I noticed Jon getting tenser this evening, as he texted more and more while we watched a movie. I was guessing it was Lora, who I haven’t thought too much about lately, between my exponentially more painful health issues and recent developments with Rachel and Jessica (I’ll get around to writing about it). Jon had mentioned a few days ago that Lora must have gotten the raise, because she didn’t move home.
So she’s still in the area and Jon is texting a lot this evening. I didn’t ask initially because it feels kind of fake to ask what’s wrong. The only times I’ve ever seen him texting and looking upset and not volunteering what it’s about, it’s been about Lora. Thus, asking “What’s wrong?” feels a bit disingenuous.
I didn’t ask.
But Jon eventually volunteered.
“Lora’s freaking out again,” he said.
“What about?” I asked.
He explained that he’s still trying to figure out what part, if any, he still wanted her to have in his life. Lora was getting tired of waiting, has been making it increasingly clear what kind of part she wants to have in his life, and is pushing him to get back together with her. This particular evening, she flung in his face how she was wasting her time trying to stay in his area, barely making ends meet, while she waited for him to get back together with him. So she was angry at him for waffling and threw in his face that she was only sticking around for him.
At this point, I interjected that I thought she was staying here because she didn’t want to move back to her hometown, and decided to stay in the area for herself. He agreed. Frustratedly. That’s what she said. He told her repeatedly to do what was best for her. That if he realized that he wanted a relationship with her, that could start up again just as easily from her hometown. After all, when they met, she was living hours away, and they made that work for over a year before she moved in with him.
“I think she’s angry and telling me that she’s just staying here and scrambling to make ends meet for me because she wants to hurt me, to throw something in my face,” he said.
“I think she’s angry and finally telling you the truth,” I said back.
He didn’t say anything back to that. So I told him that I had wondered if that was the case, but was also cognizant that bringing it up wouldn’t be telling him something that he hadn’t already wondered. And time would tell anyways, so there wasn’t any reason to get into it.
He agreed that he’d wondered the same thing and concluded the same conclusions. But he also added that he didn’t understand why she didn’t believe him about the distance not mattering. And then he sighed and said he didn’t really want to talk about it anymore. So I said OK, and I let it go.
But what I’m thinking is this: If I were in Jon’s shoes and felt the way Jon did about things, and I really wanted to make a relationship work with someone, then yes, the distance wouldn’t matter. But if I were in Lora’s shoes and handled things the way that Lora does, and I desperately wanted to make a relationship work with someone, and I sensed that they were waffling, I’d stick around and see if I could nudge that “maybe” over into a “yes”. Stay visible. Stay as close as possible. Woo for as long as I could, with the best possible behavior.
Right now, I think Jon deep down probably really doesn’t want to get back together with Lora and feels guilty about that. I know he still deeply cares about her. I know that they had quite a bond about some things. I know that she gave him things that I can never give him. I think he really misses those things, and misses the good parts of their relationship, but her abuse isn’t a price that he’s willing to pay, to have those things, to have a relationship with her.
I think that’s all really hard for him to look at. I think that guilt might be part of what is stopping him from making a clean break. Guilt for not being there for her. Guilt for breaking up with her. Fear that she’s going to think and say that he’s just another shitty guy who used her and then ditched her, just like her dad, like her other relationships.
I think Lora really expected that a few months of good behavior would win Jon back. I wouldn’t be surprised if she thought that she’d have moved back in with us by the holidays. I’m honestly not sure if she realizes that that simply would not ever happen, and that even if she and Jon got back together, Jon would either start spending nights with her wherever she was living, or move out partially with me and set up another apartment with her. I don’t think she understands that there is no future in which we all live together again and go on like nothing happened.
I think Lora’s running out of patience, and finally telling Jon the truth, which is that she only stayed around here to get back with him. Which he expressly and repeatedly told her not to do. And Jon is probably going to be pissed and upset to learn that that is the truth.
If it is the truth.
Either way, I do wonder if we’re moving towards a holiday-fueled blow up. Hopefully the last blow up between Jon and Lora. Maybe she’ll go so fed up with him not getting back together with her that she’ll do what she threatened after Burning Man, and move away and get a new phone number and never call him again, so he’ll never know what happens to her. And maybe Jon will finally come to terms with the breadth and entirety of his feelings about her, realize what he wants to do and make a concrete decision about it.
(and yes, I do hope that decision is “Lora is a toxic person, and I don’t want her in my life.”. That said, it’s his choice. I’ll process what it means for me, whatever his choice is, when he makes it.)
I’m not going to hold my breath about any of those things. I’ll just keep dealing with my problems, lend an ear when Jon wants to talk, and work on planning the joint Thanksgiving feast that we’re making with Rachel and Rob and inviting a dozen or so good friends too. Jessica and George are out of town for Thanksgiving, which is (I think) the only reason that Rachel, Rob, Jon and I are getting together. More about that soon. But I’ve come to realize, bitter-sweetly, that this is probably going to be the last holiday meal that Rachel and I plan together. So I’m going to do my very best to make it a wonderful memory for all of us.