“June what’s going on with you? I feel like I haven’t talked to you in forever!” Chloe says. Because really, she hasn’t. She hasn’t talked to any of us much. I think she was afraid to because we’d tell her she needs to walk away from Gavin, so instead she walked away from us. Just for a little.
“Oh geez, I don’t know. There’s this guy Jackson who I’m sort of seeing. I told you about him. We talk almost every night and…”
“WAIT” I yell much louder than anticipated, “On the phone? Or like…text?”
“Woah there, no,” she continues “On the phone…”
“WHAT?!” Chloe and I both gasp. June is notorious for avoiding actual phone conversations. The only one she speaks to on the phone is her mom and sometimes dad. She barely answers if we call, instead she’ll respond with a text, saying she was in the bathroom or something and couldn’t get the phone. So the fact that she was talking to this guy almost every night on the phone was monumental.
“Yeah, I know right!?” She says “I think I really like him, I never talk on the phone with anyone!” she laughs.
“…Yes, we know.” Chloe says with a smirk, since even during college when the phone was the best way to keep in touch, June failed.
“So what’s the problem then?” Chloe continues.
“The problem is he’s younger. And he just got out of a long-term super serious relationship and I don’t know if I want to be part of that baggage right now. I mean I’ve been there, I’ve seen you guys, go through it; I don’t want to really be the rebound, or not even the rebound, but the thing right after that, ya know? I don’t know…” She trails off.
“Oye Vey” I mutter, “Doesn’t he still sometimes talk to the ex? It just doesn’t really sound like a good situation to me. He’s obviously not sure of what he wants, or even if he is, I don’t know if he’s really ready to make that choice ya know?”
We all say ‘ya know’ because we all do know, we’ve all been there. In all these scenarios, we’ve been there. We’ve done that, we’ve felt it. I know how he feels; I know June knows how he feels. Both of us got out of long-term relationships, and the two or three subsequent relationships we had, failed because our heads were not in the right place. So it’s not unreasonable to understand and sympathize with this Jackson kid. Although, as her girlfriends, we’re instinctively wired to dislike and question him, until all reasonable doubts are erased.
“What are you going to do?” I ask, a little hesitantly.
“I don’t know. I told him that I knew where he was coming from. And I didn’t think we should rush into anything. And that I wasn’t going to drop him like a bad habit, but we definitely should take it slow and cautiously.”
“Mature. Smart. Good” Chloe says – “And what did he say?”
“He said that he didn’t understand why I was so cool and understanding to him when he didn’t deserve any of it. UGH!!! He’s just so sweet to me, constantly saying the nicest things and what not.”
“What does he do,” I ask, amazed neither of us had asked this yet, since it seems to be the first question everyone else always wants to know about who you’re seeing.
“Well, that’s the other thing,” she hesitates, and we hold our breath, because this isn’t sounding good…
“He’s still finishing college. He took a little detour and got a little lost along the way.” She says in a defensive tone.
“Look June, I know what it’s like to sometimes take longer to get to your goal than others. I’ve seen many people get tangled up along the way and take longer to mature. So I don’t initially think that’s a bad thing…but I’d ask yourself A. how much longer does he have B. does he seem really motivated to finish it C. what are his goals for after and D. is he over whatever caused him to be so behind to begin with.”
“Jesus Dr. Phil!” Chloe snaps. “Look, if you like him, that’s not the ideal situation job wise, but I also don’t think that’s a deal breaker.”
“How often do you see him? This is the guy we met the other night at the bar on Essex right?” I ask.
“Yeah, that’s the one, I see him one to two times a week, sometimes more. He lives in Jersey, so it’s a little harder, even though the trains to Hobokes aren’t really that inconvenient, but whatever, I don’t know you guys, I really think I like him. It makes me a little nervous.”
And with that. Chloe and I shut our mouths with all judgments and skeptical comments trapped inside. If she’s opening up like that. Feeling that way for Jackson, we’re on board and will support it. She did seem exceptionally happy.
“Ladies, I have to go to bed, I have a long day tomorrow and lots to get done with this new promotion and stuff, you staying out?” I ask them, hoping they say no, because no one likes to be the one to go home when everyone else stays out.
“Meh, I don’t really feel like going home yet” Chloe says. She’s in advertising, pretty high up there, coming up with creative campaigns for Gatorade and other crazy lucrative brands, and doesn’t have to be at work until 10 most days. A definite perk of being in the creative field if you’re not a morning person like none of us are…she does work until 10 many nights though, so I guess the grass is only partially greener.
“I could stay out for a bit” June says. She’s doing summer school now, so her days are pretty low-key and she doesn’t have to be at her peak performance. She knows she’ll probably call Jackson later anyway and see if he’ll come see her.
Darn, I think, but oh well…
“Okay, well I’ll talk to you guys tomorrow I’m sure on g-chat or something. Have fun and another drink for me!”
Hugs and kisses and I leave them at the bar and get in a cab. A little bit lonely. A little unsettled. I begin thinking, what is it, why are all these beautiful smart women settling or holding out for these guys who just don’t get them, don’t appreciate them, and all too often, leave them. Girls go a little bit crazier every day, lose their minds a little bit more every day, chasing and clinging. But for what? To what? Too often we look past the ones standing right in front of us with outstretched arms trying to love us, while we’re trying to get the un-gettable and in the long run – forgettable. It’s the vicious evil chase. Too many girls thrive on it. Where does this cycle get those trapped in the current? This chase, this game of cat and mouse…it gets them broken hearts, it gets them poems strewn across cold wood floors – mascara and tear-stained pillows. Lost lovers. Cheating lovers. Missing lovers. Lovers yet to be met. Lovers’ regrets. The chase will never go away. The game will never go away. When will we just get so tired of the game that we quit? Forfeit. Its intrigue is phenomenal; a nearly impossible addiction to cure. Leaving lost little girls all over the world.
How will they find where they belong? Why isn’t there a road map to see more clearly which route to take? Just a little hint of a direction. A little clue as to where our knights in shining something are. We don’t need the keys to a castle, just a warm place to call home and a trusting hand to bring us, so we’re not always going alone.
*I’ve been roaming around, always looking down at all I see. Painted faces fill the places I can’t reach. You know that I could use somebody*