple of times. You won’t start a single new conversation thread with me of your own volition any more and only reply to the ones I kick off. Even then you seemed hard pressed to even reply to those. But what’s most mystifying is that comes even after you assured me only a few months ago that you didn’t want to lose contact again after all these years and that, no, I’m not bothering you and you’re not mad at me for any reason. You claimed that you’d be “likely” able to chat “more often in the summer,” but this sure doesn’t seem to be the case.
So what gives? Perhaps you are running under your DH’s radar? What’s the deal? In my shameless selfishness I took you at your word, Staci. I thought I could at least count on our long time friendship for your word still to be worth something between us.
But now I’m wondering, did you text me all that crap while you were in Chicago last summer just to fuck with me, to lead me on? Was it all just for fun, perhaps to see how far you could string me along? Or did you even write it at all? You said your DH was on his way back to the hotel and wouldn’t be too happy to come home to find you texting. Remember that? So now I’m beginning to believe that you didn’t write it – hell, maybe even your dear DH wrote it on your phone or fed you lines for shits and grins – maybe it was some other face of Staci texting, one I never knew existed and certainly one I had never met – or would ever want to meet for that matter – I don’t know and I can’t ever know for certain as trust seems to have become an issue. But you hardly bear any resemblance to the young woman I cared so much about all those long years ago.
For now it sure seems evident that all you wrote was complete and total bullshit. And if you didn’t truly mean it, or if you two colluded on it, then that is certainly one of the meanest, cruelest jokes ever to put over on someone, especially considering we were indeed very tight “childhood” friends, as you once described us, while knowing full well that we had been so much more than just “friends” on many levels – passion included, and not just during childhood.
[WARNING: Adult Content Below] [SKIP IF YOU DON’T WANT 2 READ SEX] The friendship we had I truly valued for years, from high school all the way through university and then some – up until The Day. It was the one relationship I valued over all others, the one I most wanted to keep alive, so much so that my closest frat brothers always teased me about you even though you and I were at different schools and hardly saw each other. Do you have any idea why they teased me about you and really only you? Well, other than they all liked you and thought you were beautiful, funny and intelligent, they all knew I was completely head over heels nuts about you. They knew that we had visited each other back and forth on various occasions over the years, that you had attended a few of my formals including the senior one, and that you rang my phone as much as I rang yours though not as often in the later years. A couple of them even knew we had both been busted when we headed up to your school to spend a long weekend together at the end of a Thanksgiving [ed./?] break one year instead of me heading back down I-40 to my campus as I was supposed to (yeah, all of our parents were pretty pissed about that one, and you freaked when your mom called. I distinctly remember that conversation as I was beside you on your bed when she called, and when you finished I had to call my parents to explain where I was while you sat on the floor crying to yourself that you couldn’t lie to your parents about what was going on. I respected that.)
Of course that weekend had already become quite surreal because it was when you admitted to me that you had slept with Bubba (who was later described to me as an “oaf” by a mutual friend), an admission which was not only a huge surprise but also greatly disappointing. In consolation you tried to assure me that you were pretty sure “it didn’t go in” as you put it. Whoa! Say what?! You mean you had gotten completely naked in bed with someone else – some guy named “Bubba”?! And you might have been screwed by him, but you weren’t sure?! And now you were telling ME about it, suggesting that you had allowed his unslung package to cozy right on up there next to yours, but that it might not have poked itself inside for a visit?! And you weren’t sure?! Or were you suggesting you hadn’t lost your virginity yet but were still dry humping someone else butt-naked anyway? Staci, MY Staci, humping and probably even screwing someone else?! Even though you and I had never gone so far as actual intercourse (though that thought had certainly crossed my mind many times and we had come very, very close before, there was always the pregnancy issue that made me extremely cautious and moreover you had never indicated that wanted to go that far by ever trying to get your hands into MY pants or onto my package; you admitted that you were “scared” to try, but why?), you were going all the way with someone else first and had willingly taken your panties off for him?! Holy shit. Why did I even stay at that point or even want talk to you any more? Well, for a couple of reasons I suppose. I had always loved you, still did and probably always would – there was that. You had also been trying to get my belt undone to get into my pants, finally, so there was that as well. And it was late. Not a good time to start a road trip back down