Hangover

Home again. Our vacation is over. And I feel strange: mostly numb, but once in a while there’s a sudden feeling of sadness and disappointment. I am restless and drained at the same time. These last 2 weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster ride. I guess you could also compare it to a really bad hangover. The high made me forget about all my problems and I felt elated, like anything and everything was possible with you. But then I reached the point where it was too much or the wrong kind of alcohol and it all went downhill from there.

Not only do I have to deal with my everyday struggles again, but also with realizing – once again – what a fool I’ve been to believe that you might have feelings for me despite what you had told me in the past.

What’s even worse is the recent turn of events that you might be getting or having a girlfriend already. The signs were pretty clear: it wasn’t just the emailing with the big puppy grin in your face on Wednesday, but also how you behaved yesterday when we arrived at your mother’s place. You were talking on your phone for probably around half an hour while trying to stay away from us so that we wouldn’t be able to overhear. This might be normal behaviour for some people, but not for you. Even H noticed that this was unusual for you to do! (I actually told him, casually, that I think you’re about to get a girlfriend and about what I had observed on Wednesday.) When even other people notice a change in your behaviour in this direction, then I’m pretty sure my guess is right.

But it happened so suddenly. It really all started to change on Wednesday after you came back from that day trip with H. Up until that point, we had great moments together: we talked; we laughed while watching silly TV shows; you showed interest in what I’d been doing on a certain day, where I’d been going, how my bicycling tour had been; you did nice things for me again; I sometimes caught you looking at me, checking me out even… However, you did nothing even remotely close to any of that on and after Wednesday. It was almost as if I didn’t even exist. You only interacted with your computer and email program.

You also suddenly changed plans. Originally, we were to leave the cottage on Friday and drive to your mother’s place (it’s roughly 5 hours by car), where we would all stay the night before we were to finally go to our respective homes after lunch on Saturday. However, on Thursday you announced you’d take the last train home on Friday night already, at about 11:30 PM, so you’d be home at 3 AM on Saturday. Why would you depart so hastily in the middle of the night? Was there someone impatiently waiting for you now? Probably…

So I wonder what happened in between Wednesday and the days before that? Were you waiting for her, for some type of sign from her and you just kinda toyed with me, seeing me as a substitute or maybe even a test dummy? On that day, did she finally tell you she’s interested or even that she loves you?

I could have been wrong again in interpreting your signals at the beginning of our vacation. It’s very likely actually. But your general and sudden change in behaviour is not deniable.

There was one positive aspect to all of this, however: it made it a little easier to anticipate and finally say goodbye. I felt sad on Wednesday, but was already numb enough on Thursday to not dread the end of our time together. I was okay with it, maybe even a tiny bit relieved.

I’ll have to sort this all out again now. Come to terms with the likely scenario of you presenting a woman at your side soon. How can I ever have a normal and appropriate relationship with you? Will I ever be able to simply see you as my brother-in-law? Would I ever be able to like or at least accept “your” woman?

Why is this so complicated? After all, I am happy with H. This is not a lie. I don’t understand why I keep falling for you again and again. I will have to think about all of this once more, but not now. Not during this hangover.

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Stupid Emotions

You dropped by shortly to pick up H’s spare bicycle. Stayed for only about 5 minutes. Enough to actually make me cry this time… Why? I don’t really know. I felt quite good after your reply about agreeing to talk to me in private one day. And now, before, during and after this very short time that you were here, I suddenly feel angry, jealous and sad.

Angry because you got here later than you had announced. Which is okay, really. But I guess I still kind of had hoped that you could make some time for me today already and be here even earlier than you said you would. I knew you had other plans and it would be selfish to expect you to change them, but a tiny part inside of me had hoped you would.

Jealous because you looked so dressed up. Nice, classy clothes. New haircut. Plenty of body spray (that scent was too much this time for me…not disturbing, but bringing up too many emotions). You told me you’d visit a female former classmate before coming here. And I do feel jealous that you might have done all this dressing up for her. Granted, you even thought of mentioning that she just recently had given birth and I wonder why you added that piece of information. Was it to not make me jealous? Did you try to not hurt my feelings? But what if she used to be a love interest of yours? Just out of your reach and you still have tender feelings towards her? What if she is your unrequited love? What if she is to you what you are to me?

