I was relaxing, bathing in the pink bathtub of my West Hollywood apartment, excitedly talking on the telephone with David. He had told me he loved me as we sat on a rooftop while the New York skies began to rain upon us. I had yet to reciprocate a response utilizing those eight letters that make up those three words.
Instead, I was on the telephone, thousands of miles away, asking him how he could be so certain about me, about us – how he knew I was “the one,” how he knew that he was in love with me. Needless to explain, I was quite the skeptic at the tender age of twenty-five. Though I knew in my heart that I, too, was madly in love with this twenty-one year old from New York, I was scared as shit! Foreshadowing, again? Perhaps, I’ll never know.
While I eventually verbally returned the coveted sentiment of love, it wasn’t until David uttered six other words that I was certain about him, about us.
“I don’t fuck with peoples’ lives,” David matter-of-factly declared verbatim.
And I believed him with every ounce of my being. As the water from the tub whirled down the drain, that statement became the world to me – it meant that David and I could happily sustain a long distance relationship for as long as we saw fit. It meant that I could pick up the last eight years of my life, my home, and move it across the country. That declaration substantiated what I was already feeling in my heart – David was the one.
I took those six words with me throughout our relationship and I silently repeated them to myself whenever I found myself beginning to doubt David’s less than ideal actions or intentions. They were powerful – short but packed with so much influence, they would often justify what can now be perceived as a lot of bullshit. Hindsight is a motherfucker, aint it?
Three years after David offered up his word that he did not fuck with peoples’ lives, he sat on the floor of what was once our bedroom scarcely trying to convince me that he never wanted any of it – the marriage or the commitment. Around the moment that he stated that he was only doing what he thought was the “right” thing to do, my face was flooded in tears.
“What happened to not fucking with peoples’ lives?” I abrasively asked him, cutting him off and placing angered emphasis upon each syllable.
My mind was spinning. Within seconds, I was back bathing in the pink tub, on the telephone, followed by lying in David’s bed of his shared Williamsburg apartment. He was asking me to move to New York, to move in with him. Finally, I was in a stark white hotel room in Las Vegas, him on one knee, proposing for the umpteenth time with one of the most beautifully sincere, impromptu speeches I have ever heard.
I hastily repeated myself as the brash silence between us thickened with sorrow, “What happened to not fucking with peoples’ lives, David!”
I would never receive a response because he knew and I knew that it wasn’t true. He wanted all of it, as did I. He wanted to be the husband that I deserved, but he wasn’t strong enough to work toward it, to meet me halfway.