The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Words to hold on to

As we lay there, I looked at him and asked "aren't you scared?" He asked what reason he had to be scared.

"Well, eventually I'm going to leave and we will be an entire ocean apart."

"Eh, it's just a pond. I'm a good swimmer."

"I'm being serious, Ben, I'm really scared of what is going to happen."

"Laura, if you close your eyes and just think about every single thing that the two of us have been through in our lives to bring us together...then you figure the odds of every single thing happening the way it did to bring us together...you have to know this is destiny. We are meant to be together and we will be together."

At that moment, I snuggled up to him and my heart just smiled. I spent my summer taking great solace in his words. He seemed so sure and he made me feel sure too. We spent the summer pushing all things practical aside and just living in the moment. I was in a relationship that, for the first time in my life, my insecurities about "us" or about myself did not take over. It felt good. Without any wall-building on either of our parts, we were able to truly get to know each other. It felt right.

We both knew that things would be rough once we were no longer physically together. We talked about it. Neither of us knew (or know for that matter) how any of this is supposed to work, but we both know we want to be together. Simple, right? Not so much. We are in a long distance relationship with a five hour time difference and 3,674 miles in between us. That is just not an easy thing. I think of those words that he said to me every single day. In some senses, those words keep me going.

Last week, I knew something wasn't right. I couldn't put my finger on it, but we were just "off." The more time that passed without hearing from him, the more frightened I became. The female in me began to overanalyze everything. I invented other girlfriends, family issues, job issues, no-longer-wanting-to-work-at-this-relationship issues, and by day six...he's-just-not-that-into-me issues. My doubts crept in and absolutely consumed me. I tried as hard as I could to hold onto his words. It was just not working.

When I finally heard from him, I was full of fear, sadness, anger, relief and anticipation. I figured it would be best just to listen. We had last spoken on his birthday and apparently our conversation hit him pretty hard. Hard in an "oh my gosh, I really care about this girl, but being with her means leaving my friends and family" kinda way. He described it as "you know when you are at the seaside and you somehow end up very far out in the water. You can no longer see the shore and you get scared because you look around and realize there is no one around to help you." Yes, I do believe I know what he means. He cancelled his birthday plans with his friends to stay home and be miserable. This was unacceptable to his cousin who picked him up the next day, made him call in sick to work and took him to his place outside of London. He spent a couple of days out there clearing his head, hanging out with his cousin and talking about his fears and his future. Although a tiny part of me wished he had come to me with his fears, a larger part of me knows that I am not the one he really needs to figure this out with. I asked him what all of this meant and where we stood. "Law-rah" he said "I'm back on the shore now and all I know for sure is that I want to spend my life with you."

Now I have more words, stronger words, to hold onto.