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Hayden came over last night as planned to watch The Bachelor with me and my daughter. His visit gave me some clarity and closure. Because of that, seeing him was the right thing to do.

The Bachelor starts at 8. He arrived later than usual at 7:15.

He gave me a big hug when he arrived and said, “It’s so good to see you.” As we walked up the stairs, he grabbed my hand and held it. He told me he brought refreshments. Once in the kitchen, he pulled a bottle of vodka and a bottle of juice out of a grocery bag.

I told him I also had beer and wine. I think he was surprised, as the last couple times he’d been to my house I didn’t have anything alcoholic to offer.

He opted for the vodka cocktail fixings he brought; I opted for beer.

We caught up for a bit in the kitchen. He told me about his recent atypical work days involving a specific client. It was all very pleasant, just like old times. When he asked me if I had a good weekend, though, I suddenly became irate. It was like a switch had been flipped. I said angrily, “Are you serious?! My weekend sucked. It was going to be our first weekend together and we had plans to go to the MOMA and Chinatown on Saturday, remember?” I saw the sadness and surprise in Hayden’s eyes.

The intensity at which I’d replied startled me. Whoa. I told myself to calm down. I then asked him sweetly if he’d had a good weekend.

He said, “Not really. I spent both days in bed.”

What? I asked him if he was sick. He said no but didn’t explain. Hmm. That’s… concerning.

We talked about his new bed and mattress, a conversation he’d had with his cousin, and other random things.

We took our drinks with us into the living room and settled onto the couch with my daughter. He rested his hand on my leg the entire 2-hour show, sometimes holding my hand.

I was strangely unaffected by his affection. The physical contact and affection was a little confusing, yes, but also soothing. What struck me most is that he obviously still cares about me but is clearly confused. The King of Secrets made his decision about us and still needs to learn to deal with the outcome.

After the show ended, I tucked my daughter into bed while he made himself a 3rd drink. I’d had 2 beers. I should note that he pours with a heavy hand and makes large drinks. He used one of my large glass tumblers and fills a 1/3 to 1/2 of the glass with vodka. He’d drunk almost half the bottle of vodka he’d brought.

My son sat in the living room with us while we chatted on the couch. I could tell Hayden was now a little inebriated. He was slightly slurring his words.

After he finished his drink, he asked if I would walk him to the door. I asked him if he’d like to call an Uber first and he said no, that he plans to take a walk first.

He had some difficulty getting down the stairs and fumbled with the door. He again told me that it was great to see me. I replied the same. He asked, “Can I come back again next week?” I said sure. I realized afterward that his birthday is next Monday.

He turned and left. I closed the door and felt at peace. I knew then and there without a doubt that the breakup was not about me. Hayden is struggling. I wish I knew what he was struggling with.

My heart breaks for him.

He may have depression. He may have anxiety. He may be an alcoholic. He probably has PTSD.

He doesn’t have any close friends as far as I know, which I find especially strange considering he went to a local university and is only 30. Normally wouldn’t someone still have lots of friends from college? He’s never mentioned any friends. Comments on his Facebook posts are mainly from two of his cousins and one coworker. Yet he has over 300 Facebook friends.

It is puzzling.

For now, I am okay with seeing Hayden once/week. I hope our visits continue to bring clarity and closure. I will continue seeing him for as long as I continue to benefit. I will decline visits if they start becoming too difficult. I need look out for myself first. I don’t owe him anything.

And I think seeing him only once/week will be good for the kids, too. The pace is more friendly, less boyfriend-y. We’ll further space out visits as warranted.

Jill has urged me to discontinue checking his OK Cupid online status. It’s hard. But the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced his frequent online status is an app bug. I’ve read several people’s complaints about its inaccuracy in my Google searches. And Hayden appears to be online at times it’s unlikely he’d be online, i.e. soon after he left my house last night when he was supposedly on his walk, early this morning before work, yesterday during his workday.

So I should take it with a grain of salt anyway.

Jill and I are going out for happy hour drinks tomorrow after work, then I have a date with the 31 year old guitarist back in San Francisco at 8. I’m feeling lukewarm about the date.

Tonight I’m looking forward to having a quiet evening to myself after the kids go to Mars’. I’m going to catch up on this week’s episode of This Is Us, work out, and relax with a beer.

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