Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hindsight is Always 20/20

I have not heard from Sean since I kicked him out and it wasn’t until this morning that I realized that we still had our appointment with Mike booked for the 28th. I sighed and grabbed my phone before I sat down and called Mike to let him know that Sean and I would no longer be needing his services. It wasn’t exactly a conversation I wanted to have but I bit the bullet and got it over with because I’m sure Sean wasn’t going to do it.

“Hi, I need to cancel my appointment with Mike. It’s for the 28th.”

“Okay.” His secretary said, “When would you like to reschedule.”

“Uh…never.” I said awkwardly.

“Okay. I’ll cancel your appointment and let Mike know you called. He usually likes to call his patients back after a cancellation.”

“Okay.” I said. For a second I thought that the conversation with the secretary would be enough. I wasn’t looking forward to having to explain this all to Mike.

A few hours later, he called my cell phone.

“Hello?” I said.

“Faith. Hi. It’s Mike. I just saw that you cancelled your appointment for the 28th.”

“Yeah. Sean and I don’t really have a need to see you anymore.”

“Oh? Is that because you feel you’ve made enough progress?”

The anger I had over the situation with Sean came bubbling out in my response.

“Um. No. It would be on account of Sean knocking up the woman he cheated on me with and me kicking his ass out.”

“I’m really sorry to hear that.” Mike said gently, “I thought you two were making a lot of progress but I understand why you no longer want to continue trying for a relationship completely.”

“Yeah, our relationship has hit a level of ‘messy’ and ‘complicated’ that I never thought I’d ever have to deal with in my entire life and I’ve decided to cut my losses.”

“Well, I’m really sorry, Faith. You made a strong effort. Sometimes relationships just don’t work out the way we want them to.”

“Tell me about it.” I snorted.

“I wish you all the best.” Mike said.

“Thanks.” And I hung up.

I’ve been sitting here, stewing in my anger for the past few days (I have not shed a single damn tear) and the more I think about the past year and everything Sean put me through, I can’t help but feel even angrier. I can’t believe how much I allowed myself to sacrifice my own needs for Sean’s and also how much I allowed myself to sacrifice who I am as a human being. In the past year, I got engaged, had a one-year anniversary, started seeing a therapist to deal with the guilt my boyfriend caused me to have for being assaulted by my ex-boyfriend, was cheated on…on my anniversary, had more fights with Sean than I can count, I’ve barely seen my friends, I allowed myself to be accused of infidelity by my boyfriend because I felt bad for him, and I ignored all of that because I kept telling myself that Sean made me happy when practically everyone in my life could see that I wasn’t. I allowed my love for someone to cloud the reality of our relationship and I feel incredibly embarrassed about that.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Sean said nothing and left. I sat in the chair until I couldn’t ignore Murphy’s hungry meows any longer. I put a frozen potato casserole in the oven after I fed him and then took a hot shower while it cooked. I felt like I was floating and I barely tasted my dinner. Eventually I sent Molly, Anna, and Zoey this text:

“Karen is pregnant. I kicked him out. We’re done.”

Within seconds of each other I got three text messages, one from each friend:

“I’m coming over with raw cookie dough right now. –Z”
“I’m bringing alcohol. Be there in 20 minutes. –M”
“I’m on Skype. Sign in! –A”

I smiled sadly and signed into Skype.

“I’m sorry, I can’t leave. Theo is on-call tonight and was just called in.” Anna said. She was nursing Weatherly.

“It’s okay. Molly and Zoey are coming over with food and booze.”

“How are you feeling?” She asked gently.

“Um. I think I’m still in shock, I don’t feel anything. I don’t want to feel anything.”

“That’s understandable.”

I looked out the window near my desk and realized it had started raining at some point.

“How long has it been raining?” I asked Anna.

“About an hour, why?”

“I wouldn’t have let Molly and Zoey come over in the rain. That’s just rude.” My voice sounded hollow.

“Faith, you’re being ridiculous. A little rain isn’t a big deal. I’m sure they’d come even if you told them not to.”

“I need to call Mike.” I said getting up and looking for my phone.

