Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Mean and lovely

Tuesday, June 7, 2005, 11:30am
Steve's office

"Steve, your future wife is on line two," Bonnie says.

Bonnie doesn't know about the fight. No one does, except for you guys, and that's just the way I want it, because I intend to fix this.

I've been calling Steph nonstop since Saturday night, and I've gotten her voice mail every time. Even if things don't go well, it will be good to hear her voice.

"Hey," I say softly.


"How are you?"

"OK," she says, barely audible.

"I miss you."

"Don't, Steve."

"I can't help it."

"Well listen, I just wanted to call to say goodbye."

"Steph, I want you to look at the website. The whole thing, because I want you to see what you mean to me."

"I thought you said it was anonymous."

"It IS! No one knows who you are. Or who I am. But you'll know when I'm talking about you."

"I don't wanna see it. And I don't want us to talk or see each other."

"Steph, why? When are you going to understand how much I care about you?"

"I DO understand. I KNOW you care about me. But we're just too... dysfunctional."

"We're a normal couple, Steph. Don't do this!"

"We're NOT normal. This is not normal!"

"Just tell me you don't love me anymore, and I'll go. But I don't think you can say it."

"I DO love you. I love you too much, that's the problem. I don't think you understand how it affects me every time you ... spring something on me. I can't be all wrapped up in this relationship all the time! It's going to start affecting my school and my career! I probably shouldn't be in a relationship while I'm in school."

"Steph, we were good for each other. You know that."

"No, we're not. I don't think you're ready for a relationship, I really don't."

"Thanks." I can barely speak. I am hurt, wounded by her criticism. She knows me, probably better than most people, and she's telling me that I'm not ready for a girlfriend. It feels like a door is being slammed in my face; this girl, who I care about so much, is turning her back on me. For eight months, her love and kindness made me really happy, and now she's somehow hateful enough to take it all away.

"I don't mean it as an insult. Some people are just not ready."

"You know what I don't understand? How we could be on the beach, talking marriage and kids, and then you DUMP me two weeks later."

"I thought a lot about that talk we had. I know that if we get really serious, it's just gonna get more.. complicated. And I can't afford that."

"Steph, don't do this."

She exhales audibly. "You're not making this easy." I think I can hear her crying.

"I'm not trying to. It shouldn't BE easy after all this time."

She sniffles. "Please don't call me anymore, ok? I'll call you when I'm ready to be friends again."

"I love you."


"I want that to be the last thing you hear me say, because you're making a big mistake."

"Don't, Steve."

"I love you."