(the discipline of respect)

catch up on kate and i here, here, and here (and here).

it had been months, and i was unsettled.

when two people realize they’re causing one another pain without any intent to do so, and holding on to one another hoping that the universe will get off its ass and fix whatever was broken between them in the first place, then it usually takes the strength of one to call spades spades and suggest some real distance.

kate, knowingly or not, provided that strength to a lingering unhealthiness between us when we finally decided to cut off the communication and throw fate to the gusty breezes of the windy city.

“what i need is for you to leave me be, so i can find some peace.”

those weren’t her exact words, but when i cycled back into a moment that reminded me of us, saw something i knew she’d find hysterical, or felt the ghost of her presence in a place or a moment, what had over and over again become texts or phone calls or emails felt the tug of the leash that her request demanded.

a deep and warm love kept me near her during the long stretch of in-between-ness we endured.

but that period had to end, and she’d asked me to make that possible.

to stop forwarding warmth because its end result was pain and sorrow.

to stop hurting her, regardless of my intention.

and i did. for a long while.

but cold turkey left me blind to her. it left me curious and worried and speculating as to how she was experiencing life without me in it.

was she seeing things that reminded her of me?
was she laughing at people around the city and dumb mistakes she made, because she knew i’d find them funny?

did she miss me?

because i was seeing those things.
and laughing at those people. and laughing at myself.

and i missed her.

those things were running around in my head, and as i learned to deal with them, i worried that it might be hard for her.

i worried about her, and after years of worrying about her with the ability to be there for her, i was stuck to stomach my concern and to go about my day.

all the while desperately trying to respect her request to facilitate some healing.

to be away.

as time passed, so did the struggle involved in actively respecting our distance. here and there i heard bits and pieces as to kate’s health, happiness, and humor; from chalise and our other mutual friends.

a split had been made, and it now had a life of its own. we’d accomplished something that didn’t seem possible.

we had our own lives.

and when that was true…true and not fabricated to justify my decision…

…i made contact with kate and we made plans to have dinner…

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