“What? Who’s Mike?” Anna asked.

“Our relationship counselor. We aren’t going to need to see him anymore.” I started laughing.
Anna looked at me like I had gone crazy.

“Faith…it’s almost 8 o’clock at night. You should call him tomorrow.”

“Right…” I said slowly putting my phone down and still giggling.

“Are you going to call in to work tomorrow?” She asked.

“No. Why would I do that?” I asked.

“Well, because you’re probably going to be too sad to really get any work done.”

Just then the doorbell buzzed and I ran to let Molly and Zoey inside my building. They came up the stairs in rain coats and boots carrying bags of food and booze.

“We came as soon as we could.” Zoey said taking her raincoat off. They hung their stuff up in the shower to catch the water and then Molly handed me a huge glass of whiskey.

“I don’t really need this.” I said taking a huge gulp.

“Okay, well I have Milkyways, raw chocolate chip cookie dough, sour cream and onion potato chips, and frozen five-cheese garlic bread.” Zoey said.

“Ooooh, let’s make the garlic bread.” I said excitedly.

After popping it in the oven and letting the smell fill my apartment, I told Molly and Zoey what had happened while Anna listened on Skype, even though I already told her.

“I came home from work and he was waiting for me. I thought something really bad had happened, like Eddie died or the tour had been cancelled. Nope, he just knocked Karen up. I laughed and then told him we were over and that he needed to get out.”

“You…laughed?” Molly asked.

“Yeah.” I said a little surprised. I guess I hadn’t realized just how weird it was to laugh after being told your boyfriend got someone pregnant until Molly, Anna, and Zoey looked at me strangely. I downed my glass and refilled it.

“Faith, are you okay?” You’ve been acting…weird.”

“I think I’m okay. How are you supposed to react in these situations? I don’t watch a lot of Lifetime so I don’t really know. In hindsight, laughing probably wasn’t the best reaction.”

The garlic bread was done and Molly, Zoey, and I ate it while Anna started nursing Andrew. I had worked through another glass of whiskey and filled a third.

“Sean is out of my life guys. I feel great. No more relationship counselor. No more long distance. No more late flights or phone calls. No more turmoil or drama. I’m done! I’m free from all of it!”

Molly and Zoey shared a look.

“What? This is a good thing!” I said.

“You just seem…really happy about what happened. We…weren’t expecting this.” Zoey said.

“I’ve spent too much time being sad about my relationship. You know what I should do? Make a profile on a dating website. Let’s do it now! You guys can help me fill out my profile.”

“Are you drunk?” Molly asked.

“Maybe….” I said coyly.

I got on to my computer and found a dating site and for the next hour I had Zoey, Molly, and Anna help me answer all the questions for the profile and pick out good pictures to upload. When I woke up the next morning I had a killer headache and Molly and Zoey were snoring on my couch. I had somehow made it to my bed. I realized I was late and called in to work to tell them I was too sick to come in so Zoey, Molly, and I went and had a huge breakfast at a greasy diner about 20 minutes away. While we were eating our eggs, sausage, toast, pancakes, waffles, and other breakfast foods Molly brought up Sean again.

“How do you feel today, Faith?”

“Hungover.” I said.

“You know what I mean.” She said.

“I don’t feel anything. I think everything I felt for Sean had been badly damaged after he cheated on me and his announcement last night made all of my feelings for him completely disappear. I don’t deserve this shit!” I said slamming the fist with my fork clutched in it on the table.

“You sure don’t.” Zoey said putting a mouthful of syrupy pancake in her mouth and nodding.

“I’m free, guys. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of me.”

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Very Slow Death

Todd and Tanya are almost ready to launch the online version of our paper. It still has to go through the board and Veronica needs to check it over, but I think it’s great and really innovative and I hope they like it. They were showing me all of the features today in the conference room and I can’t believe how they came up with some of these ideas. There are still some glitches that need to be worked out but I sent Veronica an e-mail letting her know that they’ll be ready to present it to her in a few days. None of the staff were aware that we’ve been planning to make the newspaper digital and after reading my e-mail, Veronica decided it was time to tell them. She sent out a mass e-mail to the staff saying that we were going to have a meeting at 5:00pm before everyone left for the day. Immediately the office was full of gossip, panic, and speculation.