Sad because you left so quickly again. And I could tell you knew or had it in the back of your mind that I am in need of talking to you about something important. You looked concerned, but in a nice way. And while leaving, you said “see you soon, in September the latest”, hinting at that next family get-together when we agreed to have that talk.

After closing the door behind you again, I had to go cry in the bathroom. It was just too much for me. So many stupid emotions at once. I feel so silly. You’ll bring back the bike on Sunday, but you probably won’t stay much longer then. I just hope that I’ll be able to keep it together and not lose my mind again like today.

Wedding Pictures

H and I got married at the end of last year. It was a wonderful day. Everything was perfect – an emotional yet also funny ceremony, beautiful weather considering the time of year, a party filled with laughter and cheers, amongst our closest family and best friends. I like thinking back, looking at all the vibrant pictures taken that day, watching the video.

Looking at the pictures brings a smile to my face. Yet, once in a while, I am also searching for clues in them. The ones with you. Do you look happy? Do you seem jealous? Do you wish you were in H’s place?

The picture on which H and I enter the ceremony room at the registry office: everyone is looking at us full of glee. But your expression is somewhat more reluctant, held back.

The picture on which H and I kiss after having exchanged the rings: everyone is looking at us, smiling. But you are looking down on the floor. Is that a frown?

The picture on which you congratulate us, about to give me a hug: taken at a moment where you are so close to me, but we’re not touching yet. What were you thinking then?

The picture on which you look solemnly down at your hands, in the restaurant: why did you decide to sit at our friends’ table instead of with your family, with us? Did you want to spare yourself the pain of being close to us, our happiness?

The picture on which you look at my bare back while H and I were dancing: did you imagine what it would feel like to touch there?

The video of all us doing a famous party dance, in a circle, holding onto each other: you and I ended up being next to each other. I held my arm around your waist, you rested your hand on my shoulder, touched my bare arm. Never before could I feel your skin and warmth for so long, however “innocent” it was. And when the music stopped, you let go of the other person next to you as quickly as everyone else did, but your arm rested just a tiny bit longer on my shoulder. I noticed that.

During that day, I did not think of you like this at all and I did not wonder what it would be like for you. Only now, in retrospect, I do. Of course, I will not find out what really went on in your head. The pictures will not give me any clues. Even if it seems a certain way, it is only a reflection of a short moment, a glimpse in time. Maybe your serious face showed a radiant smile a few milliseconds after the photographer pushed the button. Maybe you were simply entertained by our dance, applauding the different moves, looking at both of us equally. If I were to pick out any other guest of that day and checked each picture with him or her, I’d probably find just as many “awkward” expressions, not fitting the occasion.

There is no way to ever see the big picture.

Jealousy and Confusion

The weekend with your family, with you, went by way too fast. But I knew that this was going to happen. I also knew that I would feel all this pain to leave and be apart from you again. So here I am now, revisiting the past 3 days, trying to find out more about us.

When H and I arrived, you were already there. We greeted each other fleetingly. As is usually the case when we first see each other after some time of absence, we are more like distant acquaintances than good friends or family. It always takes us a little time to warm up to each other. I mentioned it before, we’re somewhat of the same character, same mentality. Introverted. In the background.

But this time, this feeling of distance between us was enhanced by you frequently checking your smart phone. I am not sure what you were doing exactly on it, but you stayed even more in the background than other times. Instead of participating in the usual “warming-up” small-talk, you said almost nothing, laid down in the corner of the couch and played with your phone. Whatever you were doing, I felt so sad about it. And jealous! Yes, I felt jealous. I’ve been through this type of behaviour before as well and it was always when I was in the beginning phases of a potential romantic relationship. I’d often be checking social networks for that person of interest or my emails to see if he had replied again. I’d be constantly connected. And in order to indulge in my fantasies, I’d be lieing down a lot and daydreaming. That’s what you seemed to be doing, too. You lied down a lot on the couch, doing nothing, closing your eyes.

I know, this could all mean nothing at all. Maybe you were just tired. Maybe you just checked your emails so often because you were waiting for an answer from that job interview you did the day before. Maybe you were just bored.

