How Gigi lost David
Isn’t it strange that Gigi doesn’t have one single photo of David and her together? Not one photo taken of them in the six months that they were in each other’s lives. Not as bad as Rose in Titanic, when she remarks that she doesn’t have a single photo of Jack.
“I don’t even have a picture of him. He exists now… only in my memory.” Once David left, it seemed as if he, too, only existed in Gigi’s memory. Gigi does, however, have many photos of David, taken before they met. She still keeps one of him on her Iphone, her favorite, one in which the side of his face is leaning against his hands, and it seems as though he is looking right at her, and smiling his smile just for her. It’s attached to the last phone number she has for him, because even more than a year after the last time that she saw him, they still talked on the phone twice. Yes, deeply buried somewhere in Gigi’s heart is the secret (or not so secret?) hope that one day David will come back into her life, and this time stay for good.
She still has copies of the CD’s she made for him, and oh so many songs that she cannot listen to without thinking of him. Some of her favorite songs too, darn it!! Gigi should really learn NOT to share her favorite songs with guys she is dating. Because when it all falls apart, as it inevitable does, then Gigi is stuck with a memory of that gosh-darned man every single time she hears that song. So when Gigi meets a new guy, she sometimes shares that song with him, hoping his memory will replace the past memory that is too painful to recall. Of course this only tends to make her hate the song even more, because sooner or later, it reminds of her of not one but two or three jerks!
All these memories of someone she met in her 40’s, someone who was barely her boyfriend for very long, if in fact he ever considered himself that. Even stranger is the fact that she hardly introduced him to anyone she knew, except for one of her girl friends. Gigi also introduced him to her sons, very briefly, when he came by the house to pick her up once. But Timmy and Shane never got to know David. Gigi wouldn’t let them meet the men in her life until she knew they were sticking around. This was after her sons lost contact with Daniel, her Canadian ex, whom her sons had considered to be their stepfather for 7 years. Daniel had said goodbye to Gigi on the phone like a coward, and never said one word to her sons. Gigi, on the other hand, still talks to Daniel’s children, even now several years later, but that is another story, and I am digressing.
Mary met David during the second week Gigi was with him. Her other girl friends certainly knew about David, yet I don’t think that they ever truly understood the importance of David. Maybe if Kelly or Susan had seen them together, they would have understood why Gigi couldn’t let go of David, why she gave him so many chances and waited for him to come to his senses for so long. Even David didn’t understand how important he was to Gigi, and after each one of their breaks up or misunderstandings, he’d ask her if she hated him yet. Hate David. As if. She’d as soon prefer to hate chocolate, and shoes, and clothes, than hate David. No matter what he did or how many times he left Gigi alone, she was never able to hate him.
Mary though. She seemed to understand. And Mary was the only one that Gigi could truly talk to about David. What made losing him doubly hard was that it came at a time when she and Mary had had a falling out and were not talking to each other. So basically Gigi lost the man she’d thought would be the love of her life, and one of her girl friends, all at the same time. And just like with her divorce, she had to deal with her heart break completely alone. At the time of her divorce, her two best friends abandoned Gigi because they loved Gigi’s husband Tim, and didn’t know why she was getting a divorce. They were never close again after the divorce. They had been her best friends in college and while she was married, and now, 9 years later, she barely talks to them. Mary, however, is a different story. She and Gigi resolved their differences after a terrible tragedy that happened to a mutual friend of theirs, and now Mary and Gigi are close again. Gees, still I digress. Is it because talking about how Gigi lost David is so very hard to describe and try to explain?