“Faith, you would tell us if we’re about to be fired, right?” Suzy asked me during lunch.

“You know what this is about, don’t you?” Dina asked.

“Do Tanya and Todd have anything to do with this? Are they going to replace me and Rose!?” Steve asked.

“Are we going to have to cut half the staff?” Stormy asked.

I didn’t know who to answer first.

“Suzy, Stormy you both know I can’t talk about anything regarding the firing of employees. Steve, Tanya and Todd are not a concern to any jobs here. Dina, I do know but it’s best if Veronica explains it. All four of you should calm down. It’s a good announcement, not a bad one.”

They didn’t seem convinced and kept looking at me with sad, inquisitive eyes until we finished eating lunch and got back to work. When it was time for the meeting, Veronica was a little late and the air was tense. Everyone was sitting at their desks and turned to her when she rounded the corner of the hallway leading to her office with Todd and Tanya at her side. She didn’t beat around the bush and started speaking.

“I’ve asked you all here today because I have a big announcement. We’re going digital. Our paper will no longer be produced on paper, or at least that’s where the future is headed. We hired Tanya and Todd awhile ago, as some of you have noticed, and since then they have been working on an entirely new subscription-based website that we will be launching within the next few weeks. Our goal is to stop printing completely by October. Todd and Tanya have made us a website unlike any others I have seen. People can subscribe on a month-to-month basis or by a yearly basis. They can buy apps in addition to their subscription that will give them the opportunity to have 24/7 news available on their phones. Submitting your articles on deadline will be easier than ever before and that’s why we are going to use our staff as beta-testers for the website when it has gotten approval from our board of investors. We’re going to begin offering digital advertising to the advertisers we currently have and also offering deals to advertisers who are not already partners with us. This will give us a much wider audience and I’m proud of what Todd and Tanya have been able to create. I think you all will be, too.”

And with that Veronica left while Todd and Tanya took questions and explained their ideas to the staff. I gauged the reactions. Some people were confused, others were relieved, but I think the majority of people are wary about this new approach to news coverage. I think they’ll warm up to the idea with time, though. Once all questions had been answered people began packing up their things to leave, including myself. Stormy knocked on my office door as I gathered my stuff.

“Hey.” I smiled.

“What does this all mean?” He asked incredulously.

“We’re moving into the digital age, Stormy, print is dying. We need to make the paper more accessible to more people. We’re just taking the next step to do that. Why do you seem so worried?”

“Because this is just the first sign that something is wrong,” He closed the door to my office, “Faith, is the paper going under? I need to know!”

“Stormy, the paper is fine right now,” I lied, “but the climate for printed newspapers is a volatile one. Look at this as an insurance policy, not a stamp of death.”

He seemed more comforted by that idea but I felt bad that I had to lie to him. I feel bad that I can’t tell everyone that they might want to start looking for jobs but that might just cause unnecessary panic, anyway. The paper might NOT go under; this website might just save us.

I walked home thinking about how scared my friends are about losing their jobs and I don’t blame them. Not having a job IS scary and the newspaper industry seems to let people go so quickly at the first sign of trouble. I wearily opened my apartment door and instantly cheered up.

“Hey! This is a nice surprise!” I said seeing Sean sitting in one of my living room chairs, “You just left, are you back for a break with the band?”

Sean’s eyes were puffy and he stood up and took my hand.

“You should sit down.” He said hoarsely.

“What happened!? Are you okay? Are the guys okay? Did something happen with the tour?” I asked in a panic as I slowly lowered myself in a chair across from him.

“Everyone is fine. I just need to tell you something.”

“Okay.” I said. I felt like I had been drenched in sickening fear.

“Karen is pregnant.”

My whole body felt like lead. I closed my eyes and slowly laid my head on the back of the chair before letting out a harsh laugh and looking at Sean.

“Oh, we are SO over. Get out.”

