For part 5, click here.
I'm having trouble writing this next installment, and I'm not sure why. I've been putting it off, but I guess the only thing I can do is jump in and start writing, and sort it all out after.
I left off around the end of August, 2000. They both pretty much left me alone for a while, but Jon was always kind of around the edges, looking for a way back in. He was having an early mid-life crisis, and I was the fuel feeding it. He eventually came to realize that his rich fantasies of me and the reality of me didn't mesh. At the time, however, I was still forbidden fruit, ripe for the picking.
As time wore on, I grew less furious, and started taking his calls at work, although I would have nothing to do with him otherwise. I kept our calls strictly professional, although sometimes I would intentionally taunt him by telling him I had started dating again. I was seeing two men at the same time, casually. I also made sure to tell him about the awesome Halloween party I had for my son's entire class. Especially the part about how I dressed up as Cleopatra for the party. Cleopatra was a nickname he had given me because of my dark eyes and "mysterious aura". But I wouldn't let him talk to me about anything personal on his end.
Even though I was not even remotely over him, still totally in love with him, I wasn't even really trying. Apparently not caring about him or his life had some magic effect on him. Two weeks after Halloween, his wife called me on a Friday afternoon at work. I was shocked, and had no idea what to say. "Lily, why are you calling me at work?". My pod-mate (who it turns out also knew what was going on) graciously put her phone on unavailable and left the pod so I could have some privacy.
Lily told me to cut the bull, she was sure Jon had already filled me in that things were less than perfect in their relationship. I truthfully assured her that was not the case. I told her that other than a few professionalish phone calls recently, I had had nothing to do with her husband for months. While she seemed to believe me, she told me it was over. She was sick of him moping around and not even pretending to make an effort to fix things with her anymore. She told me she washed her hands of him, she was done and I could have him. As a matter of fact, he was standing right there listening to her.
I had no idea what had led up to these events, but I wasn't about to be tricked again. I asked, "Are you sure this time, Lily?". She assured me that she was, and handed Jon the phone. He sheepishly asked if he could come up and take me out to dinner. Before my brain could think rationally, I told him I would make him dinner, instead. But he had to promise me he wouldn't go running home the next day if she changed her mind. This had to be it, he either had to leave her for good, or leave me alone.
He promised me on the phone, in front of her, that he was leaving her and their family and their home for good. And I believed him. I didn't understand at the time the differences between what that meant to me and what that meant to him.
I thought I was so in love with him, and he was so in love with me, that we could make anything work. I didn't foresee problems with his wife, complications with children, the long distance factor, our families, work, etc.. I wasn't looking at any of that. Even if I had been, I would have had no way of knowing how we eventually tried to deal with it, or didn't deal with it at all.
All I knew was that I loved him more than I had ever loved any other man. I put my blinders on, and I recklessly plunged forward. I opened myself up to that love, and I made myself incredibly vulnerable by doing so. Have you ever heard Anita Baker's song, "Body and Soul"? When you naively attach yourself to a tragic song like this before the relationship has even taken off the ground, you should probably know in advance that it doesn't have wings strong enough to fly.
16 hours ago