Mixed Signals

He was so close behind me that I could feel him breathing on my shoulder as I cringed at the inescapable fact that he could hear my heart racing. He cut the tag that was hanging out of the back of my sundress and I prayed a million prayers to all the angels and saints while he was close enough to make those prayers a reality. Silently considering buying a new dress every time I have lunch with him.

I catch myself praying more now than I have in a decade. This man inspires me to wish on stars, pick all the four leaf clovers I can find and dig out my backpocket list of saints that are supposed to help me, purely because I’m Catholic.

“Tony, Tony, look around… something’s lost and must be found…”

Fuck you, Saint Anthony. You’re supposed to be the patron saint of lost things and I’ve clearly lost something I need. Way to ruin my faith, freshly. Get your saintly shit together and help a girl out. I’ve been patient and faithful. I’m willing to go to mass if I have to but I’d sure appreciate, not having to.

I heard a giggle catch in his throat and wondered what fresh malice he was dreaming up. I felt his fingers on my neck and I bit my lip hard enough to silence the involuntary plea he inspires. I’m constantly craving a million things from him and with the heat of those needs hanging heavy in my eyes, I don’t dare look at him.

I held my breath and willed my heart to slow down to a more silent thunder, when I felt him pull the ties at my neck, undoing my bikini top. I’m stunned and his fingers are lighting fires every time they graze me. He untied my sundress next with a hearty laugh and my favorite naughty grin.

I stood there, speechless with my arms full of boobs and loose laces.

Only wanting to make one request.

For the love of GOD Man…… if you’re going to take my clothes off after 7 months, the least you could do is start with my panties.

I retied the strawberry and black eyelet ties that were hanging at my sides and managed to swallow the words I had stuck in my throat. Painfully. Dammmmmn tempted to let go of it all in a high-stakes dare but if it’s one thing I learned after serving for years, it’s that they frown on nudity in the restaurant. Especially during lunch.

I’d lost my appetite for the sandwich that sat in front of me so I leaned in close to him, kissed his beautiful face and left.

I’m breathing through the millions of things I want to beg him for instead of resenting him for not feeling the same. I’m folding him away with the many regrets I carry in my heart because I’m not interested in feeling like I have to beg a man to love me when he has plenty of reasons to, staring him in the face.

Red flags that show up immediately are the universe’s way of telling you that you’re in the wrong place. All the desire in the world isn’t going to change the way he feels and I have learned too many hard lessons to keep repeating them while hoping for different results. That’s the definition of insanity.

So my beautiful salmon got away. It happens to the best and brightest of us. It’s why my best friend leans in and hugs me even more tightly these days. She’s squeezing me back together because we all know what it is to be shattered.

He’s the king of mixed signals and I’m a glutton for punishment, so I’ve stepped away from the intoxicating addiction to everything I ever wanted, wrapped up in one beautiful man. I’ve climbed out of the pool because I want to drown in every detail of him when he’s next to me and I have to save myself at this point.

I put new batteries in my headlamp so that I can at least end up with an immaculate vegetable garden if I’m not sleeping. My tomatoes are 6 feet tall, a month ahead of schedule. God and Mother Nature are kicking down some serious vegetables to remind me of what’s important.

I’m feeling better. I’m wading through Tinder trash and it’s making me laugh instead of feel bad. I’m breathing. I’m happier spending my Friday & Saturday nights weeding & knitting and proud of myself for having healthy reactions instead of moping or indulging in self destructive behaviors.

He didn’t break my heart as much as he reminded me to be more cautious with it. He taught me to speak up when I need to and to cry when I’ve run out of words. Even when it’s uncomfortable and especially when it clears the air. A little part of me will always hope he changes his mind but the parts of me he inspires the most are sick of climbing the walls, craving him.

I fell in love with an arsonist. He loves to light fires purely to watch them burn. That’s fun for a second but no self-respecting woman wants to walk around ablaze all the damn time.

So I made a very hot date with a cool drink of water and I am determined to enjoy my thirst being quenched more than I miss the heat of the flames.

It’s all you, Saint Jude.

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