(Just a reminder: there won't be a post on Monday because it's Labor Day. Have a great long weekend, readers! -del)

Friday, August 12, 2011


Sean got in really late last night. He woke me up when he crawled in to bed. I snuggled into his chest without opening my eyes.

“How was your flight?” I asked groggily as he wrapped his arms around me.

“It was long. I’m glad I’m home.” He whispered. He sounded tired.

“How was the show?” I asked.


We drifted off to sleep shortly after that and I woke up late for work. Sean was still sleeping when I left so we saw each other right before our session with Mike for the first time since he got in from the airport. I met him in the waiting room of Mike’s office before our appointment.

“Hey.” I said as I sat down on a couch next to him.

He gave me a kiss on the cheek right as Mike’s secretary said we could go in.

“Hello you two.” Mike said as we sat down across from him.

We greeted him and made small talk for a bit before Mike started asking us how everything has been going.

“How do you think you have been progressing since our last session?” He asked.

“We’ve been talking to each other every night on the phone and I think we’ve been making progress on the trust front.” Sean said.

“Would you agree Faith?”

“For the most part.” I said. Sean shot me a confused look which prompted me to go on,

“Well, I don’t think the trust issue has improved, at least not for me. I think it’s going to take more time before my trust comes back even a little bit. I do think we have been able to talk to each other much easier, though.”

“How can you say that, Faith?” Sean asked. He was very hurt, “The fact that I told you I would quit my job if you asked me to didn’t mean anything to you in regards to trusting me? At all?”

“Is that the only reason you asked?” I said.

“No! I meant every word!”

“I’m sorry, what exactly are you two talking about?” Mike interjected.

“Sean told me, at the airport after our last session, that he would quit the tour if I asked him to. I refused.” I said stiffly.

“I see. Why did you do that Sean?” Mike asked.

“Because Faith was clearly upset and I meant every word. I am willing to quit my job for her.”

“And I think it’s unfair to put me in that position, which is why I refused.” I said, “I didn’t see it as a grand gesture of trust.”

“What am I supposed to do to get you to trust me again? I want things to be like before.” He said with an air of frustration. He looked from me to Mike.

“Sean you told me that you cheated on me not even two months ago. I’m gonna need some more time. I’m allowed to not trust you for awhile. Things will never be the same as they were and THAT is not my problem. I don’t want things to be the same as they were. YOU didn’t trust ME the way things were before. The only difference between that and now is that I actually have a reason to not trust you and you NEVER did with me.”

I got quite heated towards the end of my little rant and an overwhelming silence followed.

“Sean what do you think about what Faith said?” Mike prompted.

Sean seemed shocked and at a loss for words but Mike didn’t let him off the hook and kept pressing him.

“I don’t know, okay!?” Sean was angry, “I don’t know how I feel about what she said!”

“Well, you seem angry about it.” Mike said matter-of-factly.

“You don’t say.” Sean said sarcastically.

I could sense that we had hit a standstill during this session and I tried to get us back on track.

“Sean,” I said quietly, “You know we had problems even before you cheated on me.”
He nodded.

“And you know things will never be the same.”

He nodded again.

“So why are you upset?” I asked gently.

“Because it’s all my fault.”

“What is?” Mike asked.

“Everything. It’s my fault that things can’t go back to normal. It’s my fault that we were having problems before. It’s my fault that Faith can’t trust me. I feel so guilty…all the time.”

Mike wanted explore Sean’s feelings of guilt for the rest of our session but I think the fact that Sean was even willing to make such an admission was a big step for him. I thought Sean wanted some time alone so we shared a cab that dropped me off at my apartment before it took him to the airport. I didn’t think it was a good idea for me to go with him to the airport anyway considering what a mess I was last time. He said that he’s going to try to come home for longer before our session since we barely saw each other during this trip.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Playing Hooky

I decided to take a personal day from work for my own sanity. I got my hair done and cut it about an inch shorter, I’m happy with how it looks. I also got a manicure and a pedicure before treating myself to a massage. I usually don’t buy such things but I really needed it. I left the spa I had all of this done at feeling relaxed and happy. I decided to purchase a gift for myself, too. I bought a Kindle online and I can’t wait for it to arrive.

