Ghosts of Infatuations Past Part 1

Well it seems to me that any time a person wants to move forward in life they have to be willing to let go of the past. I am hoping to find the courage to let someone into my life this year. Which means, I must purge myself of the ghosts from my past. I figure I can do a series of entries based on the men that held my attention over the years. Perhaps if I analyze them one more time I can prevent history from repeating itself. Here goes…

CM was my first major crush/infatuation as an adult. I met him when I was 18 or 19 years old. He was the roommate of my boss. I remember the first time I ever saw him I thought he was one of the most attractive men I had ever seen. He had dimples, dark hair, dark brown eyes, a wicked smile. He was short but taller than me, broad shouldered. I never ever for a moment thought he would ever be interested in me. (Thank you low self esteem). The other women at work all thought he was hot too. We’d check him out together whenever he came in. 

My boss had invited me to hang out several times at his place. My boss was interested in dating me but the feeling was not mutual. However, after seeing CM I had new motivation to hang out at his house. I wanted to see CM again. Over time a flirtation developed and while CM was definitely showing an interest in me, I didn’t trust myself to believe it. I remember the one morning I came in to work and he had left a note. Another day he came through the drive thru and hit on me. I was still insecure but man could he brighten my day.

As time went on I finally trusted and believed in CM’s interest in me. I was elated. The thought of him put me on cloud nine. I was a grinning school girl when it came to him, totally smitten.  I was terrified. For one thing, CM was 8 years older than me. He was already divorced and a father to two small kids. He had had his heart trampled on by a woman he had loved. He was betrayed by his best friend and his spouse. I was scared that my family wouldn’t approve, even though my own parents were 8 years apart in age. It wasn’t just the age though, it was his divorce, his children, his emotional baggage. 

I remember one day growing enough balls to say I was going over to his house to see him. I didn’t call first though, I was too scared. I showed up at his doorstep and he answered but came out on the porch. He didn’t invite me in the house. He said he had to get to class and some story or other but he was really glad I had stopped by. The next day at work my boss made a point to tell me the reason CM didn’t invite me in was because he had a woman in the house. I was crestfallen to say the least.

Our little infatuation/flirtation, whatever one would like to call it when on until I was 22 years old. It was the same old dance, I’d keep him close enough to not lose him but never close enough to be worth it either. We never once during that time so much as kissed. We hung out several times, talked on the phone here and there but that was it. I was too scared to get involved with him. I knew that if I did things would get serious very quickly. I knew that I was far too young to be in that relationship. I was too young to take on his two kids (whom I adored by the way). But I couldn’t stay away from him either…

Finally when I was 22 he told me that he was done chasing me. He said a man’s ego could only take so much and if I wanted to be with him, it was up to me to chase him. He was done. I was 22, young, arrogant, cocky. It didn’t phase me what he said. I kind of shrugged it off and laughed. After all, we’d been doing this dance for four years. I felt confident that when I was ready, he would be there. I truly believed him and I would end up together one day, when I was ready. When I was sure that I had had enough life experience to be able to be with him, to settle down, to be what he would need. I knew I couldn’t get involved with him too soon or he’d end up hurt. I couldn’t risk hurting him, I cared about him far too much. I knew if I got together with him before I was ready, I’d wake up one day and feel the need to run. To claim my life for me. 

About a year later I was finally ready. I was 23 and felt confident with the direction my life was taking. I felt good about where I was and I finally felt like I could let him in and have a relationship. Unfortunately I was a year too late. In the time it took me to grow up, he had moved on and found someone new. They were in a serious relationship. The funny thing was, she was even younger than me. I remember I kept in touch with him sporadically after that, waiting and hoping that they would break up. CM and I were meant to be together. I was sure of it. 

Eventually they did break up and I thought we could have our shot. Instead, he was a mess. A total, complete mess over her. I realized then that I had missed my shot and it hurt more than I imagined it could. Sometime after that we lost touch. I heard through a mutual friend he had found someone new. He ended up married a second time despite swearing he’d never get married again. They even have a kid together. 

I ran into CM one evening with his wife and baby while out at the store. I was in scrubby clothes, my hair and make up not done, about fifteen pounds heavier since the last time I saw him. I figured out who it was, and I’m pretty sure he recognized me but I never went to talk to him. It was too painful, I had cared for him too deeply even if I never let him know how much. 

I still wonder how he is doing from time to time. I wonder what my life would be like had I let him in? Sometimes when I think of him it makes me a little sad but then I remind myself there were issues there that kept me from letting him in. Valid issues. Like his use of the “N-word.” (unacceptable in my book). Or how he’d let his young children watch rated R movies with him. His negative views on women thanks to the damage inflicted by his first wife. Most importantly was the fact I wasn’t ready at the time and I had the sense to not get into something I couldn’t handle. I may always wonder what if but I know in my heart, as much as I cared for him, we are both better off apart.

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