the mountain. All-in-all fairly good reasons not to leave. But I also wanted to give you every benefit of the doubt that you were trying to be honest with me over a very hard subject although your admission really tore at me then and for a long time afterwards. More immediately, however, was the enticing fact that you had stripped out of all of your clothes and were lying completely nude next to me under a blanket – so absolutely stunningly beautiful, and vulnerable, and delicious you were! Nonetheless, I was seriously in limbo about how to react and what to do; Of course I was pissed, devastated, and felt quite betrayed after your admission. It’s just really hard to find out that you are not your girlfriend’s only boyfriend any more in that way, and and that she’s romping around in the sack with some other guy – the ramifications of that had not even begun to sink in. Yet I was still so enamoured of you that I buried it the best I could for the moment trying not to imagine how many other times you might have slept with Bubba and screwed him, and what other acts you may have engaged in together with him, or, for that matter, with any others you may have similarly entertained in your bed who were not me. Hell, just when DID you lose your virginity? I had always wanted to be your first, for it to be you and me, and I tried to overlook your confession as a one-time thing. Of course I was hardly so convinced and you didn’t tell me or give me any reason to believe otherwise. [Edit: re-write this since it’s hard to put in context and in timeline; left out-I had wanted to know but didn’t want to know; it was hard to hear her tell me that; so hard to believe she had actually done it with someone else; how many other people knew? Now I’m betting she was getting banged as often as she pleased – who knew? Did she have an undisclosed college boyfriend(s) perhaps or did Staci just get wasted and sleep with whoever was hitting on her? Student health was always handing out condoms, she said; often sleeping around? Why stay friends after that? I never really forgot the feeling of betrayal; and when she came over to visit me later, she brought her own techniques for wrapping her legs around mine. Who taught her that?! Wtf?!]. Maybe this was the real turning point in our relationship where we started drifting apart… Probably it was. I don’t know. It certainly didn’t help. I completely loved you, but I was losing the feeling that you loved me back any longer and that was a hard realization to accept. In any event, I was pretty pissed at you for a good long while after that, even referring to you occasionally as “Tess” (of the d’uberville’s fame). However you had been brave to have told me, and I had engaged in my own transgressions by then, so it would have been hard to assume the moral high-ground since I recognized the double standard I would have been imposing. Yet it was still just so extremely hard to think of you ever lying in bed in the buff engaging in full-on sex with anyone other than me, especially that other oaf. Especially doing it for your first time. Looking back on it, maybe that was why you told me, perhaps to let me know that I was no longer your only one, that our intimate closeness from high school had fast faded and you had decided to play the field. Your age, needs, desire, hormones and opportunity all coalesced while I was hundreds of miles away, and obviously you were ok with fooling around with someone new and taking him to bed. Of course it was your choice of who, when and where, all made especially easier since I wasn’t around to be the very jealous ex. I just wished it had been me. Whatever your reason it hurt, and it pissed me off, but instead of being such a dope [ed./pussy] about it, what I should have done was to have completely and entirely overlooked it that night, manned up and have taken you right then and there in a fit of a true lover’s mad passion, getting up inside you long, thick and hard over and over; first beginning as we had so many times before by gently then passionate kissing you while caressing your young full breasts and fully erect nipples, well-known to my hands for years already, then sliding a hand up under your back and up past your shoulders to lift your head closer to me as I kissed you more passionately from your chest to your forehead fully acknowledging my voracious carnal desire to be one with your body but with even stronger and more passionate feelings simply to be with you – the one who I had always loved. Then sliding one hand in between your thighs working it up into your groin to finger fuck you and get you excited and warmed up, finally moving a leg between yours to bring our naked bodies closer and more intimately entwined as the foreplay picked up; then, as the time became right, my hand would slide slowly down your body, behind your hips and over the small of your supine back to reach your firm, fit ass – it’s beautiful shape and feel well known to me but entirely missing from my life for some time – then grasping one cheek firmly in hand I would pull your arched back and opened groin strongly up into mine as I slid both my strong thighs inside yours to open you more fully while breathlessly entering inside you gently at first, then slowly picking up in tempo and strength as I repeatedly and more powerfully thrust deep and wide into you over and over (as we had done innumerable times before, so many that I had lost count over the years