If Gigi should look in her diary of those six months and actually count the times she saw David in person, she’d be amazed at how low the number actually is. Especially for someone who colored her life the way he did, and even managed to pop into all the chapters of her memoirs already written. (Then again, Rose only knew Jack for a few weeks, and she never forgot him). All Gigi knows is that the morning that David left her (for the first time that is), she was physically sick for two straight days, having to leave work that very day in tears, just because one of her students had said he was thankful for his Spanish teacher (it was Thanksgiving week). How could a 7 year old be thankful for her, when a 41 year old had just practically broken up with her on the phone? She ran to the school’s office in tears, clutching her stomach, pale and shaking, saying that she felt so ill, that she needed to leave immediately. She stayed in bed for two days and for most of that weekend too, crying as though her heart would break. And that was the first of many tearful bouts, because he came in and out of her life for six months. David. The one that never truly was. The only one whose name Gigi cannot change in her memoirs because to do so would be to sully his memory and what he meant to her.
So what the hell happened? How did Gigi and David go from love at first sight and being inseparable for a whole week, to spending the next six months more apart than together? For the life of her, Gigi does not know. It wasn’t her. It was him. She was in love with David for a very long time. Part of her still loves him today, almost two years later. But something changed in David, and I am not even going to try and analyze why men turn away from the women they love. I do not want to generalize here and say that only men run away from love. I am sure that there are women out there that do the same. It just seems that, from my personal experience, and that of my friends and family, and books I’ve read and movies I‘ve seen, that it is men who do it more often.
If a man has gone through a harrowing divorce, is about to lose his home, and maybe his job, and suddenly feels as though he doesn’t know who he is anymore, then finding a woman who could have been the love of his life, suddenly seems like too much to bear. At least that is what Gigi told herself to keep going, to not go crazy with the whys and how comes invading her mind. She had to believe that David had loved her, but that he had too many other things to handle. She didn’t want to think that she had been the only one to fall in love. That it might just have been a momentary infatuation on his part. Because if that was so, then why did he linger in her life for so long? It wasn’t for sex, since that only happened a very few times in those six months. David never used Gigi for sex. It seemed to be her friendship and talking to her that he needed and missed the most. The sex he seemed to run away from. Whereas Gigi missed the intimacy the most. She was not able to handle just being friends. It was too hard for her to just be his friend when all she could think about were those hours spent kissing and making love.
That second week with David was so different from the first. It all began to fall apart after the first weekend spent together. She will never understand what went wrong. Even her diary offers no clues, and at times was left blank, as blank as her mind and heart in trying to cope with losing David. All she knows is that he seemed to change the minute she left his side, and he began to doubt himself, his feelings, and whether or not now was the right time for them to have met. The next day was a Monday, and they barely talked all day. They played phone tag in the evening. And then he said he’d call her later and he never did. Ooooh is that my biggest pet peeve EVER! Why do people say that, and then not do it? And Gigi? Well she made the classic female mistake of freaking out, and getting scared and paranoid, and called him too many times in a row. WHY do women do that?!
So the next morning when they finally talked (and yes damn it, Gigi had to call him), she could feel that something was wrong, and her stomach was in knots all day at work. She left as soon as she could to go see him, and it was the first sad night between them. Such sadness after such happiness. How quickly things can change, in just the blink of an eye. One minute you are ecstatically happy and so in love that you are blind to anything but your feelings of love, and the next it’s like you were bludgeoned by a sledge hammer, and you’ve lost the ability to see and think straight. One minute delirious with happiness and the next reeling in dizzy shock. Both emotions can blind one. Sometimes I think Gigi would have been happier if she’d never met David. But don’t let her ever hear me say that.
She went to his house, and he told her that they had to talk, that it was all going too fast, that he didn’t even know who he really was at this point in time, and that finding the perfect woman had never been in the cards. And women, let me give you some advice here. Advice Gigi has never been able to follow, not even after her fracas with David. Do NOT see the man you are crazy about too much those first few weeks. We can handle it, but they don’t seem to be able to. Even if he is the one asking to see you every night. Tell him that you have plans, unbreakable plans like doctor’s and dentist’s appointments, like funerals and visiting your sick relatives in hospitals, like organizing your shoe collection, color coding your nail polish, or alphabetizing your cans and spices. Make up something good and don’t give in. Tell him you‘d really love to see him, but can’t, and then don’t see him more than once or twice those first few weeks. It’ll keep him wanting more, and will not scare him into realizing that he is suddenly in a relationship. That he has gone from being a single bachelor to a very much taken boyfriend. And don’t even use the word boy friend or relationship until they bring it up first.
