We were talking about men. The ones from who we couldn't quite free ourselves, the ones we kept running towards inspite of everything, including common sense. She confided in me, and I told her the story, the same story I always tell. The one about him and what he did and continued to do for three years. I was the innocent victim, the one he fooled, misled, and strung along. The drama never ceased, building upon itself year after year. And I told it all, not leaving out a single feeling, misunderstanding, or disappointment. And she understood, seeing her pain in mine.
Too many people have heard the story, but he never has. Why would he need to? He was there for it. But sometimes I wonder what he would say if he ever did hear me tell the story. Would he stand beside me, arms folded, nodding his head in agreement as if to say, "Yes, I did all of that. And it really was as bad as she's saying." Or maybe he would shout, "I object," when I describe how he made me believe we had a chance. Would he claim no guilt beyond the initial transgression or admit to his role in keeping this thing going long after it ran its course? Or maybe, just maybe he would tell HIStory, how everything happened from start to not quite finished. Would HIStory sound like mine?
Would he admit that he was the one who started it all? That I was so reluctant that I tried to sneak out of his apartment at the first rays of daylight the morning after our first night. Would he describe how he coaxed me back to bed with promises of an extra hour of sleep that never happened. Maybe he would skip that part and go straight to the time he told me that he was in my best interest when I questioned if we should still pursue this "thing" with half the country between us. But probably, he would gloss over all of that and go straight for our first fight. The one where I let all my insecurities and immaturity show. He would probably tell how I got caught up in a game of he said/she said, believing everything I heard and nothing he had done. He would say that was the moment he realized he couldn't do it anymore. He would say that he was beyond theatrics and I was a one woman show.
But would he remember that he wasn't really done even after he said he was. Would he tell about the time he got jealous of my male friends. Would he recount how he questioned my actions even though he supposedly gave up that right. Maybe he would talk about how he would wake me up every night with a phone call, just so his voice could lull me back to sleep again. Would he mention that he said, "I'm coming to see you," and, "I've always wanted you." Would he acknowledge that we fixed what was broken.
And what about the voicemail. Would he tap dance around the fact that he went from, "I want you" to, "Don't call me anymore," in the span of 4 days. Would he cop to being a bitch and not saying it to me but rather to my recorded voice. Maybe he'd even talk about all the desperate phone calls from me that he ignored. I wonder what he will say about watching me, shocked, hurt, confused, afraid, and needing and refusing to make any of it go away with just a tiny explanation. Would he talk about the time he had his new girlfriend call me and say I was a stalker and he no longer wanted me after I had called to wish him a Happy New Year.
Would he talk about the first time we saw each other after ten months had passed. How I ignored his presence for hours, until he took me aside and finally gave me the talk that was almost a year overdue. Would he say that he conned my forgiveness, asked for my number again, then never called me because he was still with her. Or maybe he would skip ahead a year to our history repeating itself. Would he describe how I felt tucked securely in the space between his tattooed arm and broad chest. Would he say that all the old feelings rushed back in that moment. Probably not, because he didn't speak to me again until six months later.
And what of our friendship? Would he classify it as a constant push and pull, driven by a weird chemistry that won't seem to go away? Would he say that history always has the potential to repeat itself whenever we're alone. Would he tell it all, the way I do. Would it sound as intense? I don't think so. The one who felt more always remembers more. I doubt I'm the person he mentions when talking about the ones from who we couldn't quite free ourselves, the ones we kept running towards inspite of everything, including common sense. I know he comes to my mind exponentially more than I come to his. Do I cross his mind at all, except during flashes of boredom? Maybe it all meant so little to him, that there is no HIStory to tell.