Dave and I spent the winter apart. It was the longest seven months. He was meant to come home on May 24, two days before his son’s birthday. But Dave was having the time of his life and I could tell from numerous phone conversations that he really didn’t want to come home at all. He had found a new home. We got in an argument on the phone, our first, when he told me he wasn’t coming home until June 8th or 9th. He had promised one of the guys there he’d fill in for him while he went away. I got annoyed. I asked him how he could miss his son’s birthday when he’d been waiting to see him for more than six months already. Then my phone ran out of credit and Dave didn’t answer my calls for the next day. I cried a lot. There were more issues than missing his son’s birthday. I couldn’t believe he wasn’t in a rush to come home to me. He backed off a little. It was a tense week. I soon realized that I had to go see him. If we were going to figure this relationship of ours out, we had to see each other face-to-face, even if he wasn’t willing to fly up to Buffalo. So I told him I was booking a ticket. And suddenly I had his attention. I had told him before that I would never travel and go out of my way for a guy again. It seems I’m always doing that. But I knew that Dave gave up everything for a woman and his family for the past decade, so I decided to bite the bullet. Besides, we needed to see each other. Once we saw each other, every single issue or problem associated with Dave finding a new home, our six months apart (at that point) and our own separate soul-searching vacations came to an end. We both instantly remembered the point in the first place, the agreement we had in November and our deep instinctual connection to each other. The fire of love was still alive, we had both just been distracted.
What was a few months in the grand scheme of things? That’s what Dave always said to me when I missed him from New Zealand. So I could only tell him – what were two more weeks in the grand scheme of things? I had asked him all the time from New Zealand if he was still coming home. He was having the time of his life. He would always say, that’s the plan.
Dave was coming home. He promised me he was coming home. He told me he wanted to get married when he got home. But he promised me he was coming home. A few days before he died I had told him that I hadn’t gotten too attached to him coming home yet. He got annoyed and amused and asked me why. I explained that he wasn’t on the plane yet and that I refused to believe it. Maybe someone would show up with a better job offer or he would decide he just couldn’t leave. He was very determined and he told me he was getting on that plane. He repeated it. He said he had to see his boy. He was getting on that plane. Dave and I had a joke that started early on when he blew me off for free beer with a friend. He was really scared to drive down to see me on his own. So every other time he promised to show up I would make a joke, asking him is someone was showing up with free tacos and pot. I knew he loved Mexican food. We laughed about that all the time. I explained to him that i hated disappointment, so I never got too excited about events until they were actually happening. He assured me he was getting on that plane. Somewhere deep inside me I guess I knew Dave was never coming home.
It still hasn’t hit me that Dave is dead. It does from time to time, a couple of times a day lately, but it isn’t a state of reality for me. I can think it. I understand it to some degree, but I don’t feel it. When it does hit me I am a mess. The hurt that comes with these moments is excruciating. But I know it hasn’t fully hit me, or dawned on me. I think I pretend to be someone else a lot. I think I pretend he was someone else a lot. I think I pretend that wasn’t my life. That this isn’t my life. I’m not sure.
This loss is compounded by Dave not coming home. I waited. I waited and waited. I was patient with him. I gave him what he asked for. I gave him what he needed and I know he loved me for it. I was just waiting for him to come home. I had seen him less than a month before he died. He had booked his ticket for June 15, a month after I came home from my visit to San Diego, a week after he promised me in San Diego he would come home. He asked if I’d be pissed if he stayed one more week, that was on the Monday. I told him he had to make that decision on his own. He died on Thursday. He never came home. I feel as though I’m still waiting for him to come home.