After a nice brunch by myself I walked along the lakeshore and soaked up some sun. When I got home I ended up looking at classes online that were offered in my area. They ranged from pet grooming classes to adult dance classes to comic book writing classes. I saw one that caught my eye: a hula hooping class. The description said that students would learn the basics of hula hooping and various moves that could be interpreted into dancing. It seemed like a really fun class to me so I signed up for a month’s worth of lessons with a discount the studio was offering. If anything, it’ll be a nice form of exercise. My first class is on the 17th.

I went grocery shopping and bought Murphy a new collar since he grew out of his old one a long time ago (from the steroids he was on and also gaining weight). He also needed some new toys to play with. I also got a cat brush because Murphy has been shedding like crazy and I’ve been procrastinating on trying to introduce him to being brushed. When I got home I put my groceries away and then got busy introducing Murphy to the cat brush.

He squirmed for a little while but he got used to it and I pulled SO MUCH hair off of him; it had to feel good for him to be rid of it all. After he did such a good job with the brush, I put his new collar on (it’s teal and has rhinestones in the shape of paw prints on it) and then gave him his new toys as a reward for being such a good kitty. Then I made dinner (a cheese omelet, fruit salad, and buttered toast) before soaking in a bubble bath for a good hour.

Overall, it was a nice day and I’m glad I decided to take it off and play hooky from work. It gave me the chance to clear my mind and really focus on myself (and Murphy of course). Sean is going to be here tomorrow and we have our next counseling appointment on the 12th. Sean will be leaving right after we finish up with Mike.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I decided to hang out with some co-workers after work yesterday. We went to the bar across the street from our building like we normally do. I was starving so I ordered an irresponsibly large platter of cheese fries for myself to go with my beer. I also may have been eating to help deal with my feelings about my situation with Sean, too. Don’t judge me!

I didn’t really want to hang out with Dina, Suzy, Steve, and the rest but becoming a shut-in isn’t exactly a good idea so I sort of forced myself to go. I sat at the table and listened to everyone else talk instead of adding much to the conversation. It was kind of nice, actually. But I knew it wouldn’t go unnoticed. Everyone filtered out at their own pace and I ended up alone with Stormy at our shared booth. He tried to go for some of my cheese fries.

“Whoa, there, sparky!” I said blocking his fork with mine, “How dare you try to steal a woman’s cheese fries!”

We laughed and I put some on an extra plate before passing it to him.

“Thanks,” he said, “You’ve been really quiet, are you okay?”

“Yeah.” I sighed.

“Is it because of what happened?”

For a second I looked at Stormy with confusion before realizing what he was referring to. I also feel kind of bad that I forgot all about that almost-kiss we had.

“Oh, no,” I said, “I just have a lot of stuff going on outside of work, you know.”

I shrugged.

“Oh, with the boyfriend. It’s not going well, I take it?”

I sized Stormy up. We’ve talked about being friends and it was time to make that happen, so I didn’t hesitate to tell him what was up. I also might have been a bit buzzed after my second beer…

“Okay. Well, we’ve been seeing a relationship counselor and things are going…okay but it’s just really hard sometimes. And the fact that he’s on tour is really a hindrance for our progress.”

“How are you guys seeing someone if he’s on tour?” Stormy asked while putting pepper on his cheese fries.

“He comes back every two weeks for the appointment but I’m starting to think that one appointment every two weeks just isn’t enough for us to really work on the things we need to work on.”

“Well, do you guys talk regularly?”

“Over the phone and on Skype. Since we…uh…are you sure you want to know all my problems?” I asked him.

“Yeah.”He said eyeing me suspiciously.

“Okay,” I shrugged, “We’ve been talking every night since we’ve had sex.”

Stormy coughed and started choking. I patted him on the back and handed him his drink. When he composed himself he looked at me with shock.

“You guys have already had sex!?” He said it a little more loudly than I would have preferred.

“It was a ‘homework assignment’ from our counselor.” I said with embarrassment.

“WOW.” He said sitting back in the booth.

“You don’t have to be SO shocked.” I said with a hint of annoyance and anger.