but then it was with two or three of my fingers splitting your labia and repeatedly penetrating deep inside you while exciting your engorged clitorus in the process, enough to make you shudder and squirm with so much pleasure as I intimately touched you in your most sensitive of places. “Too much! Too much!” you used to squeal with your eyes closed, head back, your hands pushing at mine and thighs clasping together tightly. Oh, how many times you enjoyed that! We both enjoyed that!), you responding to my lead with increasingly hard sharp upwards thrusts of your hips and pelvis, thrusting your groin up into mine then relaxing in synchronized rhythm then thrusting again, your hands grabbing my bare ass and pulling it in hard towards you on every thrust, our mutual efforts fully sexually pleasuring and rewarding us both while building the experience into an erotically overwhelming and powerfully rhythmic sexual crescendo that we both would have shared the climax of several times over and over that night before finally collapsing together, worn-out and exhausted, yet comfortably wrapped in each others’ arms, holding one another near while I slowly massaged your petite shoulders and neck until too soon the morning would arrive; for it was just us alone in the dorm, us alone in your bed into which you had invited me that night, us alone enjoying the tantric experience for which you had laid yourself out under that blanket that evening entirely unclothed – completely expecting and fully offering yourself for my taking, entirely prepared for the passionate mutual exploration of our young, strong intertwined bodies which were about to come….. Then the phone rang. Damn. Bad timing. It was your mom. Even worse timing. “Is he with you? Where’s he staying? His parents are looking for him!” Oh, crap. Absolute. Worst. Possible. Timing. And as the seconds slipped away I realized I had been a complete imbecile to have given more than a second’s worth of worry to you screwing Bubba the oaf. Instead of experiencing a night full of young passionate sex and intimate closeness that I believed we both desired with each other, as well as missing out on what could have been our most singular life-course-changing event, I ended up having to explain to my parents why I was in your dorm and not my own. No matter what I could say, they would know why. Now our evening wouldn’t happen at all because I hadn’t anticipated or made arrangements to have headed off that possibility. The rest of that night was miserable. Yeah, I was truly a dope in so many ways, and yet I still loved you anyway. I know it was crazy to always love you after that, but I couldn’t ever help it. And even after all these years, yeah, I’d still like to take you to bed…
There was also, of course, the notorious incident later that junior year when you called my room drunk, long-distance, and long past midnight during your own sorority formal where you had ditched your date (was it Bubba again – that jackass perhaps? Wasn’t me though, I noticed) and left the party to use a phone to call me to check to see if I was home or out drinking or perhaps sleeping over with some other girl. In all honesty, I was at the library studying for an upcoming test as my roommate Bill tried his honest best to convince you. But you wouldn’t have any of it. Since I wasn’t home at that late hour, you in your intoxication were convinced that I must have been out sleeping with some other young woman. You then “informed” Bill that you didn’t care if I was sleeping around with other women or not, that it was “fine” with you. (Really? Yeah, sure. Why did you call, again? And that was not what I wanted to hear from you, btw. I would have entirely preferred you to have been completely pissed if you thought I was out sleeping around.) Bill finally gave up trying to convince you otherwise, you hung up and went back to your party still drunk I guess (where did you end up sleeping that night I wonder?), Bill went back to sleep, and I finally returned home and sacked out after everyone had been kicked out of the library at O-too-damn-early in the morning. But you never knew that your whole drunken conversation had been captured on the answering machine, did you? After the laughter died down, I caught some real crap over that call for quite a while. Let’s just say it was replayed a few times before I managed to yank the tape. I never mentioned it to you because I never wanted to embarrass you (would you still want to hear it if it somehow was mysteriously preserved over all these years?), but I have to admit, it was pretty damn funny although I still have no idea why you called and why you just had to talk to me during your formal – not that I minded at all of course. I guess it was one of those intoxicated occasions where it must have made sense or seemed like a good idea at the time and, honestly, I was actually glad you called because it let me know that even during your formal, you were still thinking about me. Looking back on it, however, I have always regretted that I wasn’t there to have answered the phone when you called, not just to have talked with you while you were drunk (which was always entertaining), but to have kept you from getting upset and perhaps quite bummed out over an entirely unfounded and made-up assumption. Those types of thoughts and fears are the worst, especially when one happens to be drunk and hundreds of miles away. But, randomly sleeping around was never my modus operandi. Maybe it was your’s though. I’ve always been a relationship kind of guy and always prefered to make strong bonds which would last which is why I was really very bummed when I called you rather late one evening, post-university, after work to see what was going on as we used to do long ago, but you told me you couldn’t talk because you “had someone over.” That was another shock I wasn’t prepared for at all and it really sucked, yeah really, really sucked because if it was like any relationship you and I had, or you and Bubba, then I knew what you would probably end up doing later. And then you know you never called me back after that even though you promised you would. You know I never really pursued any deep relationships during college because I always thought you and I… Well, I digress…
Staci, I valued our relationship so much in part because it had been such a natural fit right from the beginning. It was such a good fit that there was never anything forced about it at all. The fact that you had a wit and intelligence that I could totally appreciate, a super fun personality, a sense of humor that matched mine, a beautiful smile and eyes that sparkled, especially when you were up to something, a hilarious laugh that was so absolutely characteristically you, looked gorgeous in everything you wore back then, especially classic Laura Ashley, while possessing an unmatched ability to cook artichokes which only added to your allure. I came to recognize that the deep value I had always placed on our relationship was so much more than just the sum of all of that; truly you had been a fundamental and significant part of me for all those years. You understood me and completed me, and the confidence that I gained not just from your attention and approval, but also from your trust in me, especially when you were at your most vulnerable, helped me to develop my own self-confidence, which made it so easy to be so at ease around you. I realized that the existence and ease of our relationship allowed me the confidence to be me and that’s what got me through our final years of school. And I may be mistaken, I don’t think so, but I believe it was pretty much the same for you, that we both relied on each other’s acceptance and support during those years and both gained a lot of mutual confidence from it – the pictures from those few years certainly show it.
And I loved you for all of it.
Quirks and all.
I found myself looking for any opportunity or excuse to be around you and later found myself just as much wanting to look out for you and protect you (which I did on several occassions btw). I loved you for so many reasons which were all unique to you (and I always will, I suppose, in many ways and in memories). I guess I never fully expressed all of this to you, or even half-expressed it, in so many words back at the opportune time, really because we never had an opportune time during college or during the rush of graduate school and work afterwards to discuss it. That was my most regrettable mistake – one among several, including perhaps my big mistake of blowing your trust in me freshman year with that completely inadvisable trip to the school just up the road from yours to visit “The Bitch” as you still call her. Of course all of this is water under the bridge at this point and obviously you must have been Ok with it back then since I’m not the one married to you now. And that other girl, you know, “The Bitch” Kate that I made the mistake of visiting for a football weekend? She was really a nice girl, very talented, very intelligent and funny with a sharp dry wit, but even though I spent some time with her during school and college, well, I asked you to both our high school proms and several college events as well including our senior off-campus weekend bash, not her. That should have told you something. I can still see, clear as day, the crestfallen, shocked, and utterly disappointedly sad, hurt and confused look on your face when you caught sight of The Bitch and me walking hand-in-hand to what would have been breakfast on the Sunday morning of football weekend. But you had driven up unannounced to see me at her school that morning which was still kind of surprising even though I had called you the night before. The Bitch (I really shouldn’t call her that) was an incessant hand-holding type, and I had already rejected several of her previous attempts at it btw. That you saw it then was a case of “bad timing.” The shocked and confused look on your face killed me instantly the moment I saw it and I quickly dropped her hand hoping you hadn’t seen it but realizing immediately I had fucked up and had most likely instantly and seriously injured our relationship in a pointless and unimaginable way. I immediately regretted it and have always wanted to fully apologize for having done that to you. The breakfast you and I then had later that morning at IHOP was the most uncharacteristically quiet and awkward meal we had ever shared. I still remember it to this day, where we sat in the back by the window, our trying to engage in small talk and stilted conversation. I hated having done that to you. (edit: rewrite this – that bkfst really did suck, Staci was really hurt, and I really knew I had blown it. Of course I had blown it w/ the bitch as well, but so what, Staci was always The One. Is that a record? Pissing off two friends in one weekend? It must be. God I hated doing that to Staci!)
I always thought (Ed./ hoped? Assumed?), however, that in time, our story arcs would eventually find a way to cross once again and twist back together regardless of what may have transpired in the interim. We had been such an absolutely great natural match from the beginning and all our friends saw it and supported it. That had always been my expectation, at least up until the day you called me out of the blue to tell me some guy I’d never heard of, much less even knew you had been dating, had asked you to marry him. Wait, what?! That was supposed to have been my question! Immediately the world I thought I knew crashed all around me in the few exceptionally long seconds it took you to blurt it out. But do you remember that I actually had to ask you what your answer to his proposal was, “What did you tell him?” I asked while wanting to disbelieve every bit of what you had just said. You didn’t just come out and tell me you were engaged right off. Why was that? I had to wait several more excruciatingly long seconds for your answer hoping against hope you hadn’t accepted his proposal, but then you crushed me again. “I said yes,” you said. Of course you had or why would you have called? And my world completely crashed around me for a second time; that was two total collapses of the whole universe within a total elapsed eternity of forty-five seconds. The Big Crunch times two. Completely devastated and still in shock, I didn’t protest or raise any objection though I sure as hell should have and would have if I had had even the slightest expectation or premonition of the subject of your call ahead of time, especially if I thought it would have done any good. Instead, like a dunce, I wished you all the best having realized within a split second of your announcement that obviously you must have been in a significant relationship for some time, one that I had not been aware of, with someone that I had no idea about, and one which I had no right to question as we hadn’t been together in any significant way for several years while you were a couple of states away in graduate school and I was working. But nonetheless, you had shattered my dreams for the future, a future which I had always intended to share with the one person who I thought would always be my closest friend. And I learned you didn’t love me, you loved another. Well shit.
You know, it turned out that you were quite right the prediction you made on that very last day of summer break at the absolute last moment we were together saying our goodbyes before heading off in different directions to our respective colleges. We were sitting in my car in front of your parent’s house, you on my lap gently crying, me hugging you, and through your soft sobs and tears you kept quietly repeating, “It will never be the same.” I was crying with you on the inside, but was too tough and too stoic to let on of course. I didn’t want to agree with you and just gave you even bigger hugs before I absolutely had to let go and leave. I hated leaving you then and certainly could never have entertained the thought that it would be forever. In fact, as I drove off I distinctly recall saying to myself in all complete seriousness that, “one day I’m going to marry that girl.” But not more than eight short years later it turned out you were entirely correct in your prediction, and I was completely wrong. And that sucked. It sucked more than you or I could possibly have imagined.
Do you remember calling me only a couple of weeks later after your devastating engagement call to ask if I had been out with Julie one evening? You told me, in a rather hesitant but accusatory manner I might add, that Kathy had called you to report that she had “spotted me” walking down a street in the bar district with Jules the evening before. I found that a bit strange. Why was I being reported on and why should you have cared? You had made your decision, at least I thought that was the rather clear message of your prior call. So why should it have mattered to you in the least who I was out with? Did it still matter to you? Really? Was I missing something? Apparently it bothered you enough to rate a phone call. But all I said was “yes,” and you didn’t say much else and we left it at that. That was the last real conversation we had until many years later when a business trip took me out your way and you invited me over for dinner with your family.
I never understood what motivated that call and still don’t to this day. But even though it was really none of your business at the time, I will tell you that Jules and I were still only friends at that point – nothing serious was going on. She was even seeing other guys then. Jules and I had been friends for almost as long as you and I so we had that going for us, but we were not nearly so close yet but were working on it. Like you and me, Jules an I also had lots of mutual friends who all saw that there was a natural match between us as well. We had been on dates several times before but hadn’t become a serious item yet. Not even at the time Jules noticed you glancing back over your shoulder at the two of us when we all attended Matt’s wedding. We happened to be sitting several rows behind you and your future DH when Jules nudged me to look up where you two were seated just in time to see you flip back around. Jules was my wedding date for that afternoon, but I had agreed to zip back to town with her after it was over because she had a date with someone else that evening. So I drove precisely the speed limit all the way back to be as late as possible returning. But your engagement announcement certainly focused my mind on where Jules and I were going, and it definitely helped motivate me to move that process along.
You know, what’s funny is that even now, all these years later, I still take shit over you from certain people who knew us both well at the time and who continue to wonder just what the hell happened, a retrospective question I mostly got over asking myself a long, long time ago. “She settled,” is the most repeated speculative explanation I hear. “Love the one you’re with,” comes in a close second. “Yeah, great, fuck off” became my stock response to all of it. But now our recent texting has dredged all of these questions back up like it was yesterday and makes me want to ask you what in the hell actually happened to drive us so far apart all those years ago?
SNARKINESS EDIT HERE – time to cut the final third of this story….and rework it.
Replace with basically “You were always the one, but I guess life got in the way. I got past you, but never got over you.” (very true – it’s very very / extremely hard to be rejected by your best friend, regardless. Especially when a reason is not apparent!)
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(Hint: This is the first fence!)
This area is the IDEA SCRATCHPAD:
So, Understanding beats mean SNARKINESS every time, so got to figure out what to do here…. don’t want to be mean by any means.
Also: Prefab Sprout – “When Love Breaks Down” tape — given to me by Staci in college at last visit. significance??? If so, not me. Her. Put Romeo Void on the backside. Any added significance?
Also: Bubba and me show up at the same time at Staci’s work during summer break to take her out. What in the hell was up with that?! She goes with him? Yeah, that really really pissed me off. Why did she act so surprised to see me? There was no excuse for that snub – I really should have “unfriended” her on the spot after that. Only asking for disappointment by keeping her as a friend — good/bad decision?? Guess I was hoping to get her back. Lol. Should have cut losses and moved on right then.
also, what the hell was the deal with me showing up in Cambridge while staci was there that summer that caused such an issue?? My being there was out of context for her? Really??! Staci didn’t want to see me or didn’t want to hang out for a few days?! Not what I expected, and that really really really pissed me off as well. Talking about bitchy behavior – and they all called Kate “The Bitch” ha! lol.
So here’s the fence….
Do you remember your so thoughtful response when I put it to you during our meetup at the park last summer? How had we not ended up together as I always thought we would, I asked you? “Bad timing,” you slowly replied. That was it. You had no other explanation although there was obviously much more to it that you weren’t saying. Bad timing. Yeah, well no shit, it certainly was bad something, timing or whatever, and that answer was undoubtedly the queen of all the trite, ridiculous non-answers I’d ever heard. You couldn’t even give me a straight-up answer. So I’m not sure what to believe from you any more.
What I am sure of at this point is that I feel I was completely taken advantage of by you last summer, completely used in a transient moment of need, then cast aside when I was no longer useful and probably causing a problem for you at home. In a word, I’m pissed, thoroughly – not only at you, but also at myself for not having truly gotten over you even after all of these years. To you it was “all good” to be texting with me during a period in which it seems you needed some attention (yes, I completely get the attention thing) especially when your DH wasn’t around, and I let you run with it because I enjoyed it too. (Perhaps you weren’t getting any attention when he was around either, which would explain a lot!) Hell, you even apologized for “dumping on me” about G’s problems (damn, she’s a hot number!), completely blindsiding me with it, which I told you was Ok even though I was missing almost the entire backstory and didn’t really know who she was (I’m a good listener, remember?). But then you also told me that you were “missing something” when I pressed you further the next day about what you had texted. I told you I didn’t believe that it was as “all good” as you suggested. You said it was, why wouldn’t it be? I asked you if you had read what you had written the day before. You admitted “‘all good’ was kind of trite, rude even.” I agreed in part that it was trite, but disagreed that it was overtly rude. Then I pushed you on it further. That’s when you said you were “missing something.” I asked what it was that you were missing and you said you didn’t know exactly, that you’d have to “think about it” – another admission that all was not as it seemed. I can only assume it was some sort of relationship issue, but I have no real idea. Honestly, though, after all the years which have passed you sounded just like fucking U2, that somehow you still hadn’t found what you were looking for. If you hadn’t found it after all these years, what in hell exactly had you been doing? What a load of crap it was that you were “missing anything” for that matter, although I’m starting to have my own theories about what you were actually missing and what you may have needing. And when I suggested I too was missing whatever it was that you were missing, which in my case was simply a clue about what in hell was actually going on, you immediately dropped it like a hot rock and changed the subject. Yeah, something was going on.
So now it has come to this and it appears you no longer desire any attention from me in the least. Maybe you did actually find what you were looking for, whatever it was (don’t tell fucking U2) though I have my doubts. Maybe you burned out texting or it has become boring or you don’t want to carry on a conversation with an ex (I guess that’s really all I am now). But it seems you must have gotten your DH whipped back into shape and are getting the attention you deserve, or perhaps he whipped you back into shape with a significant bit of guilt – who knows? Regardless, all I know is that when I ask you why you’re not keeping up your end of our conversation all I get is, “I’ve been busy.” Seriously? Of all the tired and trite excuses out there you pick the one that even God-forsaken fucking FB tells you to look out for? Come on, Staci. I was told this would happen, and I should have listened to my wiser, better half (who, I have to say, has been rather amused by the whole affair (Dare I use that word, “affair?” A texting affair? It’s very Ashley-Madison’esque, considering! Tres chic!) but who’s also still somewhat miffed about the picture of you and me posted and then tagged on FB by Kathy for all of our friends to see after the three of us had gotten together for dinner. I will say it did receive a heck of a lot of ‘likes’ and a bunch of comments, although most of the likes were from our mutual friends while all of the comments were exclusively from our former classmates who knew our backstory. But ironically there was also a ‘like’ from your own MIL for God’s sake! Of course I couldn’t help but notice that your DH didn’t comment, not even a thumbs-up. No surprise there certainly. What amazed me most though, was that it finally took Mary to post a larger photo of you and your DH to knock ours off the top of your FB page weeks later. What a message that must have sent to all your friends and your DH. At first it concerned me just thinking about what all those people who didn’t know me must have been thinking when they read the comments left by our old friends and classmates. But now it no longer does. I shake my head and laugh just thinking about it. Yeah, I took some shrapnel in the ass from Jules over that pic (I was told it was inappropriate to have it on my own FB page – well of course it was!), but hell, Jules knew our story as well, and I considered the light peppering of shrapnel in the backside to be more than worth it. The larger question which keeps coming back to mind, however, is how did your DH take to you leaving that pic up for so long (or at all, for that matter) with all the comments, considering it was so incredibly visible to everyone? You could have easily hidden it or untagged yourself. Did it serve some ulterior purpose of yours? You certainly didn’t have any problem leaving it up or giving it “like” yourself (in fact, we agreed to do it mutually) and then commenting that it was fun and that the next get together shouldn’t be so long into the future (ha!). Was that your ridicule of your DH for some reason? Some punishment for leaving you alone? For going off and playing for weeks during that summer while you stayed home and handled the kids? Was that it? I can only wonder what he must have done to deserve it. In retrospect, maybe I should be completely thankful that I wasn’t the one who ended up with you after all. As you well know, sometimes you should get over it and be glad things ended up the way they did…
But coming back to now, you have a decision to make. If you have any shred of decency left, you need to step up and say to me, to my face, that you didn’t mean what you wrote last summer, that you were plastered, plowed, drunk off your ass or something (although even drunks usually tell the truth) and that you were completely lying even though it took you five minutes and several hesitant restarts to write those couple of sentences in reply to my simple question of what your “dear hubby” thought of all our texting, otherwise you have some explaining to do and need to own up to what you wrote. There’s not really any inbetween. I wonder, did you also tell your DH about our pre-existing plans to get together for dinner when you came to town? I bet you didn’t, so what explanation did you give him when the picture of us together popped up on FB unexpectedly afterwards? What about our meetup to “catch up” in the park by the river last summer, just you and me, an hour before we met Kathy for dinner? Did you tell him about that? Do you ever plan to? Hell, we didn’t even tell Kathy about it. But if you really feel too put out to chat so much as once in a while with an old friend because you no longer feel the need for the attention, and if you are so inclined and have the actual guts to do it, you can tell me that our friendship is over right now. It may as well be since it’s rather apparent you have no intention of being in contact any longer; you’ve shut me out but have not explained why. Really, you should defriend me on FB, and that will be it – you won’t hear from me again if that’s truly what you want. That would completely suck, and I would be pissed that you had been using me, but at least you’d be being honest with me in that you really don’t want to stay in contact even though only months ago you claimed you did. It would be better for both of us if I no longer had to guess where my former best friend stands, or perhaps just a former friend for that matter. It would be as much real as it would be symbolic of the actual breakup we never had. Then you could reinstall messenger, turn all the notifications back on, turn on alerts, whatever, and not have to worry about an inopportune text message showing up to cause problems when your significant other or kids were around. And you know what, I never did buy that crap about Messenger not working on your phone. You simply removed it to keep from receiving texts and having them easily accessible to anyone who could unlock your phone. But you lied about it. So why hesitate? You really don’t value this friendship at all it seems, and I have plenty of other FB friends to make up for losing you. The loss of one single FB “friend” wouldn’t make anything more than a barely noticeable single digit difference in my public friend count, you would be just statistical noise at that point and you wouldn’t be missed for one minute from my FB universe by anyone. </really pissed>
Except by me.
The option I’d much prefer though, and the one I’d hope you would choose, is for you to simply explain to me why you wrote what you did (assuming you wrote it) last summer, if you were being honest and what was happening at the time you wrote it, what kind of trouble you landed in because of our ongoing texting if any, and where things are now. I just want you to level with me because I have no idea of what actually happened on your end and I’d like to be able to make some sense out what changed between last summer and now. I’m entitled to at least that much, Staci. Have you simply burned out chatting, have I become boring, did you make a deal with your DH which precludes you from any more chats with me? I’d prefer to give you the benefit of the doubt and not be pissed off at you forever, not that you should care I guess, but I need to know what has gone on. I’m adaptable, Staci, especially if it would keep you as a friend, but I deserve an explanation from you at this point of what’s going on and where things stand, that is if you really intend to remain true friends.
Then there’s the third option, that of ignoring all of this, which is of course the easiest response to choose, but it really is the poorest option, both morally and personally, and it’s probably an all around worse option for everyone involved. Don’t choose this option; I have carried the memories of our good times for too long to think it could come to this. But if you do, the essentially the do-nothing default one, it would be more appropriate for me to bring your DH up to speed on all the details of the story that he’s entitled to but not already aware of and then let him advise you on what you should do rather than let issues simmer all the way around. I know you said that your DH “really is a good guy,” and I’m sure that he is, although you quickly followed that with a cryptic acknowledgement that you’re often “missing an empathy gene” regarding him, whatever the hell that means (I never figured that one out and neither did Kathy when I asked her for her interpretation), but it sure sounds ominous – so much so that I believe you two already have a few issues to work out in counseling. But you know, I’d bet that both of you should be able to sort this situation out much better and faster than you and I could, so I’d certainly be willing to break the ice for you and fill Doug in on all of the past year’s events if he wants to know. You’ll just have to let me know how it eventually turns out. And then, just possibly, the whole thing might even find its way onto the Internet as a texting short story. You just never know.
Your options, your call.
P.S.: Did you see the one about Loyalty and Needs? As one’s needs change, so does one’s Loyalty. Interesting, don’t you think?
Well, wasn’t all that writing cathartic, now…. And as we all know, it’s the thought that counts.