Between kabob and sumac
I am the lucky one
December 1, 2004
The words rang through the receiver clearer than any sound my
free-with-these-20-rebates cell phone had ever picked up..."Did
you know he's engaged?"....an awkward silence ensues..."Oh
wow, you didn't know? I'm so sorry...I figured you knew..."
lunch isn't so appetizing anymore. Not sure if I ever want
to go to Moby Dick again… great food, bad memories.
It makes sense that she would think so, I mean, I talk to you
at least a couple times a week...and I understand when you call
me from the office, or on your way to work...never from home though.
figures," I manage to squeak out... trying my hardest not
to crumple to tears in my koobideh lunch at the local kabob shop... "It
was just a matter of time," I say off-handedly, hoping the
bland tone voice will deceive the volcano of emotion that's a erupting
I guess I should have known better... you were seeing me and her
for about a month when we first "dated." Wasn't until
I questioned not seeing you enough that you finally admitted there
was something else going on. "I just... have some things...
I need to tie off. But I WILL tie them off... I want to be with
more than anything..." REALLY? OK, fair enough. I am human.
Heaven knows, I know complication and complexity more than I care
But it didn't work out that way. Things were more complicated,
you see. So I went on with my life... always knowing in the back
of my mind, that once this thing was "tied off" we'd
of course be together, because that was how it was meant to be.
No pressure... you date someone else, and so will I. You'll drunk
call me after Wednesday's Boys Night Out to tell me you'll "never
really be happy" and you read me poetry I know full well was
not written for me... but I giggle when you slur.
I even remember the first time I knew I loved you.. .it hit me
all at once... from friends to something so much more... "There's
nothing else in the world I was born to do, but be a husband and
a father, that's it, that's what I am here to do." Done. You
It makes sense when you think about it. She's a teacher, your
best friend's cousin... I'm a high powered executive propelling
my way into law school... probably not as good on paper for the
khoresh cooking would-be mother of your children. But
when I looked at you, when I heard your voice, there was no where
else I wanted
to be than right there.
I kept my distance... bad enough that I
adore another woman's man (and a Persian sister at that -- I
found out much later, ouch). I cannot see you. No, you can't take
out for my birthday. And I will call you on yours, but we'll
never actually schedule anything. It would be too hard... I would
it too much to let go over and over again.
So I take the news of your impending
nuptials... I cannot form the words to speak... so I ask... "How
is engagement treating you?"... 8 hours later... almost 1
a.m. I get the text message back:
"I wanted to tell you, I just didn't know how... SORRY" And
I wonder... does she even know I exist? Is she there in bed sleeping
while you make a quick bathroom trip to explain yourself to me?
Don't explain. I just want you to be happy. Go back to bed.
All this time, I thought I was the scared one. The one who's
been too hurt to let you in when you offered the key to my heart.
I pushed you away... you pushed back with warmth and laughter I
couldn't resist. You lit me up, and by the time the flicker had
set off in my heart, it was a moment too late and a lifetime unknown...
could not have expected you to wait, but I didn't expect you to
ask me to hold onto a mirage... only for it to be shattered by
lies... Well, is it a lie if you just don't tell the whole truth?
You sent me
those pictures… from the beach vacation you took… I
find out later, with her… and her family? Yuck dude.
Now I know, without a doubt, that I am the lucky one. I am not
the one in my bed, fast asleep as my fiancé texts his "BabyJoon" about
how he wishes he could "explain" me.
I am not the one teaching children to read while he spends his
workday slyly making calls he cannot make at home. And I realize,
looking back, this man is not the man I am destined to be with,
but the lesson I was destined to learn.
I tried to let you go, over and over again, and
you always came back... why?
And in one second, it hits me -- like a moral police officer
educating a girl in Tehran that her skirt is too short --
not the scared one. I had faith, blind faith, I grant you, but
faith nonetheless. And you, you were always a coward.
I am done now. Could you please pass the sumac?