Like A Breath Of Spring She Came And Left, And I Still Don't Know Why, So, Here's To You And Whoever, Holds My Baby Blue Tonight
With the advent of the new television season I can always count on one show to spark the most introspective and personal of posts. I don't know why a small Colorado town and the comings and goings of its citizens can provide so much fodder for my writing, but it never fails. I'll get to the end of an episode, thinking to myself that, for once, I won't write a post based off of a quote from the show. Then, at the last minute, I'll hear a turn of phrase or see a particularly tender sequence and I know, I just know, that I'm going to be writing about it in a few hours. Such is the nature of the beast. There exists a few sources that never dry up and Everwood's font seems to spring eternal.
I was watching Miss Abbott inform young Mr. Brown how she's still not completely over him, to which he replied that they should go back to being friends. "We were never friends," she said, and it was true. There are certain relationships that there just is no coming back from. I had to learn the hard way that should you fall that deep and that hard for someone, there just is no digging the two of you out again. I think it's called falling in love because that's exactly what it is, a one way trip straight down. I mean--don't get me wrong, I think certain friendships can claw their way back to some sense of normalcy, yet I think the further any two people delve into exploring "something more," the further the two of you walk away from ever coming back from that place easily.
"I think what I'll always remember about you is what a sweet, sweet voice you had when you were singing. I don't think I'll ever forget how special you sound when singing," I said into the phone.
I was surprised at how civil I was being during this conversation. She, after all, was the girl who had stood me up after I had flown close to 3,000 miles mostly just to see her. She, after all, was the girl who could not speak to me for a month or two at a time after we'd broken up and still have the audacity to reach out for me when she was feeling especially lonely or sad (or drunk). I don't think I've ever had my heart toyed with as much as she did. She didn't mean to, of course, but I suppose when you let somebody in as much as I did her, that person never stops being important to you. The little things she said, the smallest of kind gestures, one always takes as a sign of reconciliation. "She told me I was funny the other day. Do you think that means she wants to get back together?" Like I said, she toyed my heart without ever knowing she still had a part of it.
"It's about the only thing I can do well. Sad to say, but I'm not good for much else."
"That's not true, buttercup. You still have the most quotable way of phrasing things."
"Only you think so."
"Well, I am the only opinion that really matters," I said. It felt weird trying to say good-bye to her without actually saying the words. At that point I was actually wondering if I could make it through this good-bye without ever uttering the words. We both got the gist of what was going on, but somehow it wouldn't feel real till one of us could say it.
That was our big thing back then--never saying good-bye. It started with me. I've never been a big fan of saying farewell to people. I believe it's all the uncomfortability of trying to decide where to pigeonhole people. Am I close enough to this person to warrant hugging them good-bye, kissing them good-bye, or could a hearty handshake suffice? And if were just to say the words, does good-bye sound too casual? Should I go with "later"? Or is that too casual? Should I try be pithy and say "fare thee well" or would that seem like I'm trying too hard? Nope, my usual tactic when it came to the end of conversations or engagements was to simply leave when it was time to leave. Sometimes it hurt people's feelings, but once I started to get the reputation as the person who NEVER said good-bye it became rather easily.
However, with her it was different. I never wanted to said good-bye to her because I never wanted to mean it. Even when we broke up I couldn't imagine my life without her in it.
"I'm glad you found somebody new, Mr. Patrick. It'll be good for you. It's not healthy to remain alone for too long a span."
"I'm glad you think so, Miss Tara. I'd hate to think you would be the type who'd want to see me end up alone for the rest of my life."
"All I ever wanted was to see you happy. I just realized that I was never going to be the girl to do that for you. It's better like this, don't you agree?"
"Not at first, but I'm getting there. We'll see how this new relationship works out. But, at present, she doesn't appear to be half as appealing as you."
"Give her time. Give it time."
I wanted to say that we should still hang out. I wanted to say that it would be easier with both of us seeing other people now. It wouldn't be so hard to be in each other's company. It wouldn't hurt me so much to know she was out there in somebody else's arms because I'd have somebody doing the same with me. I could have said that many times during the conversation. She probably would have acquiesced to the idea.
It would have never worked, of course.
We'd tried it a couple of times, the whole just being friends ploy. That turned into, well, we could just be friends with benefits. Eventually, one of us would always come up with the brilliant idea of, well, we're together this much so we might as well just start seeing each other again. Actually, that isn't entirely true. I was the only one who ever broached that last part. She had stuck with her guns. She made it clear when we broke up that we were never getting back together again.
"I hope you're right, Tara, I really do."
"Wait and see. She's going to love you a million times better than I could. She already sounds like she's falling for you."
"Yeah, she's great. I'm just worried that she's not going to measure up, you know?"
"Don't think about it. Be like a leaf on the wind."
"Leaf on the wind, eh? I'm going to write that one down in the Book of Tara."
At that point came a silence so persistent and so pervasive that we both knew what the next few minutes held in story. The big good-bye. We'd put it off and circumvented it for so long that there simply was no manner by which to smoothly transition into it. The good-bye would be clunky.
Except it wasn't.
"I think this is the part where we say good-bye, Tara."
"I think so too."
"I don't know if it means anything now, but I never hated you for doing what you did. It was right. I just had a problem with the timing, you know?"
"Yeah, timing was never our strong suit."
"But I see now that we were always going to end... somehow."
"I wish it weren't true, but we both know it is."
"I know we made this whole deal of not saying it any more because it was getting too hard, but in honor of this being the last time we, hopefully, speak to each other, I have to tell you one thing."
"I love you, Tara. Always have and always will."
"I know. I love you too."
And we said good-bye at the same time before hanging up the phone. That was the last time I talked to her. Like every other woman I've ever dated I heard she got married.
Yes, as these posts can attest to, I still wonder what he's like and if he's treating her right. I knew we could never be friends again. I knew she probably would never be in my life again after that night. It still doesn't change the fact that she was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Also, she has the distinction of being the only girl, I think, I've been ever able to let go of completely. I don't harbor any ill feeling toward her. I don't carry this grudge against her like I do with all my other exes. We couldn't have parted on any better terms.
She's also the only girl who truly makes me smile when I remember her.