I know you are expecting me to say that D’s moving in was all rainbows and fireworks and dancing gnomes – but that isn’t how it turned out to be. Cid’s pain haunted me and upset D as well. He felt terrible when I explained what had happened while he was sitting in the viewing car as the train whistled through the night.
Hugging me close he whispered “I’m sorry. It must be really upsetting for both of you.” I sobbed into his shoulder as I tried to tell him of my own agony. And D being D, could see that - and he could see Cid’s. “I could see how upset he was,” he said as he tightened his arms around me, “and I can understand it. I wouldn’t want to be losing you to another man either.” I felt retched as his words brought back to me the shock on Cid’s face. “Give him a little time. From everything you have told me – Cid is a wonderful man – and he won’t be able to stay away from someone like you - even with me here. Just be patient – he’ll come back.” My sobs slowly died off as I listened to his words. I appreciated his view as a man and I tentatively put my trust in it – and waited.
Now I also know that you are expecting me to say that we flung ourselves into each other’s arms and made love passionately for a solid week. But what you are forgetting is that D arrived with Mono and his exhaustion was obvious in everything he tried to do. His face was scarily pale and he had dark blue circles under his eyes. His clothes hung on him and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find that overweight teenager I had first met when I looked at him. He was past his infectious stage but there was no knowing how long it would take for him to recover from this debilitating disease.
So instead of the mad passionate lover’s reunion, we cuddled. And we began that age-old journey of discovery.
Eventually his belongings arrived and we went down to the bus station and collected the boxes that held his entire life so far - or at least what he had decided he needed for his future. D tried his best to carry everything by himself, but his fatigue wouldn’t let him – and neither would I. We hauled everything back to the barn and I left him to unpack and went off to work.
Now let me just say something here – and I do so with great embarrassment and shame – but I’m still going to say it. I wasn’t a ‘nice person’. Thankfully I have changed – and almost completely – but I am ashamed of the person I use to be. Back then I went to work with my head held high thinking I was such a great person. I had two men competing for my love – and one was 21 years younger than me. On top of that I considered myself to be a ‘woman of the world’ who knew so much and was so much smarter than my young lover. I looked at him as someone who had no knowledge of the world because he was too young to have experienced anything. I looked at him as someone who could not possibly be smarter than me. And I am ashamed to say that I treated him like that.
As time went on I forgot how ill he was and I expected him to have done the housework and cooked the supper when I got home from work. I expected him to know what I liked to eat and what I didn’t, and I expected him to do everything just the way I always did it. What I got was someone who was too tired to get out of bed during the day. What I got was my young lover still in his pajamas and housecoat because he just couldn’t do anymore. I know I expected him to snap out of it – but with Mono you just don’t. It drags on and on and just lifting your head off the pillow can be exhausting. But my patience wore out quickly and my expectations were ridiculous. What it boiled down to was that I was treating him badly and that I was nothing but a bitch.
And being a bitch I tried to cover it up with smiles and declarations of love while underneath I wanted him to be everything I expected – no matter what. You live with me – you do this and you act like this. My house – my rules. Just like my parents always said.
Honestly? I don’t know why he stayed. I know I wouldn’t have.