Gigi cried in his arms that night, hot, silent tears that ran down her face, as she begged and pleaded with him to just give them a chance, to not worry about the future, that she wasn’t asking for anything from him, but just to give their love a chance. He held her and kissed away her tears, and looked just as broken hearted as she did. He actually told her that she was everything he wanted, some day, when he was ready. Oh God! Why did David ever join Match.com? Why do men who are not ready for a relationship join an online dating service? Don’t they realize they’ll just end up hurting someone who doesn’t deserve to be hurt, someone who IS ready for a relationship? He finally agreed to give them a chance, as long as they took things more slowly.
And so began the second week, in which they didn’t see each other as much, but they still talked on the phone every day. Their phone conversations were always wonderful, maybe because there was no physical attraction to complicate things. David told her that she “got” him, that he didn’t have to let her in, because she was “in” from the start, so effortlessly. Gigi wasn’t the only one to call. In fact, she tried very hard NOT to call him, so as to make him miss her and call her. And it worked. It really worked. David called her as much as he had the first week, which made Gigi feel good, and gave her hope. On the phone, they could laugh and flirt and make plans for future dates. On the phone he could tell her things about his feelings that he couldn’t when they were together. He even told her that he couldn’t NOT call her, that at times he just HAD to call her, and that he saw how hard it must be for her not to call him.
She only saw him twice that week, The night after they decided to take things slower, they went to Gigi’s salsa club, and that was when David met Mary. It was the first time that they were out together in public after deciding to take it slower. There was no hand holding or even kissing. There was no making out or lovemaking. Gigi quickly decided that she didn’t very much like taking things slowly! However, she had promised to do as David wanted, so she refrained from being her usual affectionate self. They spoke on the phone every day, and four nights later, she went to his house. Somehow, despite David‘s resolution to take things slowly (Gigi’s appeal again?), they ended up making out heavily that night, only stopping short of making love. Gigi felt as though things were on the right track again.
He asked Gigi to come to his house a few nights later, and this time the making out session led to making love. Gigi’s heart soared with happiness. On the phone for the past few nights, he’d talked about finding himself and about missing Gigi. The conversations had turned playful, so making love suddenly seemed like the right thing to do, and it was initiated by David. The next night David called Gigi and as they talked about their making love the night before, he said that he had wanted it to happen, that he had felt right about them being together. He even revealed that he felt that what they were feeling only ever happens once in a while to people. He told Gigi that he liked having her in his life to call and talk to, and that he understood why she loved talking every day to him.
They made plans to see each other the next weekend. However, David was sick on Friday and cancelled, giving Gigi a twinge of worry. A twinge she ignored when she ended up going over there on Saturday, and spent the night for the first time since that first week. It was such a different weekend from the first one. Gigi held herself back, trying to gauge what he wanted or needed, which was so hard to do because David always seemed to change his mind from day to day. They didn’t make love that night, and she spent it as far from his side of the bed as she could (which was really hard for her to do because Gigi loved to snuggle in bed).
That seemed to work, however, because David was the one who came to her in the morning, while they were still in bed, seeking her touch and affection. He had spooned up to her twice that night and, in the morning said that she was just too tempting, and he ended up making love to her so passionately. Gigi was back on an emotional high, but it wouldn’t last long. It seemed as if every time that they made love, David would begin to withdraw emotionally from her. Because the next time that they saw each other, just a few nights later, it was another night of tears for Gigi. He was filled with doubt again, telling her that he just didn’t know how he felt about them. And this time it really was the beginning of the end.
