Tory dropped me a “we need to talk” text message last night, so I already knew that something was amiss. For all of our differences, and for all the shit I’ve been through lately, I like Tory, I really do. But I’m really just not in a good mental space to full on commit to anyone. Honestly, I need a reset. Nevertheless, when he called me and the first thing he said was, “well, I noticed that in the last few weeks, you’ve been kind of distant.” I immediately reminded him that Pete died 3 weeks ago, so its only natural that I’d be in my own head..
It all started when I asked him if he was dating anyone else the other day. He said that he is not. I told him that if he did, I honestly wouldn't be mad. Being the quirky and self-depreciating woman that I am, I sent him a link to a movie clip from the Addams Family that I feel addresses the kind of woman I can be in a relationship.
Apparently he thought the clip was more so an indicator of him being weak and sniveling and that I consider him some kind of lame for pursuing me. I assured him that the clip was more actually a testament to how difficult I can be to date. I acknowledge being a handful at my extremes, which is a big part of why I haven’t gone full throttle with Tory.
One of the things that I’d liked about Pete was that we could be fast and passionate and leave one another with no drama and no love lost. That’s how free spirits tend to be about dating. Tory was much more old school and steady, which I respected but I knew well enough to not move in a way that could eventually hurt him in the end. Pete also had more experience in long-term dating. He was a divorcee with a child who he was trying to regain visitation with. As much as Tory was well-intentioned, the fact remains that some things you just have to live through in order to fully understand it.
Tory went on and on about feeling that I looked down on him and his situation. I couldn’t believe it. I’d seriously gone out of my way not to pull him in to the abyss of my insanity, and here I was having to defend my actions and assure him that there was no “better” or “worse” between us, we simply were different in how we handled things and where we were in life. Buddhism has led me to not put labels of “good” or “bad” on people or situations. It either is or isn’t. That’s the bottom line. So with Tory and I, in my mind I was never “better” than him, nor was he ever “worse” than me. We genuinely just exist at different moments in life. In all honesty, I’m proud of him for his recent decent into pursuing his career and I looked forward to cheering him on. And who knows, maybe things could have progressed once he got more steady footing in life. The fact is that he wasn’t really counted out, I simply took a moment to mourn and simultaneously took a step back to allow him to work on his goals.
After our conversation, I told him I hope we can stay cool. He said he doesn’t know. He’s feeling rejected. Okay, so here’s real ass Malika coming through. I don’t have time to chase his ass down. I fucking broke into tears in class this morning as a colleague mentioned white people dying of heroin overdoses in the same area that Pete died. Like legit had to leave the classroom to pull myself together. I like Tory a lot, but I feel like I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. I won’t be pressured into a relationship with anyone. Especially at a point where my priorities are all over the place.
One of the benefits of Hajj is that he’s in DC so we aren’t expected to be under one another. He can do him while I work on me. I recall asking Hajj what he did on the night of Valentine’s Day. It probably sounded like a loaded question, but it wasn’t. In my absent mindedness, I honestly just inquired with no intentions of busting him going out with another woman. Funny enough, I didn’t even realize the implications of the question until he hesitated before answering. He then responded that he was going to a concert with “some friends.” Needless to say, my bullshit meter went into overdrive, but I get it. He wasn’t going to tell one chick he digs that he was going out with another woman on VDay. But it was cool. No love lost. Do you, homie.
While at work yesterday, the song “Cheaper to Keep Her” by Johnnie Taylor played on the overhead. I talked to a customer about the song and said that one of my favorite song lyrics ever is
“You didn’t pay but two dollars, to bring that little girl home.
Now you 'bout to pay two thousand, just to leave her alone.”
The customer laughed and said he completely understood. I took the moment to ask him about my Tory situation, recalling the whole “perfect boyfriend vs. fear of a failed marriage” with him. The customer then mentioned something I’d never really thought about- how much autonomy is involved in dating, versus the complete combining of lives in marriage. He said that my fears were valid and that I was making the wise decision to stand still before we became toxic.
So here we are. I’m going to be honest here. I’m going to allow him to bow out. I don’t have the desire or the energy to chase down a relationship that I never really fought for to begin with. I graduate in 55 days, I need a job, and I have other things to worry about. I like Tory and I wish him the best. But I’ve never been one to be pressured to go against my gut. I wish Tory peace and light. But yeah homie, good luck with that.