Sunday, December 18, 2011

Turning Point

Knock, knock, knock.

My eyes shot open. The only light was that of the tv, cutting through the darkness. My eyes slowly adjusted to being open.

Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock.

I knew it was him at the door. I told him I didn't want to see him but I knew it was him.

Four more knocks.

"Jack, I know you're there. Your car is out front."

As much as I didn't want to see him, I couldn't help but walk to the front door. Putting my hand on the door knob, I froze. You can do this. Be strong. 


=====================================================


The start of the fall quarter was pretty standard for me. Parties, football, and light studying occupied most of my time while not in class. Jockguy also took up a lot of my time. I wasn't with him every free minute of the day but it seemed like it. We had dinner together most days, and lunch together when our schedules matched up. We went to parties and football games together. And one of us spent the night at the other's apartment more often than not. In a nutshell, things were going great.

Then came November.

=================================================================

Unlocking the deadbolt, I took one last breath. Keep your cool.


"Hey."

"Hi."

Jockguy stood in front of my door, head lowered, shoulders slumped, hands in his coat pocket.

"You haven't answered my calls," Jockguy said as he leaned against the door frame. "I got worried. Wanna make sure you are ok."

"I'm fine," I snapped. Jockguy winced ever so slightly and I immediately regretted my tone. We both stared at the floor, the sound of a stereotypical Oregon rain shower filling the silence.

"Can I come in?" Jockguy asked, still staring at the floor.

"Uhh... I don't think I'm ready yet."

"Jack," Jockguy said, standing up straight, "we have to talk sometime. It's been 2 weeks. You won't return my calls or texts or emails. Please talk to me. You owe me that much."

"I owe YOU?!?" My head shot straight up. My fiery eyes met Jockguy's. "Please explain to me how the fuck that works. How the fuck does your brain twist this around to me owing you?! You are un-fucking-believable."

Jockguy's jaw clenched and his eyes narrowed. "You done?"

"You tell me?! Any other ways I owe you?"

"I came here to talk. You can stand there and yell obscenities at me in the doorway like some redneck asshole or you can let me come inside and yell at me behind closed doors like any other normal person. Either way, I'm not leaving until we make a decision about us."

=================================================================

Things started to change the first week of November. At first, it was small things. A missed dinner or lunch here and there. Things slowly started snowballing. Canceled dates and missed calls were followed by days of not seeing each other. At one point, we hadn't even kissed in 5 days.

I was angry and confused. Had I done something to piss Jockguy off? Or was he just too busy with school? Something was definitely wrong. But I was too scared to ask. I was afraid I already knew the answer.

So I kept going along.

=================================================================

"You want anything to drink?"

Jockguy took off his jacket and sat on the couch. "Water. Please."

I returned to the couch with 2 bottles of water. Jockguy took his and immediately guzzled half of it. I took 3 small sips and waited. He wanted this meeting, so he can be the one to start.


"I guess I'll start," Jockguy said, reading my mind. Rolling up his sleeves and shifting his body towards mine, Jockguy cleared his throat. "Jack, I hope you know how sorry I am. You have to know how much I love you and how much you mean to me."

"I know that," I said, staring at my bottle. "That's what makes this whole thing so fucked up to me. We were doing so well."

Jockguy opened his mouth, ready to reply, but pulled back.

"What?"

"We weren't doing as great as you think."

=================================================================

By the time Thanksgiving break came around, I was done holding my tongue. I was miserable and I knew Jockguy was too. So, on my way home for the break, I stopped at Jockguy's and flat out asked "What is going on?"

The answer was more painful than I thought it would be.

=================================================================

"What do you mean we weren't doing great? Things were the same as they always were."

"Exactly."

"What the hell does that mean?"

Jockguy stood up and started pacing in front of the couch. "It means that we weren't progressing. Our relationship wasn't going anywhere. It was stagnant."

"That's bullshit. We were progressing just fine."

"Oh really? Then how come I've never met your parents? Or your brothers? That's right, because they still don't know I exist."

"Fuck you! You know how much I want to come out to them. You know how much I want you to meet them."

"I know that you keep saying that. But you've been saying that for a year now. It's just words now."

"So me not being ready to come out is why you started dating someone else? Me being in the closet drove you to lie and sneak around behind my back? Sounds like a cop out to me."

"Me wanting to have an open, normal relationship isn't a cop out. I shouldn't have lied and gone behind your back. That was a dick move and I am truly sorry. But I'm not sorry for why I did it."

Jockguy stopped pacing and sat next to me. I hadn't been this close to him in 2 weeks. His scent was still intoxicating.

"Listen, I understand that you are having a hard time coming out to them. I truly understand that. It's a gut-wrenching time. But I'm getting impatient. I can't keep doing this. I feel like I am putting my whole heart into us and you are only putting in half. That's not fair to me or us."


A silence washed over the room. The two of us sat there, inches away but emotionally miles apart.

"I... I... I just don't think I can do it." I finally muttered

"I think you are wrong. I know you. I see how strong you are. You are one of the strongest people I know. I have know doubt that you can handle ANYTHING that's thrown at you. And the way you talk about your family, I know that things will be fine. They love you."

In my heart, I knew Jockguy was right. I knew that I wasn't being fair to him by not being out. He had opened up his entire life to me. And I had only opened up half. I was 2 different people. Family Jack and College Jack. He deserved to know both.

"I'm still mad at you," I said, breaking the 5minute silence.

"I know."

