The summer of 2012 was filled with so many highs and lows I honestly don’t even like recalling it, and the ratio of highs to lows was unbalanced in the wrong direction. John and I not only had to deal with the snail’s pace of the legal system, but also the uncertainty of love.
John had told me he loved me one night back in April, but after the accident failed to remember he’d said it or that he even felt it. He spent the entire summer wondering if he’d let ‘the right one’ get away.
And he didn’t mean me.
The old ‘running with scissors’ John was determined to make a comeback, and I was standing in his way. I remember one day he asked if he could borrow my car so he could go see an ex-girlfriend. He said he had some unfinished business with her and needed to see her face to face.
My immediate reaction was to laugh.
What nerve to ask to borrow my car to go see another woman, and had he forgotten how he looked! I looked him straight in the eye and said, “How about if I give you a ride to your place instead.”
Recognizing the absurdity of his request, he tried to explain. It wasn’t about seeing her so he could win her back but rather about seeing her so he could release the perceived hold she had over him.
I tried very hard to understand.
Finally, by the end of July John announced he wasn’t in love with me. I’d told him I loved him on his birthday in June and got nothing back in return. Since then, those three words were the elephant in the room; and it was time to face it.
We were having tea in a little shop in Benicia, and sitting right there with us was the elephant. I looked at John and said, “So are we going to talk about this”? His response to me was, “I’m just not feeling it, Loretta.”
Leaving the teahouse we walked hand in hand to the water and sat and talked more. As I sat there trying to think, the only thing I could hear in my head was Bonnie Raitt singing, “I can’t make you love me if you don’t.”
We said our goodbyes, and I drove home feeling numb.
Stepping into my little home on the estate where I worked, a part of me felt relieved. Looking around I gathered John’s belongings and put them in my car. Then I pulled on my rubber gloves, got out a bucket and some cleaning supplies and started scrubbing. For whatever reason, the simple act of cleaning clears my head and makes me feel better.
I was 53 years old, single and on my own. For about three years I’d wanted to move to Santa Barbara, and I figured that was the best time as any to make it happen.
Once the house was as clean as I could get it, I sat down at my computer and scoured the Internet looking for a new job.
The sooner I got away from John the better.