Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Fourteen Years War - 1998 - Volume I and Only One

I spent most of my time working through my problems and dealing with the previous two years, rebuilding my relationship with my parents and AZ, while keeping Jeff at arm’s length. Jeff and his brother decided they wanted to take the kids on vacation and Jeff asked me to go to help out with an almost two year old Nate. Nate had not spent more than a weekend away from me and he was concerned that he would miss me too much. Jeff said it would be strictly platonic. I didn’t stay the entire trip as I had to work but it was enough to get Nate acclimated. A few weeks following the trip, Jeff dropped the bomb on me about wanting us to get back together. He and I met and we walked around the track together. He said, "Why do you think I asked you to go on the trip? Because I love you!" That manipulative asshole, I told him I couldn’t. I didn’t feel the same way and I had feelings for someone else. He badgered me about who and I told him, "AZ." I told him that I didn’t know if things would ever work out between AZ and I but I didn’t care, I wasn’t going to be with Jeff. Jeff’s shoulders slumped and a look of resignation and defeat came across his face. He said, "You probably should have been with him all along." I found out later that he had also attempted a reconciliation with Lo. She actually went back to him, but left within a few months and never went back. Sometime later, we met again at a local watering hole and gave me an accumulation of all the cards, letters, photographs, and other mementoes collected over our time together. It’s still in the drawer in my bedroom. I know he kept a few things and that’s okay. Around Halloween, I cut 12 inches off of my hair and daringly took Nate with me to a remote the radio station was having. When I got out of my car, I saw AZ in the distance and it took my breath away. I said to myself, "Oh my God, I still love him." Afterwards, AZ told me he was studying for his realtor’s license. I promised him if he passed, I would buy a house from him. He did pass. I followed through on my word and using the money I had obtained from a car accident, paid off my debts, and put money back for a down payment. One incident that I recall from late 1998, was going to Monday Night Football and seeing AZ there. I walked up to the bar where he was sitting to ask about a drawing they were having. A woman at the bar turned and answered for him. AZ didn’t turn, look at me, or speak. I was shocked and went back to my table shaking my head. He called me the following day to apologize, telling me the woman was one of Jean’s friends and basically, he didn’t want to get into trouble for talking to me. I reminded him it was his job to be friendly and nice to everyone and more so, I had never ignored him. I asked him what kind of relationship they had when he couldn’t even speak to another woman for fear of getting the riot act. He had no answer. I was deeply concerned.
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