For the first time ever, David didn’t call her for several days. Gigi was sick to her stomach and had to call in sick again, for another two days in a row, because she’d find herself crying while teaching. The next conversation they had on the phone was not very satisfying, and then he didn’t call again for another few days. And that became his new pattern for the next five months. He would be silent for days, and then he would call. They would see each other at times, but not in their homes. That had proven to be too dangerous and always seemed to lead to love making, which for some reason David couldn’t handle. This time he would not make love again to Gigi for three months. Three months!! For Gigi that was cruel and unusual punishment, the worst kind of torture ever invented, just downright WRONG!
They spent all of December and January as friends one minute, and estranged the next. David apologized for what he was putting Gigi through and told her that he wanted to always be friends (God, the dreaded friend speech). And then in the next breath he called Gigi his soul mate. Can you blame her for being so confused about him? They were supposed to only be friends, but at times would talk about the few times they had made love. Gigi had rejoined Match.com, one sad, lonely night, and when David saw her profile up, he didn’t seem to like it one little bit. He thought she had rejoined behind his back. Gigi just hadn’t known how to tell him that she had rejoined. But what else could she do? He was barely seeing her, calling only once a week or so, and Gigi needed someone. Someone to pay her some attention. Someone to get her mind off him. Not that she had any luck of course! Though she did meet Le’Ro and had some weeks of laughter until their huge text mess up!
David and Gigi saw each other only once in a while: once for coffee, once shopping for Christmas presents for his sons, and once when he came over to fix her screen door for her. Just friends. Not even hand holding was allowed. Definitely no kissing. In fact, the first time that Gigi went to kiss him (and she did it completely unselfconsciously), he drew himself backwards, and created a new crack in Gigi’s heart. How could someone who had kissed her so passionately for hours, cringe from a kiss on the cheek? They went to a psychic fair together, and not even the psychic that Gigi talked to could figure out David. She told Gigi that the man she was involved with was trying to find himself, and that a future together was possible, but doubtful.
The very next night after the psychic fair, they had a huge fight on the phone. All Gigi did was ask how she would ever know if it was all right to kiss him. Would he tell her? Would she never be able to try to initiate one? It was so unfair that it was all on his terms. What about what Gigi wanted and needed? He told her that being friends was not working out and he hung up on her. Gigi had a houseful of boys that night, for Shane’s annual birthday sleepover party. And Gigi spent most of it crying in bed. Which if you know Gigi is a very unusual thing for her to do at her son’s sleepovers. She was normally part of it all, because she was the cool Mom, and Shane’s friends loved for her to hang out with them, watch scary movies and go to 7-11 together at 2 in the morning for more junk food. She spent the night in her room crying and her sons both came in at different points in time and just hugged her and said that they were sorry she was so sad.
In February things changed again. One of Gigi’s best friends went through a terrible family tragedy, and Gigi realized how fragile and short life can be. She emailed David, apologizing for having expected more than friendship from him when he’d told her that that was all he could offer. She admitted that she’d been thinking of herself and her needs, and not his needs and wishes. This ended up bringing them close again. So close that they saw each other twice that month, and both times kissed for the first time in months. Those same passionate mind-boggling kisses that filled her heart with joy.
One night they watched a movie at Gigi’s house, and then on Valentine’s, they went out to a movie. Yes, Valentine’s day. But it was only kisses. Still it once again gave Gigi hope that maybe David would soon be ready. Gigi spent those entire six months trying to read David signs. Was he missing her enough to come back? Would he ever return to her the way he had been that first week? Did the fact that he still called her mean that they had a future together? Unfortunately David signs were very hard to read and interpret, and there was no guide book on David. No David book for dummies. And so Gigi had to muddle through those months, and probably ended up misreading every single sign.
