Too Good to be True? - Part One
(This story is about someone who answered a personal ad I'd once placed)
From the second I heard his voice on the recorded message he left me, I was extremely attracted. He had this incredible voice. I called him shortly after hearing his message, and we talked on the phone for over an hour. During the conversation, we made a plan to meet for dinner several days later. When I got off the phone, I was very much looking forward to meeting him -- I was attracted to his personality from our great conversation, and also to his voice, that I loved the from the moment I first heard it. Before we met, I replayed his recorded message several additional times, thinking, "I'd love to hear this voice whisper to me before I fall asleep at night."
Although it's a standard no-no to have a personal-ad date pick you up in their car, in this case I felt it was OK. The moment we met, it was instant attraction -- we completely hit it off. At dinner, we laughed, talked and had a great time. We stayed at the restaurant until after 11 p.m., and then he drove me back to my apartment.
When we got to my building, he asked if he could walk me to my door. We walked into my lobby, and wanted to kiss goodnight before we parted, but it was cold in the lobby (and not very private), so we decided to go back into his car for our first kiss. We ended up staying in the car for more than an hour -- holding hands, talking and kissing. It was getting late, and I kept saying, "Just a few more minutes...."
He asked if it would be OK to use my bathroom before he drove home. When he was in my apartment, I showed him my pictures (I have a photo portfolio of sorts) and some of my "objets d'art" I made over the years. We talked and kissed some more in my apartment, and before we knew it, it was 3 a.m. Time had flown by -- it was so nice to be with him. As I was holding him, I said, "I don't want you to go." He didn't want to leave either. We decided he would stay over, but not "sleep" over. We would be perfectly respectable, and we were. We kissed and dozed for what hours of the early morning were left, until it was time for me to get ready and leave for work.
When he was driving me to work, we were both in a daze from the suddenness and intensity of our connection. We were both extremely attracted to each other on many levels. It was intense and deep. He called me about an hour after I arrived at work. From that first night on, we were connected to each other. I had never before met someone I could relate to so deeply and so instantly.
On Friday, I couldn't wait to finish work, because I had plans to visit him for the first time, and stay over his apartment (he lived in NJ, in a town right on the other side of the Hudson river). He had a really nice apartment -- spacious, tastefully done, well-kept, and with great views of NYC out of the many windows. Also in his apartment was what would be the most comfortable bed I had ever been in -- it was king size, had a featherbed on top of the mattress, all cotton sheets, big fluffy down pillows, and a fluffy down comforter.
We spent the entire weekend together. We were like two love-struck puppies -- smiling as we gazed into each other's eyes, constantly holding hands, touching and caressing, every moment together being pure bliss. It was incredible. Many times he would smile and shake his head as he looked at me, and then he would say, "You're so beautiful, you're so beautiful."
On Sunday, we met one of his best friends for brunch, and went to a Shakespeare play (his friend got us all free tickets). It was a great afternoon. That night back in my apartment, while we were kissing and holding each other, the feelings between us were so, so strong. He said, "I really... like you. And I'm only saying that because I can't say what I really want to say." "What is it you really want to say?" I asked.
He paused for a moment, and replied, "That I love you." I knew that was what he was going to say. Then I said, "Just a moment ago, before you said that to me, I was thinking I feel that same way about you -- but I thought it was crazy, and I shouldn't say it. But can we really love each other after only three days? Is it possible?" We agreed it was crazy to say -- and think -- we loved each other after such a short time. Yes, it was crazy, but we felt it was true.
When we saw each other one weeknight and I slept over, we barely got any sleep, and it was hard to get through the next day, so it was decided weekends would be a better time to see each other. I so much looked forward to Fridays -- I missed him throughout the week, and spending time with him became my favorite thing to do. We spoke pretty much every day -- he was very good about calling me, despite it being long distance (not far in miles, but being in different states made the calls long distance).
It was fun to get his calls at work. When my phone rang, I never knew if it would be a business call, or him on the line, saying hello and wanting to talk to me. And when I was home, sometimes I brought my phone to my bedside if I got into bed early, in case he called me later. It made me smile and feel so good when he said, "Goodnight, and sweet dreams," to me before I fell asleep.
We met on Saturday of the next weekend, had a fun night out, and went back to his apartment. (He had a much bigger apartment than me, so I preferred going to his place.) When we woke up on Sunday morning, we talked of how incredible and intense things between us were. It didn't matter what we did -- so long as we were together, we had a great time. He said, "By April (it was mid-January), if things keep going as well as they have been, I think we should talk about spending more time together." It definitely seemed like things were heading into a "let's see if we're right for each other, for forever" place. He asked me about my family's genes, and if all my feminine, baby-making parts were working.
Later that day, we drove into the city, and had an especially nice brunch at a quiet café. After we finished our food, we sat for a long time, holding and caressing each other's hands across the table, while we talked or just looked at each other. I felt so peaceful and blissful being with him. He said to me, "I see women who are beautiful, but they don't have the beauty that you have behind your eyes. You're beautiful. And adorable -- as in 'adore.' I adore you."
That same day, we met another one of his close friends, and his friend's wife. We stayed at their apartment from late afternoon until evening, drinking tea and chatting, and then we ordered in food for dinner. I felt completely comfortable hanging out with these friends -- we all got along great. Things couldn't have been flowing smoother. The more time we spent together, the more our feelings for each other were growing deeper.
When the next weekend arrived, I couldn't wait to see him. We had a great day together on Saturday, and went back to his place. He gave me a massage before we went to sleep (he's a massage therapist by profession). I asked him, "Remember the words we said to each other which seemed crazy? Well, do you still think them?" (Not that I doubted it, but I wanted to hear him say he loved me again.) He replied, "You mean saying I love you? Of course I love you."
When we woke up in the morning, he said there was something he had to tell me -- something that would be difficult to say, that he didn't want to say -- but felt he had to. After hesitation, he let it all spill out. Out of the blue, he told me he couldn't ever promise being faithful to me. He couldn't commit -- it wasn't his nature. He said that for many, many years, he's hopped from relationship to relationship. He'd be living with a girl, meet someone else, then leave the girl he was living with to be with the new person. Or else he'd cheat on a girl he was steadily involved with. He said he couldn't trust himself to not do that to me as well, even though I was different:
"No one has ever kissed me, touched me, held me -- like you have. I have feelings for you I've never felt for anyone in my life," and "When I think of all the qualities I could ever want in a woman, you have every one of them -- you're beautiful, kind, sweet, giving, loving -- I love you, but I can't commit to you. I can't break your heart like I know I will someday."
It took some time for me to comprehend this, and for it to sink in. As soon as I realized the implications of his statement, I became upset, and I turned away from him. I quickly got out of bed, and then wandered around his apartment for a bit. No knowing what else to do, I decided to take my morning shower. In the shower, it hit me that we were through -- I had to leave and not come back. It was going to be over between us, for no apparent reason other than the impending future, at a time when we were in love with each other.
After my shower, I started to rummage around his apartment, and collect my things. He heard me open a dresser drawer, and start shoving things into my bag. From the bed, in a soft voice I heard him say, "What are you doing? Are you packing?" "I guess," I mumbled, fighting back tears. "Come here. Come here, Laura."
I walked to the bed, stood at the edge of it, and looked at him with welled-up eyes and a sorrowful face. He motioned several times for me to come nearer. I slowly climbed next to him. He put his arms around me, to hug and comfort me. I started to cry, and said, "Why do you have to be that way? I don't understand. Don't you want to keep what we have between us? It's so rare and incredible." He said he was sorry, but that's the way he is, and he can't be sure he will ever change. He said he had to tell me before we spent even more time together, and I had completely given my heart to him, only to have him shatter it someday. He said he couldn't do that to me.
After some time, I left the room. I went into the living room, and sat down on the couch, alone, looking out the window, crying. I loved him and he loved me, and I had to end things between us -- ours was a love that couldn't be. It was sad. I was sad. I don't know how long I sat there, but he found me in the living room and sat down next to me.
Without saying a word, he took my hand and held it in his. With his other hand, he slowly wiped away some of my tears. We talked quietly for a bit, and I saw tears fall down his face as well. I wiped away his tears. When I looked at him, I thought back to how incredible it felt to kiss him. I asked, "Can I have just one kiss?" "Of course you can." He moved closer, and we began to kiss. It was still incredible. The one kiss turned into a whole kissing/touching/holding thing, which I savored, because I knew it would be one of our last.
Afterward, we had coffee and talked about what would be next. He said, "I love you. I don't want for you to leave, and never see you again. Can we be friends -- maybe talk on the phone, have dinner once in a while, rent a movie?" I replied, sullenly, "I can't be 'just friends' with you after all this -- I wouldn't be able to see you, and not want to kiss and touch you." Saying this made me cry some more.
He said he was going to take a shower. When he was in the shower, I walked into his bedroom. The room was bright from the light of the sun, and the winter sky was a beautiful clear blue. I climbed into his sumptuous bed, knowing it would be for the last time. I savored the moments. Fresh from his shower, he came into the room and saw me under the covers, looking out the windows, with tears once again in my eyes. He pulled back the covers, and climbed into the bed next to me. We stayed in the bed for a long time -- kissing, talking, crying -- saying our good-byes.
Later, I got out of the bed, got dressed, and finished packing up my things. As I walked toward the door to leave his apartment, I said a silent good-bye to this place I so much enjoyed visiting. We walked downstairs to his car for my trip home. When we had previously ridden in his car, I always held and caressed his hand when he was driving, or had my hand on his leg, gently caressing it.
But this day I sat with my hands folded in my lap, my head turned away from him, looking out my window. He reached for my hand, and I limply let him hold it. He took my hand, and held it pressed to his heart for the entire ride back to my apartment. I fought back tears the whole time. Sometimes they escaped me, and ran down my cheeks. He asked me, "What do you feel?" I paused, and replied, "I feel... loss."
We got to my lobby, and stood in the very spot we stood in that first night we met, when he asked if he could walk me to my door. I said, "This is the spot where it all began." With tears in my eyes and my head down, I said good-bye. He asked if he could call me and say hello sometime. I think I nodded yes as I turned away, opened the lobby door, walked down the hallway, and into my apartment.