“I’m sorry, I’m just- I’ve never heard of a coupe doing that so quickly after someone cheats.”

“Well, according to the counselor, we needed to because we weren’t going to build up enough intimacy with Sean only being able to come here every two weeks. So we had to get the intimacy back the quick and dirty way. Literally.”

I smiled at my joke.

“I’m sorry,” Stormy said he still looked shocked, “I just can’t even wrap my head around that. I mean, how would you even prepare yourself for that, mentally?”
It seemed like he was talking more to himself but I answered anyway.

“I don’t know, it just happened. I knew we needed to and I’m committed to trying to make this work between Sean and me. I had some time to get into the mindset I needed to be in, too, so that helped.”

Stormy raised his eyebrows and took a sip of his drink.

“But, anyway,” I continued, “when I dropped him off at the airport a few days ago he told me that he wouldn’t go if I asked him to. He said that he would quit the tour and his job and all I had to do was ask.”

“Wow. I’m assuming you told him to go on tour.”

“I did.” I nodded sadly, “The last thing we need is for him to resent me for making him choose me over his career. He still wants to marry me, you know.”

“Well, of course he does, he’s the one who cheated. The question is if you want to marry him after everything he did to you.”

I thought about it as I chewed some cheese fries.

“I don’t think I’m ready to renew our engagement as of right now, but if things keep progressing the way they have been I might. We still have a long way to go, though. So how is Rose?”

Stormy tensed up a little when I asked. I eyed him.

“Uh, she’s okay.”

“What happened?” I said flatly.

“I don’t know. Remember when I told you that her roommate moved out?” I nodded, “She wants me to move in with her instead of finding a new roommate and we haven’t even been dating that long. I told her that I didn’t think moving in together was a good idea and now she’s mad at me and needs a ‘break’ to ‘reconsider our relationship’ which means we’re probably going to be over soon.” He bitterly took a swig from his beer and then crossed his arms.


“Tell me about it.” He said.

“Well, I’ll give you credit for one thing.”


“A lot of guys wouldn’t have told their girlfriends that they didn’t want to move in so straight forwardly. You handled it well, I think. And you’re right. You guys haven’t been dating that long. Is your lease even close to its renewal period?”

“No! I renewed it a few months ago, so I would have to pay all sorts of penalties for breaking it and I’d have to find a sub-letter. It’s a huge hassle and she won’t listen to reason. She thinks I’m just trying to get out of it because I don’t want to be with her.”

“Do you want to be with her?”

“It’s complicated…”

Stormy met my eyes and we shared an understanding.

“I see.” I said looking down at my near-empty platter of cheese fries.

“It’s not that I don’t want to be with her…I just feel like I’m settling.” He said trying to recover.

“Stormy, you shouldn’t wait around for me.” I said quietly, “It won’t ever happen.”

“Why?” He said almost defiantly.

“For one, I’m with someone right now-”

“Yeah, someone who doesn’t trust you and then cheated on you!”

“You need to calm down,” I said, “I’m with Sean. That’s the end of it. I’m not going to cheat on him with you; we’re BOTH better than that. Two, I’m never going to date someone that I work with. I’ve been down that road and it was a HUGE mistake. It’s NEVER going to happen again. Three, you’re with Rose. It’s not fair to her that you’re waiting for someone else. She deserves more than that and you deserve a relationship where you actually want to fully commit to the other person.”

Stormy sighed. I could tell he wasn’t very happy.

“You’re right.” He said, “I just wish you weren’t.”

“If things were different…who knows? But they aren’t.” I said, “The timing is just bad, Stormy. For both of us. I want you to be happy, but that can’t happen if you’re waiting for me, okay? Let yourself be with someone else.”

I gently put my hand on top of his across the table and he nodded.

“I’m sorry, Stormy.”

“Me too.”

We talked about some work projects he was looking into for a little while before we both decided to leave. When I got home I collapsed on my couch after feeding Murphy and cried. Things are so complicated and I’m sick of feeling so confused ALL the time. I think I need a vacation just by myself but I know I won’t be able to turn my brain off to enjoy it.