I haven’t been writing much about Tony these last many weeks, mostly because there isn’t much to say. I blocked him for a while to help myself break old patterns, then when I unblocked him he started calling.
I answered the phone when he called, and found our conversations frustrating – not because of anything he did wrong. I couldn’t find a happy medium where I could be his friend in a way meaningful to me. If he told me anything about the crap in his marriage, I would get (internally) frustrated because I thought he should be trying. Conversely, if he said something was going well, it hurt.
And bottom line is, despite all of his failings, he’s doing stuff with his again-wife and child that I wanted the opportunity to do.
I’d been thinking about whether there could be any real friendship between us. Did I have anything to gain, and the like. One day he called to ask if he could pop by with a coffee so we could catch up. I was working from home (leg injury still an issue) and I decided I would try, and see what it was like.
He brought me a latte and pastry and sat on my couch and for the first time EVER, we were alone together and didn’t have any physical contact other than a hug and kiss on the cheek.
I have a pavlovian response to his cologne (funnily enough, it’s the same scent Hy bought for The Neighbor… and she too had/has issues moving past him, so maybe it’s the smell) yet remained steadfast in my attempt to be above-board. It worked.
I also practiced not asking questions I don’t really want the answers to, and to avoid topics which may trigger bad feelings. It worked. I still found myself irritated at the reality that I was somewhat hidden, and the implications for when and how he could communicate with me.
My Mom, questioning why I wanted to have any contact with him whatsoever, told me since Tony has been consistent, it was up to me to choose whether to get annoyed. I know he can only contact me when he has a “window”, so why get all twisted up about it.
But ultimately, interacting with him at all is a slippery slope.
As I referenced in my last post, one night we were having a now-rare text exchange and he got flirty. I let it happen. I couldn’t get the image of his hands out of my mind. I enjoyed knowing how attracted he still was to me. It still made me uncomfortable, but not entirely so.
It’s not a good place for me to go. I don’t want to go there, I know exactly how it ends. I was prepared to go back to very little contact because I can’t handle anything else.
But seems perhaps there could be a true full no-contact in my immediate future anyway. Because he got busted.
I used to fantasize about it: calling her and telling her he was a liar and a cheat. I don’t know what drove me to want it – my over-inflated sense of justice and fairness, perhaps – but what stopped me were several things. I don’t really want to cause another woman such pain. If she’s chosen to be blind, why should I be the one to open her eyes?
As much as I think I know their story, I only know it from his perspective, and perhaps she knew and accepted him back all the same.
And ultimately, it wasn’t my place. It’s for them to sort out and injecting this information into her world would cause her unnecessary pain, and potentially prevent him from access to his child which is the one thing that drove him away from me, above all. It would punish them both, and I’m not that person.
I should also add that he never asked me to hide our relationship when we were together. While I have a private Facebook account, I posted pictures of our trip to Jamaica together with his full knowledge. I referenced him on Instagram on occasion, again, which he knew about. My friends knew he was my boyfriend.
So I didn’t hide things, and I knew we may have had a couple of mutual “friends” – how close they were I had no idea. But I decided a long time ago even though I had an issue with him keeping me a secret from a few people in his life, including his then ex-wife, I was going to live my life in the open. He knew that.
I don’t know if I’m the reason she found out, but find out she did.
A few nights ago, I went to a sporting event with Liam. Tony called me the day before and mentioned and his son were going as well. We made plans to say hi after the game. I wanted to meet his son but there was no other motivation, or shenanigans.
After the game, we spent about 10 minutes chatting, and I gave his son some team swag I’d received. Tony gave me a long hug when we said goodbye, a chaste but lingering kiss on the mouth, and his hand on my ass – combined it was enough to make me uncomfortable and I wondered if his son noticed, but he is pretty young so I ruled it out.
There was a brief text exchange afterwards about getting home. I told him he smelled good (that darn cologne!). I said I was tempted to make out on the sidewalk with him but supposed it would have been awkward.
He replied “there’s always all week” and we flirted a bit via text. There was a very small chance I would follow through on it but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t appreciate the quick flirtatious banter, even if it also made me feel awkward, for multiple reasons. His situation, Leo, and knowing it’s not good for me.
Fast forward to the next day. I was with colleagues for a drink after work and saw I missed a call from him. Half an hour later I texted: “The colleague sitting next to me is wearing your cologne and it’s killing me. I can call you in a few.”
I wish it was a joke. A man who is on my team but from another country, who I wasn’t attracted to in the least, sat next to me and the fucking Chanel Bleu wafting off of him had me completely off kilter. I now think I should buy it for every man I know so I can make non-Tony memories with that scent.
My text message didn’t go through. It went to that familiar Ann-you’re-blocked green bubble. Huh?
When I followed up again a couple of hours later, he called me. I said “hey, did you block me?” and sounding horrible, he said yes, he had to, he couldn’t risk any messages from me because she found out we had gone to Jamaica together. There had been a lot of crying and screaming and he wasn’t allowed in the house at the moment. He was at his apartment.
I probed for more information and he said he didn’t want to talk about it; didn’t want to relive it. He said he’d told her he and I had broken up after their trip last Spring where they agreed to move back together.
I told him I wanted to know what happened and he said he would call me tomorrow.