the end

She showed me the phone. “Tell her the Moon is saying goodnight for the last time. She’ll know what it means. ;)”

Jason looked at me. He saw my face go white and put his hand on my thigh to console me.

After we dropped her off we talked about finding dead bodies and witnessing car wrecks, fragility, and what driving around at 3am three nights a week because you can’t sleep does to your spirit.

“I’m going to cry….is that ok?”

“I want to cry, too.”

“Really? Why?”

“Because I know how much he means to you. And he’s meant a lot to you for a long time. I don’t want him to remove himself from your life. I know how much you need him and I hope he stays.”

The tears rattled the locked door knob. Looking anxious and distraught. I slowly opened the door to let them out. Many, many tears rushed through the doorway.

She’s a really stunning gal. I could see right away why she’s the love of his life. I could see why he made plans to see her after Sorrento, again in October, and then again in January for three months. She has a hesitance to grasp and an adventurous glow in her eyes. She’s balanced. She’s beautiful, smart, and funny.

“We had a great time in Amsterdam. A really great time.”

“Tell me about your trip. I haven’t heard about it. He has yet to tell me anything about that trip.”

Her eyebrows fell and her gears slowed. “Why wouldn’t you want to tell someone about a great trip? I mean, if you had a great time and you’re with someone you love, why wouldn’t you want to tell people?”

“I’m not sure. I don’t know how he navigates love. He definitely seems to navigate it differently than the average person.”

“Different than anyone.”

We chuckled.

We only made our way through a few blocks of town but we made miles of connections. My only role was to listen. I couldn’t help her in the way she needed, but I was able to bring her some resolution in regards to the consistency of his character. What she was experiencing wasn’t her doing — it’s the way he is.

Everything she described about him I had experienced and was still experiencing. And I couldn’t believe that I’ve been working tirelessly on figuring out how to let myself love him. He wants a Dutch wife. Not me. He wants to pack his bags and leave. Me.

The emotions immediately cleared out. All that was left was understanding and gratitude. I get him. I am him. He’s me. We’re in very similar places right now love wise. I get her. She is me. She didn’t know I am her. That is not my place. I get Jason. Finally. He’s been talking me through how awful this scenario is and having listened to what she is going through finally made me understand.

Most importantly, he is in love with someone else and I went home and did not say “yes” to Jason. There wasn’t any “Whew, he has someone, now I can leave,” or “He’s left me. Time for Plan B.” There was only the steadfast conviction that everything I’ve been saying all this damn time is true. “It’s not him, it’s me. He has NOTHING to do with this. I’m not ready. Stop focusing on him.”

Finally. Proof. He’s gone and I’m not running into the arms of another man. Jason and I remain exactly the same. Pending.

Suddenly I’m on the floor crying again. He comes to me, sits behind me, and holds my stomach. Jason is the most courageous man I know. He puts himself in the face of any situation when it comes to helping people. Every time I open my mouth I know he gets nervous and wonders what the fuck I’m going to throw at him next, but he never turns me away. He listens and acts. He helps. Most of the time.

“I’m here to help you get through this, babe. I’m here for you.”

* * * * *

His shirt is on my bed right now. Charcoal with “San Francisco” in a red-orange font. I borrowed it one day for work after sleeping over and have yet to return it. It’s his smallest shirt. I would’ve liked to have worn one of his coats on a cold night again or have been able to tell him that it’s important for me to be walked to my car. I would’ve liked to have sat on his roof once more to look at the stars. I don’t even know if we were ever true friends. Friends would’ve done that more than once. We’ve only done that once.

The Moon is out every night.

We’re not.

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