After almost 36 hours of complete silence, Jack finally texted me back. I’d sent a text saying “good morning, when can we talk today?” and he replied with “We can speak around 4 or after 10 tonight. Have a great day.”
I didn’t reply with what I wanted to say (“Have a great day? Seriously?”) but simply said, “4 it is”.
It was difficult to focus at work and I resented him for deliberately (yes, it was) leaving me hurt and anxious.
And when I picked up the phone, this is what he said:
“Ann, I’m not over my last girlfriend.
I thought I was, but I can’t get her out of my head.
I’m not ready for a relationship.
I can’t get my head into it, and clearly, I’m also having physical issues too.
The physical issues have never happened to me before, never.”
I asked him how long he’d known. He said he realized last week. I asked him why he’d gone online if he wasn’t ready, and he said:
“I thought I was ready. I thought I could trick myself, and it wasn’t true.
I don’t want this to carry on. I don’t want to hurt you more than I probably already have. I’m in a shitty place right now. I don’t want to replace one thing with another.”
“Was that all I was?” I asked, “a gap-filler for you? You know, I chose you every single day we were together. You weren’t a default for me, Jack, and can you honestly say the same is true for you?”
“I’m sorry that this happened. I totally meant everything I said to you. But I just…I can’t…my heart isn’t open. I can’t do it. It’s wrong. Would I want to call you again when I’m healed – when I’m through this? Yes – one hundred percent.”
I told him what really hurt was his silence since we’d been together on Saturday. Knowing I was at a memorial service for a friend, I explained I expected he would show empathy and reach out, at least a quick text. His not doing that, leaving me then hurt and anxious, was what really stung.
“I know, I’m sorry. I’ve been lost in my own world of misery, regret, whatever it is. As cool and awesome as you are, I wasn’t thinking about you. I was thinking about me. It’s awful and shitty but it’s the truth.”
“You regret that it ended with her?”
“I can’t be with her. We aren’t good for each other. I may regret that I started it in the first place, and how I ended it. The anger and hatred. It was misguided. I hate that I did it. I don’t think or wish that we’d get back together. I have unresolved feelings I have to work out. I may seek out some counseling – it served me well after the breakdown of my marriage.”
I told him I was sad that it came to this but I appreciated his honesty and his doing so before more time had passed. I said I hope he knows how great our connection was, and that it doesn’t come along very often. I asked him if he got his head sorted out, did he think he’d ever reach out? He said I’d be the first person he calls. I said it would be lovely if he’d give me a heads up before returning to Plenty of Fish and he replied he’d be happy to do that.
“I will call you. I want you to meet the real Jack. He hasn’t been around…the happy and romantic guy.”
I told him it sounded really nice.
Of course, I know he may never call. He may meet someone at a better juncture in his life. Or he may call and I may be dating someone else. One never knows, but I wanted him to know I was open to hearing from him, and perhaps the stars would align for us some other time.