Saturday, July 11, 2009

Opening The Vault: Part Forty Two

No matter how strong a relationship is, there are times when you’re unable to comfort your significant other. I experienced the frustration of that back in 1996, after my then-boyfriend Larry failed his CFA exam.

Equally upsetting -- the question of whether our relationship had somehow played a part in what had happened. Initially, Larry had been hesitant to get involved because he wanted to concentrate solely on the exam. Was he now regretting that decision?

I now Open The Vault and take you back to the summer of ‘96...

August 24th, 1996
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

The other night [at the East River Promenade], I disentangled myself from Larry’s grasp and sat beside him on the bench. He pouted adorably and I harped on his rejection of me earlier when he said he needed space.

Reassuring me with a hug, he said--

“I only meant it when I said it, and it was not my intention to put any distance between us. I don’t want to push you away.”

He said the exam results have made him reexamine how he’s spent the last six months. I was relieved when he said he doesn’t regret the time we’ve shared.

“Good,” I answered defensively, "Because I decided a long time ago not to feel guilty about this.”

Still, as I said that, I found myself questioning what might have happened had he stayed away from me.

Though Larry walked me back to my building, the distance between us remained

Larry spoke about how much more relentless he’ll have to be on the next CFA go-round (he put in about 500 hours for this year’s attempt). I said I will continue to respect his efforts and not make any demands of him.

“I know,” he said with emotion, “But I don’t want only stolen moments with you.”

“I’ve enjoyed our stolen moments,” I answered, smiling.

“I want more of them,” he declared.

Later, when Larry dropped me off at home, I told him--

“I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more use to you.”

“I’m much happier now,” he insisted as he held me, “I’m smiling, see?”

“I’ll speak to you next week,” I said tersely.

“Fine, be that way,” he said.

“Fine,” I said as the elevator door closed. I immediately burst into tears. It was the first time Larry and I had parted in anger and I hated it, especially since I wanted so desperately to ease his pain.

* * *

Larry and I would get past this setback, only to soon find the roles reversed -- and me needing his comfort to deal with a devastating revelation.

No comments: