Wednesday, June 2, 2010

31. Logic vs. Emotion

"So, I heard Addam saying something to Dan about going to Iraq?" Stephanie asked over breakfast one morning. Dan was one of Addam's friends. We tried to set Stephanie and Dan up, but long story short, it didn't work out.
"What? No, he's not even in the Navy anymore, so there's no way." She must have heard him wrong.
"Well, while you were getting ready last night they were on the couch talking about it. At least I'm pretty sure that's what I heard, but I could be wrong."
She better be wrong. She had to be wrong.
"So, what's this I hear about Iraq?" I asked as Addam and I were lying on his couch watching a movie.
"What? Where did you hear that?" He wasn't denying it.
"Is it true?" I was positive he was going to say, "I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Well, I applied for a contract job over there..."
Before he could finish his thought tears sprang to my eyes. I had no control of them. I didn't even know I was crying until he reached up to hold my face.
"Baby, don't cry. Please don't cry. I didn't get the job. Yet, anyway. Please don't cry. I didn't mean to upset you."
Tear after tear, they chased each other down my damp cheeks before Addam could wipe them away. He was panicking. He had no idea I'd react that way. I had no idea I'd react that way. But all of the feelings of being rejected by Cayden came pouring back. I was completely overwhelmed.
"Baby, please tell me why you're crying. I didn't get the job."
He didn't know about Cayden. I knew I had to explain so he didn't just think I was a crazy over-emotional girl, but the truth was, Addam had patched up the peice of my heart Cayden had broken. And right then, the patch was ripped off and I was crumbling.
"The last guy I fell for decided I wasn't worth a long-distance relationship. I can't go through this again. I can't do this." I was waiting for the hiccups and gasping that would inevitably come with my breakdown, but my voice was completely steady, almost calm. It was like my entire body was numb, but I could feel the hot tears pouring down my face.
"Brady?" Addam asked as he continued to wipe my face.
"No, Cayden." I didn't want to go into the whole story because I didn't want to hear the words come out of my mouth. But there was no easy way to sum him up. He looked confused.
"Well, please don't cry. I didn't get an offer yet, and I'd only go if I got an offer from the same place my friend works at. So chances are really slim. So please don't cry."
Addam hated Texas. He hated his job. But he liked me.
Within the next couple weeks, he talked about it more and more. If he got an offer, he'd move there for a year, and he'd make four times as much money as he was making here. "I'd have enough money buy a house when I came back!" He was so excited about it. He went from saying he probably wasn't going to get an offer to hoping and praying he was. The more he thought about the money, the more excited he got. As his girlfriend, I tried to be supportive. He wasn't choosing Iraq over me. "And I'll get TWO two-week vacations while I'm there," he said, his eyes lit up. "And they pay for the whole thing! I could take you to Greece or Bali. I hear they have great beaches in Bali!"
"Addam, you're forgetting something. I don't get that much vacation time. I only get 10 days a year, and I've already used two of those."
"Don't worry, I'll visit you for a week and then take you somewhere else for a week."
Sometimes when I thought about it that way, it sounded sort of exciting. I'd love to see the world with Addam. But was that really doable? Could I stay with him and only see him twice a year?
"I know this will be much harder for you than it is for me. I'll be in Iraq with only men. You'll be here, surrounded by men, so I understand if you don't want to do this." He was talking like he already got an offer. No, I was going to prove that he was worth it. I wasn't going to give up on this the way Cayden did.
"We'd be able to talk every day?" I asked.
"Yeah, it's not like I'd be fighting in the war or anything. We could talk on the phone every day."
I could do this if I needed to.
One night at my parents house, my mom and Addam got into a big discussion about it. Mom knew how crushed I'd be if he left.
"So this is about money? You think money is going to make you happy?" Mom asked him.
Meg, my younger sister, scooted closer to me and said, "Do you think we should save him?" I shrugged. I knew my mom would be able to say things to him I couldn't say, because I had to be the supportive girlfriend.
"I mean, it's a LOT of money. And I'm not happy right now. I'm struggling to get by," he explained.
"But when is it ever going to be enough? OK, so you go there for a year and you come back and buy a house, but then what? You'll spend the money, and then what?" Mom was on a roll.
"Then I'll have money to go back to school to learn something new. Air traffic control is the only thing on my resume. I don't even have a college degree, so I can't do anything else. And I hate air traffic control." He had a good point.
This went on, back and forth, until Meg stood up and said, "So, let's drink!"
On the way to the bar I asked him if I should have saved him from my mom's lecture.
"No, I loved it. She had good points."
"Why do you get mad when I try to talk you out of it?"
"Because your mom is being logical. You're just emotional."
"And you're being?"
This was the first night Addam had met Meg. We went to Pappa G's, one of the only bars in the city I grew up in. Addam rarely drank because he wasn't allowed to drink 12 hours before a shift. I was taking the next day off work. I had just finished a big cover story, and I hadn't missed a day yet, so I decided to take a day to myself. Another perk was that for once, Addam and I would get to sleep in together. He was off work also the next day.
"Why don't you drink tonight? I'll drive. You never get to drink."
"Are you sure?"
Ten mixed drinks and a Superman shot later, Addam was drunk. He's usually quiet, a little shy around new people. But with his liquid-courage, he was on a roll. He and Meg were cracking each other up. I loved drunk Addam. Who knew he was so outgoing and so damn funny? He wasn't slurring his words or acting belligerent, just relaxed and charismatic. Oh, and affectionate. He was usually shy about public displays of affection, but that night he had his arm around me, he kissed my neck in front of Meg and her friends. I started brainstorming ways to sneak him alcohol on a regular basis.
When we left the bar, I asked if we should sleep at his place or mine.
"Mine's closer. Want to stop at the gas station?"
My eyes lit up. I knew what this meant. It meant he was going to buy condoms. I was so excited I pulled into the first gas station I saw.
"OK, but if you pass out before we get back to your place, I'll kill you."
We went in and picked up a box of Trojans.
In the car he held my hand and talked about Iraq.
"Babe, if I go over there, all I'll do is work and work out. I'll get in such great shape, you won't even recognize me when I come back!"
I pictured him looking like Ronnie from Jersey Shore and gagged a little.
"But that means I'll have to get in shape, too," I complained.
"What are you talking about? I love your body. It's perfect," he said, then moved the seatbelt strap and turned to face me. "You're perfect, Whitney. You're everything I always wanted."
I loved drunk Addam. Even if we didn't have sex that night, those words were all I needed.
Good thing, because he spent the entire night and next day spooning the toilet.

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