After drinks with a friend a few nights ago I came home and sat for a while until the tipsy had all but drained out of me, leaving just an edge of loosened inhibition. I had checked to see if BiB had responded to me and he hadn't. That edge started in on me, poking at me to go ahead and pick up the phone. So....I did. He answered within the first few rings and we chatted for over an hour. It was the first time I'd heard his voice in over four years.
It was a nice call.
His accent was even thicker than I'd remembered. He seemed nervous to begin with, as was I, but he and I both loosened up over the course of the conversation. It wasn't long before I learned that I'd been right about some of the things I'd been contemplating for the last year -- he'd went on vacation where I thought he'd went, and he was with the girl I'd guessed a year ago that he was with. These things reassured me. Whether I liked knowing them or not (and the jury is still deadlocked on that!) it reassured me to know that when we'd went our separate ways the things I told him would happen, happened. I'd been right all those years ago. The MO that I'd predicted he'd follow? He did. The end result? I'd predicted that as well.
Small comfort. But a sweet taste just the same.
The rest of the call was reminiscent without delving in the past hardly at all. We spoke of what we were doing, not what we had done. I let him know that I thought of him as a good man (I do, especially with the benefits of hindsight, time, and emotional distance) and that I was glad to hear that he was happy. I even meant it.
HD told me soon after the call ended that he was surprised, that he'd believed that the fact that BiB "got away" was the thing that had kept him in my heart all these years, and that finding out he'd finally moved on would make it even deeper. I thought about that and to an extent he was right. Being let go isn't something I like and it tends to keep me hooked but I'm also old enough to see that desiring something and actually having it are different things. BiB and I had our moment and it was wonderful, and that moment is gone. That's just the way it is. I'm surprisingly close to being at peace with that.
One thing we discussed was a sweet bit of justice for me though. I made sure that he knew that I had not dated since my divorce. I could tell he was genuinely surprised. I recalled how he had decided to sever our friendship -- and why -- and telling him this was designed to remind him of what he'd thought would happen (I would datedatedate) and what has actually happened. It was pleasing to let him know that, contrary to his belief that he knew me very well, he didn't know me or could predict my later actions half as much as I knew him and his.
I imagine that I will see BiB and his girl come spring at the meet of our video game. I am hopeful that 30b will also attend. But I will enjoy seeing BiB's reaction to my tattoo.
I told BiB during the course of the call that I was tired of acting awkward and uncomfortable around him and that we needed to just stop it already. He agreed. Time will tell on this, though. He did ask me to call him again. I imagine I will.
Hm. I wonder if he told her I called?
Song: "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)" by Jim Croce. Lyrics here: