I really don’t know if I was ready for that.
I’m still kinda trying to process everything, I guess. I got totally blindsided at work yesterday… Lots of old shit came rushing back, and I’m still figuring out how I’m gonna deal with it.
Hope decided to show up at the restaurant out of the blue. No warning at all. Nothing. She was doing a shoot a few hours away and wanted to surprise me, I guess. And boy, did she. I know we’d been talking more and more lately… But honestly part of me still wondered whether I’d ever see her in person again. I never expected her to just show up like that.
Next week would have been exactly one year since the last time I saw her. That night when we made love one last time, and I fell asleep holding her in my arms… For the longest time, that’s been the last memory I had of her. It was one I held onto… Probably for longer than I should have. I’ll admit that.
But now it’s been replaced with a new memory — seeing her sitting there across from me, so beautiful and happy and perfect and… God, it killed me.
I was so ready to walk into my appointment with Dr. Hall and just talk about the restaurant and vent about Greg a little… Instead, it felt like one of our sessions back when we first started. I was a fucking mess. I did so well when she was sitting there in front of me. But as soon as she left, I just… I couldn’t handle it.
Being friends with her never really seemed like a problem until now… I guess having her halfway across the world just made it so much easier. Thinking about her didn’t make me so damn depressed anymore. Not the way it used to. I didn’t spend every second of the day missing her.
I’d even gotten used to seeing her face staring at me from all those billboards and magazine covers. After the first few months, I’d see those ads and I wouldn’t feel sad anymore. I was proud. I was happy for her. I thought I was finally getting over her.
But seeing her in person was so different.
I dunno. I had a hard time explaining it to Dr. Hall too. It’s like, ever since she left, Hope’s been nothing more to me than old memories and photos in a magazine. It was like she wasn’t ‘real’ to me anymore. She became this… abstract thing, I guess. The ‘idea’ of Hope, or something.
And I guess getting used to the idea of Hope made me almost forget just how much I missed the real one.
But God, do I remember now.
I still love her. I still miss her. And no matter how hard I try, it seems like those feelings will never really go away. But do I even want them to? I don’t even know anymore.
My appointment with Dr. Hall went a lot longer than it should have… I’m glad he didn’t have anyone scheduled after me. I just had so much to get out of my system, I guess. And when it was all over, right before I headed home, he left me with a question. One he told me to really think about.
What’s my actual goal with Hope? What am I trying to accomplish? What was the point of trying to better myself? To get over her? Or to win her back?
I used to think I knew the answer… But the more I think about it, the more confused I feel.
It’s just a lot to take right now. Last night was really rough for me. I tossed and turned for hours thinking about it. It really sucked.
Today was better though. Being back at work helped a lot… Or it took my mind off things for a while, at least.
Greg stopped by this afternoon to check in and ‘have a chat’ (as he likes to call it). He didn’t stay for very long, but the bottom line was that our numbers are really great right now, but he has some ‘adjustments to the menu’ he thinks we should make. He didn’t really go into detail, but he promised we’d ‘talk it over soon’…
Ugh. I know exactly what ‘talking it over’ means. He’ll give me his stupid salesman pitch and talk me into agreeing with him… And I won’t realize I should have said no until it’s way too late. That’s the way it always seems to go with him.
I didn’t want to tell Hope about all the stuff going on with Greg because I didn’t want her to worry about me, y’know? That’s not her job anymore. But if there’s one good thing that came out of seeing her again, it was being reminded of just how strong she is. She’s a fighter. And she always pushed me to be one too.
I was thinking today about what she might have said if I did tell her the truth. I thought about what kind of advice she might give me… And I realized it’d be the exact same thing grandpa and Tante Joce have been saying for months now. The same thing I’ve been telling myself too — I need to start standing up to Greg.
I guess I just don’t know how I’ll find the courage to follow through with it.
I mean, brave and strong is the exact opposite of how I’m feeling right now. Hope was always the strong one, not me. I was so pathetic and weak. And the way I felt when I saw her last night just proved it…
Ugh. No. No more of that shit. I’m sick of letting myself be so miserable all the time!
The more I’m thinking about it, the more I’ve gotta keep asking myself — What good will it do to sit here and fucking wallow?
None. It never did. All it’s ever done is make things worse. That’s something Dr. Hall helped me figure out a while ago… And it’s something he reminded me of last night. He always tells me I can’t change the past, and I can’t change anything about what anyone else says or thinks or does. The only person I can control is me.
So you know what? Fuck it. I’m taking control.
I didn’t make it this far with the restaurant by sitting around feeling sorry for myself. And I can’t sit here and let myself wallow about Hope either. Or Greg. Or anything else. Nothing will ever change if I do. I’ll never figure out what to do about Hope. I’ll never grow a fucking spine and stand up for myself. I’ll never be able to move forward with my life.
Not unless I do something about it.