Chapter 84: “An Old Flame, Rekindled”
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What a ball I was having! I was perfectly happy without a relationship & I was going to the gym more, eating healthy, and living a normal social life. But it just goes to show that when you least expect it, love comes rushing back into your life.
Deirdre and I had been talking a lot more at work, and during our many collective gatherings with our co-workers; we flirted more often than not. Call me completely oblivious, but yeah; I didn’t know that Deirdre was into me when we first reconnected at work in 2007 OR that night we danced the night away and I chose Veronica.
Yet as much as we flirted, our interaction changed when Deirdre and I went to a group gathering at our friend, Vickie’s, for this beautiful dinner she had cooked. Deirdre brought her six-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn with her. The cute little blond was rather shy at first, but somehow over the course of the night, I was peddling her feet like she was on a bicycle and she was giggling up a storm. Yeah, that sounds as weird as it should. Children always loved me, but I had no idea why. Maybe it was because I just played with them? I think some adults are afraid to be on the same level as a kid. Deirdre had this look in her eyes. I could tell that my natural ability to keep kids happy had turned her on.
One Saturday, she invited me to the bar we frequented the most, Carolina’s, for some drinks with her and our co-worker (and the co-worker’s boyfriend). I arrived first at the bar before the other three. Deirdre wasn’t too far behind, and she walked around the long bar and locked eye contact with me. I could tell she had had a lot to drink already as she made a b-line towards me. Before I could say, “Hi,” she shoved her tongue down my throat. I had never made out in public like that before, but as I alluded to earlier; I happily engrossed myself into this new lifestyle and didn’t give a fuck if anyone around us was watching (they TOTALLY were, by the way).
We made out for we felt like a solid five minutes before we broke away to order drinks… at the very bar, which we were leaning against. It was rather hot. Her friends came by shortly after and we all drank some hard liquor. Again, I always prefer beer to alcohol and this night was proof of why. I had way too many to drink.
This place was luckily, close enough for me to walk, but Deirdre had driven earlier. She should definitely have NOT done that. But as our friend invited us back to her parent’s place, I couldn’t let Deirdre drive. She happily handed over the keys to me, knowing full well that she shouldn’t get behind the wheel. But I wasn’t entirely sober, either. In fact, I had never driven THIS drunk before in my life. It was only two miles, but I knew that I was too “in the bag” to operate a vehicle.
As we drove the short distance, she flat out asked me: “So what is this?” I had never been asked that before, but I had a penchant for liking women who were blunt.
“Well, I’m not interested in a relationship right now. Travis and I are working on a cartoon show, and I want to make it happen, and if it takes off, I won’t really know where I’ll end up.”
“Okay, that I can respect that. I just want to be clear about this.” She seemed a little hurt, but also, actually okay with this.
Thankfully, we made it back safely, and Deirdre’s friend and her boyfriend went into her room to hook up and offered her parent’s bed for Deirdre and me to follow suit (they were out of town, and you’re weird for thinking that). We went into the room and made out some more. We fooled around, but she was apprehensive about anything further. Then, after several minutes more she threw caution to the wind.
At around the same time of all of this, she spoke of another guy who had vied for her attention but they never really made it official. She had always had a thing for me, and I think when the time came (after I missed two openings), she took that opportunity. This guy had begun harassing us on Facebook, making fun of each and every picture or creative work that I had published. It was getting rather irritating.
He was incredibly buff, and I couldn’t help but feel insecure in his obscenely large shadow. It wasn’t the fact that he was so muscular that bugged me the most; it was the fact that he and Deirdre had almost been a thing. I worried that she might go back to this guy instead of me. See, this is why I didn’t want to deal with relationships; I still wasn’t in the right mind when it came to dating. But would I ever?
Weeks later, during one of those many visits to Carolina’s Sports and Spirits, a friend asked us if we were official. We looked to each other and didn’t know how to answer that. We had spent so much time together without the title. And we both knew that I wanted to prioritize my career, but we couldn’t stop being with each other.
That very night, talks of our musical tastes came about. We didn’t really share a lot of common ground musically, and in rattling off some of her favorites, she finally landed on one of mine, Incubus. She stated that her favorite song of theirs was the song from the album, Make Yourself, “Nowhere Fast.” She then gave me money for the jukebox and told me to play something that I wanted to hear. So, because I didn’t know that song as well as some others on the record like “Stellar,” “Make Yourself,” “Out From Under,” “The Warmth,” and of course, “Drive;” I decided to play here favorite jam.
I came back to the table and awaited my selection’s start. When it finally came on, Deirdre looked at me in frustration. “Why did you play this? I wanted you to play something that you wanted to hear!”
“I wanted to hear this.” Aside from the fact that I actually did, I also wanted to share some sort of common ground with Deirdre, even if it was via a four-minute track. I didn’t understand her issue with my selection of this song.
That night, we went home to my place, and I used this chance to mess with Travis. I said that I had some hot girl coming over and I need the room for an hour. He had no idea who it was as Deirdre and I had kept our thing under wraps at work.
Regardless of the instance in the bar (and despite my apprehension), the very next day we made it official and had our first real date together at a popular Mexican restaurant. As we sat across from each other, I felt this overwhelming awkwardness between us. The official nature of our relationship had changed how we acted around each other. I barely had any dates that weren’t already with someone whom I was already dating.
After the painful date was finally over, we went out separate ways. In the middle of the night, I received a few texts that told me she had gotten food poisoning from the food, oh, and that she didn’t want to date me. Us as a couple didn’t feel right to her. We both knew that night was awkward, but I didn’t think that would be the end all, be all of it. We worked together that day, and during lunch, she asked if I was cool (I wasn’t.) She picked up on that.
I was rather hurt by such a fleeting misstep in an otherwise promising relationship. That took me by surprise. Maybe it was because every other time felt right. That night, we shared some texts.
Over the next month, we hung out constantly, still hooking up. Then, during one night together, we decided that we couldn’t be apart and that terrible night at the Mexican joint was indeed a fluke.
Hooray! I wasn’t alone anymore! Even though I was happy in solitude, my old self still yearned for companionship. Now though, I felt that I was able to take what I had learned about myself during my months of singularity and incorporate them into a healthier relationship. Then again, maybe I was premature in that assumption.
This is an ongoing story of my personal battle with Cancer. My hope is that it helps others who are currently experiencing their own battles (whether it be for themselves or a loved one) or to help with early detection.
The way I’m doing it is terrifying for a writer. I’m writing a publically available first-draft outline for an eventual book, chapter by chapter in weekly form. The only reason I’m doing it this way is to get the story out as soon as possible for someone out there who needs a survivor to visit them during their own treatment. If you’re reading this and need someone to talk to, tweet at me and I’ll give you a call. No questions asked. This story is for you and I’ll help any way that I can.
Stay tuned, as I will be posting a new chapter every Monday until the story is complete.
And remember if you experience any Anemic symptoms– get checked for Leukemia as well.