"No matter the reason, what you did was wrong."

"I know."

Another silence fell across the room. I was still mad and hurt but at least understood his side somewhat. It took a small amount of the sting out, though more than enough was left.

This time, Jockguy was the first to break the silence.

"I think I'm gonna go home," he said, standing up and heading for his coat.

I stood and followed him to the door. I didn't want him to leave. I needed to touch and hug him again. I needed to feel him next to me. I needed to be wrapped in his arms as we slept.

"Please don't leave," I said as he reached for the door.

"Jack, I don't think it's a g-"

"Please, just stay," I interrupted. "I need you to. Being away from you this long has killed me. I just need you next to me tonight."

That night, for the first time in almost a month, Jockguy and I fell asleep holding each other.

=================================================================

It's been about 2 weeks since the above conversation happened. Jockguy and I are still together. Things are rocky and aren't even close to being repaired but we are heading in a positive direction. With his help and support, I've made the decision to come out to one of my brothers. It's not the whole family but it is a big step for me.

I want to thank those of you who have stuck around during this dead period for posts.

Jack :)

18 comments:

  1. Jack: Hugging you deeply and sending you alllll the love in the world. Every day, we create and recreate ourselves. As a "couple", I am glad that you and Jockguy are actively pushing each other; but at the same time, everything in life has it's ripe moment. When you're ready, you'll know what to do. And maybe your brother is that first litmus test. My sisters were mine... and a year later, a childhood friend... and later, my parents. All in all, it's been a journey. At the end of the day, remember, it's YOUR life... and though it may take one of them a while to come around, they do and will love you for who you are. Let them know that you've never changed. It feels like you are approaching the cliff's edge, right? You'll be fine. A mile-high stack of feather mattresses await you. Breathe -- and again, in your own time and at the "ripe moment". XOXO.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jack,
    Glad to see you are back, sorry things have been rough, I just wanted to let you know that I and your readers all stand behind you(wow, there's a nice thought) and support you in your coming out process. I commend you for taking the next step. Good luck and if you ever need anything, just let us know!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sorry to hear about your troubles with Jockguy, Jack. But I'm glad that he's opened your mind to come out to someone. Even deciding to come out is a hard conclusion to reach and a lot of people (including myself) struggle to get that point. I think you're luckier than most that you seem to have someone who will be there to support you through the process, so don't be afraid to open up to him and let him help you through all this. Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Saving a relationship is worth coming out... shouldn't even need the relationship to make the decision to come out in the first place. It's a necessary staep and I am sure you will handle it great. Looking forward to hearing about it..

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sending you good thoughts and supportive energy. And I sure hope your coming out goes well, and that you and JockGuy work it out.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you FWIW.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good luck.

    I came out first to my brother and a month later to my parents.

    My brother was great, my parents were honest but loving and it was rocky for a couple months but once they get over the shock they will be fine!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hope this will possibly be the best Christmas of all... Being free to be... Just yourself :) You've been very lucky to be given a second chance, this is the truly testament to Jockguy love for You. How could You risk loosin' him? Let's do it, and everything will be fine eventually :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. hi jack. just wanted to drop you a note. it took an attempted suicide on my part for me to see that my parents and family didn't care that i was gay. from what i can tell from what you have said about your family, they maybe shocked at first but they love you with all their heart. good luck and happy holidays. francis

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am so glad you're working through your tough times. I think the love you have for each other will give you each the strength you need to carry on. With JockGuy at your back, I know you'll have the courage and strength to come out to your family.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Jack: What a story, and told with such dramatic flourish. You and Jockguy belong together. What he did was not right but eventually you can forgive him and forge an even stronger bond. This episode is a reminder than no matter how close you are to a person, you still have to keep open the lines of communication and try to see different points of view beyond your own.

    I'm going to side with Jockguy on his intent (to get you out and to advance your relationship forward) but I don't agree with his methods, he could have chosen a more humane way to get his point across without having to hurt you in the process.

    It is so clear that you two guys love one another, so please be generous with the forgiveness. Good luck on your coming out, take a first tentative step, gather some allies and the next time will be easier. Jockguy sounds like the real deal and he wants to build a real life with you, so do it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good luck with coming out to your family. It probably is something you should do, but in your own time.

    That was bad for Jockguy to use that as an excuse to cheat on you. But maybe he has issues of his own and if you still love each other, good for you guys. Hope you had a great Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I hope your coming out to your family went well. i hope you and Jockguy can repair your relationship

    ReplyDelete
  13. I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog. I too am not out to my family, and actually only a select few friends. So I know what you're going through. I'm so happy that you could come out to your brother, that's an awesome step. I hope that you and Jockguy will be able to work everything out.

    Oh, I have to thank y'all for beating Wisconsin in the bowl game, but on the flipside I have to thank y'all for the game last year, and send a big WAR DAMN EAGLE from down here in the south.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Jack: Hoping for an update soon on what is happening with you. In the meanwhile, I'm sending you and Jockguy a song to encourage you to work things out and stay together.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40H9mpkkaz0

    ReplyDelete
  15. Really great blog articles here. I just found your site today and read pretty much all the way through. I like the way you weaved the past in with the present in telling this last story. It sounds like the two of you love each other deeply, and that this bump in the road is not so deep it will tear you apart. It does sound like he has the best in mind for you. Too bad that he tried to vent his frustrations by turning to another person instead of you, but give it time and things will heal. They do if the relationship is strong enough, and it sounds like it is.

    ReplyDelete
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