Then came March, and with the arrival of spring came even more hope for Gigi. This time the kissing led to love making, which was just as wonderful as it had always been, and of course, inevitably made David leave again. March was the last time that they made love. Once was a brief romp in Gigi’s bed on her birthday, before they went out for dinner together and the last time was the following week, at a house that Gigi was house sitting. David even spent the night there with her. This time Gigi was prepared when he ran away. She saw him once in April when he helped her pick out a car to lease. And by May it was over. They said goodbye by phone, and that was that. Gigi never got her closure, and David remained a part of her for many months.
“Alguna vez sabras cuanto te amé, sí me ves llorar por ti” (Some day you’ll know how much I loved you, if you see me cry for you). Whenever Gigi hears this song by Cristian Castro she has to turn it off, or the tears just flow. After David there were many slow Spanish songs that she couldn’t listen to without crying. There is no sad love song that tugs at your heart strings like a Spanish love song. It’s as if the Latinos are experts in broken hearts and unhappily ever afters. The Spanish love songs plucked her heart strings like the plucking of that Spanish guitar. After David, she had to avoid certain songs, certain streets, certain places they’d been together. After David. It seems like so many times that phrase has run through her mind.
Out of all her adventures and misadventures in dating, only David ever made her cry. And cry she did, many times in the year that followed… Tears David only ever saw twice. When she cried, it broke his heart too, or so he said, which is why all the other break-ups came by phone. Only David broke her heart into tiny little pieces, and once that happened, Gigi lost a part of herself, the trusting part, the naive part, and at times she seemed to lose the belief that true love was out there. Anyone crying yet? Now do you see why writing about David was so hard for her to do?
Once David was gone for good, for the first time in her carefree, happy life, Gigi built a wall around her heart, promising that she would never let another man in again until he’d proven he’d stick around, that he was for real, that he was not afraid to love. To be fair, David did tell her many times that she didn’t deserve to be treated this way, that he hated hurting her when he left. Gigi’s friends thought that she was crazy, seeing her more soaked in tears than bathed in smiles. But Gigi couldn’t let go, not yet, not until months had gone by, and she realized that she was taking mere crumbs from him, and pretending it was steak. She finally had the courage one day in May (five months after they met) to tell him that she was not just another of his projects that he could pick up, putter around and tinker with, and then put back on a shelf until another day. She told him that he had to stay for good or leave and not come back unless he was ready. She told him that she’d wait. Not forever, but for a while. She had written all this in an email that she was about to send him, when he called her and told her it was over.
She didn’t hear from him again until September, when a new website she’d just joined said that David from Wyandotte was interested in her. It was his photo. Oh my God. Gigi’s heart jumped and flipped and in an instant, her hopes were raised. She called his cell phone, which was now disconnected. In a panic, she looked on the internet, found the number and called his father’s house, where David had moved to when he lost his home. David answered. And her heart soon plummeted when he said that he wasn’t interested in starting over, that he had never said he was interested. That was just the online site’s way of saying someone had looked at her profile. Gigi could have killed whoever made that decision on the site, that by simply looking at someone’s profile, it would say that you were interested, when all it really meant was that you had read the profile.
David was dating someone else, a long distance relationship, but said that he missed Gigi, and asked to be friends. Gigi began to cry so hard that she couldn’t help the sobs. She told David that she couldn’t be his friend, that it was simply too hard. She said that if she was ever in love with someone else, and could handle being friends again, she’d let him know. He called her one more time the next May, 8 months later, but she was on a date and couldn’t talk freely. Somehow, it didn’t hurt quite as much to talk to him that time. When she tried calling him another day, he wasn’t home and he didn’t return her phone call. Was that the end of David? Would he ever reappear in her life? Now that would be a wonderful new chapter, wouldn’t it? Would Gigi ever take him back? In a single fricking New York minute, faster than she could whip out her credit card to buy a pair of shoes that she knew deep inside would be pinching her toes and killing her feet in hours. Such is the power of David. Long live the king.