Monday, November 26, 2007

That period of time I didn't know how to write about... aka Part 5

Last night AB came by to tell me goodnight. He asked me what I was blogging about and when I told him about how Skadi laughs hilariously at my nipple he told me how weird I was. Then he asked me if I had finished my story on how we got together. Funny how that had prompted him to start reading my blog - if only for my take on the early portion of our relationship.

I admitted to him that I didn't know how to end it and asked for suggestions. He didn't know either. You see we dated for about 3 months and then he broke up with me (boo) over the phone (double boo), a week before Valentine's Day (triple boo). I had decided it wasn't meant to be and wanted nothing to do with him. I refused to call him and avoided him at school. He didn't come to my intramural volleyball games and I was glad that he was no longer my lab partner.

I took to flirting with my Inorganic Lab TA... which was going surprisingly well.

Then one day AB called me. He asked me if I had listened to a particular Mark Cohn song... sure I had. I had introduced him to Mark Cohn. Then he continued to talk, and talk. He told me on one of the subsequent long calls that his best friend, JB, was coming to town with his then girlfriend and they were all going to Moab for Spring Break. I was a little disappointed that I wasn't invited and wrote him off in my mind... again. I did have to work - I always worked spring break, but an invite would have been nice.

They got back from Moab and he brought the two over to my apartment so I could meet them. We got back together at that point and dated for about 6 months until the following fall. We survived rolling my car that summer and I had graduated. AB had switched majors and still needed to complete two more semesters. I planned to stay in my job at the dermatologist that year and figure out what I wanted to do.

The next time he broke up with me that fall he came to my door. He had walked all the way over to my house (after much razzing about the phone call break-up), thinking the whole way. There he broke the news to me, we were over, done, kaput.

This one lasted a little longer. I don't remember exactly when we got back together, but I remember we weren't together when we took his sister to see Phantom of the Opera that fall for her birthday present. We had bought tickets earlier that summer and wouldn't you know it we split up. But I still really wanted to see Phantom and so I kept my ticket.

That night I did make sure he knew that I had other options out there - as far fetched as they were. My old best friend from high school, Brian, had recently contacted me and we had written a few letters back and forth. For a little bit I pondered if there could be something there. I knew there wasn't really, but I let AB think there might be.

He spent that Christmas in Alaska with his family which I remember because he called me at my mom's house and I remember telling my mom, "I don't know why he called, we aren't together".

She replied, "because it is Christmas and he is a nice guy". Or something to that effect.

Sometime after that we were back together. Spring Break again arrived - this time JB (who wasn't with his girlfriend anymore), AB, Brian and Josh were headed to Moab. I had to work, AB knew it and it was a guy's trip. I stayed home again. AB came back with a short crew cut - ditched the long feathered look from high school. (About time.)

AB graduated and was job hunting. We had no idea where he was going to end up, and I was applying to grad schools my first time around. I chose high end grad schools - I had a mediocre GPA - there really wasn't a chance.

After a couple jobs making little to nothing AB decided he had to go to Alaska to work on the North Slope and earn real money. I was denied entry to the grad schools I selected and was facing another year working in skin cancer surgery.

The move to the North Slope was a tough one on our relationship. I recanted this with AB the other night, curious on his take as I was reitterating our first two years of our relationship. I didn't know where I would be the next year. He was unhappy in Colorado, but had a job offer in Alaska. I wasn't moving to Alaska. We made the mutual decision to break up.

We both cried. I remember going for walks sobbing. Both of us. I didn't want him to go, but I couldn't ask him to stay either. I felt I didn't have anything to offer him there.

AB recalls that he got to Alaska and had a week before his stint on the slope started. He got outfitted and headed up. He called me regularly to let me know what was going on. Regularly turned into almost nightly for those next nine weeks he worked. I was still smitten. But feared the heartbreak.

He was nearing his time off and he asked if he could come back to Colorado and stay with me for those 2-3 weeks of time off. So there it was, we were back together and that third break up - in two years - lasted an entire 11 weeks. If that really.

I flew up to be with him in Alaska for Christmas that year. We attended one of his friend's weddings and had a really nice time. I fell in love with Alaska.

And AB.

We started talking about our plans for the future. AB had been working and making very good money and we could suddenly afford to do things on his off time, like travel to go skiing. I made travel plans while he was up on his slope time. I worked at my job, applied for grad schools, then he would fly down and we would have 2-3 weeks of being together.

Finally I got my grad school letters.

I had to decide between attending at Moscow, Idaho and Reno, Nevada. I remember calling and trying to arrange a visit to Moscow and was met with such opposition, I became immediately nervous. It wasn't that they didn't want me to visit, it was that getting there, posed a difficulty and was expensive enough they couldn't pay for the whole trip.

This was a red flag for me. If I couldn't get there for a visit, how was AB going to get there? We had at that point decided that we did want to be together and wherever I chose to go to grad school, he would fly to. He was not stuck on Colorado and his family had moved to Alaska again. He would pay half the rent and utilities and we would live together.

I thought this a good compromise for my first year knowing I really needed the time to get established in my program and to study. During his time up there, I would study my rear off and work hard. Then I could slack off a little for his 2-3 weeks off.

I arranged our visit with Reno to coincide with one of his off times. We drove to Reno and then drove into San Francisco to visit JB thereafter.

Reno it was. I liked the program, the profs, the students. And we liked the proximity to San Francisco.

At this point we were back to being a couple and no more break ups ensued. We got through that rough patch initially. Then when AB was working on the Slope it became obvious that despite being broken up, we really did want to be together and not only that, we would work to plan our lives on the same path.

This was the corner we turned in our relationship that changed things for good.

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