But maybe you’re in the midst of a blossoming new romantic endeavour.

I don’t like to admit it, don’t like to think about it. But that’s my biggest fear when it comes to you – you finding someone else to love. To be honest, I kind of like the fact that you’re single. It leaves the possibility, even if extremely small, that you do love me back. It’s totally naive of me to think this way, but yes, my silly heart tries to convince me that you actually were not honest with me when I had asked you about your feelings for me. That you lied to me, denied your feelings for me, so that no one would get hurt, especially not H, your brother. We watched some old slides from when you guys were young kids and I know that you are so close to each other, inseparable almost. You would never hurt him. So that adds to my silly thought process. I still get the impression once in a while, when I talk to you or am near you, that certain things you do seem to suggest that you do feel something for me, but that you’re trying to suppress it, not show it.

I know that this is silly. The truth is probably exactly what you told me. That there are no feelings for me that you would need to deny or hide. But my heart plays these tricks on me. It makes me feel better to think that we cannot be together even though we love each other, just because we’re bound by moral codes, because we’re loyal to the other ones we love, to family.

I wouldn’t know what to do should you announce one day that you have a girlfriend. Or worse, that you’re about to get married. Or have a baby with her. This is really selfish of me. I know that. I know that when we love someone unconditionally, we should want them to be happy. And if that happiness entails a loving relationship with someone else, we should accept it and be at peace with it. I don’t think I can do that. Yes, I do want you to be happy. But it’s so hard to accept the fact that I am not playing the part of your happiness that I would like to play. I wonder: would I even get along with her? Ever? I generally have a problem becoming friends with women, I am more comfortable around guys. So it would be so much harder accepting a woman who is with you, who could potentially become part of the family. I cannot imagine what I would feel. How would I handle seeing you two show affection towards each other, kissing, caressing… On the other hand – should my silly thoughts be true – I cannot imagine what you’d be feeling each time H and I are publicly intimate. Or are you jealous, even if you don’t feel anything for me? Are you jealous just because of the fact that you are not in a relationship with someone?

Oh why does it have to be so complicated? Is the human race really made to be monogamous? Or do society and some arbitrary moral rules dictate us to be in such a one-and-one relationship? Would it be so wrong to be together with more than one person? If all consented to it, why should there be an issue? I guess, it wouldn’t work that all agreed to it. Jealousy is a nasty feeling, uncontrollable. It’s a nice fantasy to think about being in a sharing relationship with H and you at the same time, everyone involved thinking it’s just fine. But how would I feel if we added another woman to the equation, make it a 4-way-relationship, interchange the pairings? Would I feel okay when you have alone-time with her? Or if it’s H’s turn with her? That would never work. I wouldn’t be able to handle it. Why should you? It only works in an ideal world and that one only exists in my fantasy.

So let’s go back to reality. I’m not making any progress here. I am stuck. When I am not with you for a while, I feel okay. With every day apart, I miss you less and I think of you more as a friend, almost like a brother. But as soon as I see you again, spend some time with you, I cannot help the yearning for more. We had this great talk together on Saturday. Just you and me, no one else. I felt so comfortable. It was fun. A friendly conversation, harmless. But whenever I caught a glimpse of your skin, whenever you smiled directly at me, I wanted more. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all sexual. In fact, I just want to be in your arms, touch your warm skin, smell you, hear your heartbeat, feel your breath on me. It’s this yearning for you that makes me sad, because I already have all these wonderful things with H. He holds me in his arms so often, I can feel his warm skin, smell him, listen to his heartbeat, feel his breath on me. It’s not that something’s missing in my life, there’s no void that I am trying to fill with you. It hurts to feel this way. I am so scared to hurt H, to lose him, should he ever find out. I am happy with him and I am not just saying this. I cannot explain why I feel for you this way, what I want from you.

Maybe it’s just right the way everything is right now. I am happy with H, you’re single, so I can indulge in my strange fantasies, no need to feel jealous. But then again, I don’t think that you can be happy this way. And that should count a lot as well. So it is NOT right. I will need to finally stop these feelings for you, forget about you, at least as a potential love partner. I should be happy to have you as a good friend, as a brother-in-law. We get along well. Everything else will only destroy this. Why can I not stop this mess?