The rest of the week went about the same. We imagined our future lives in different houses along Preston and Mockingbird. I left Cayden at various Starbucks where he spent hours planning and drinking coffee and planning and working and planning. I swore he had an Excel document to map out every month of his life for the next 10 years. And maybe mine. We spent our nights cooking healthy-ish dinners and going to the gym and watching our favorite shows together (Suits, Jersey Shore).
But all week I felt guilty. And the guilt built and built as the days passed. I felt guilty that I had to leave him for 9 hours a day. I felt guilty that I couldn't give 100 percent at work, no matter how hard I tried because I just wanted to hurry home to be with Cayden. I felt guilty that I kept turning down my coworkers' lunch invitations. It just wasn't fair.
"Oh, but you'll have all weekend together before he leaves," people said.
No. I didn't. My best friend's bridal shower was Saturday afternoon, so I'd have to abandon him somewhere else for four hours. I was a bridesmaid in the wedding, so there's no way I could skip it. And Shana is one of my best friends from high school. I had to be there.
I'd already promised Colbie we'd drive out to her house, about an hour away, for a hot tub gathering Sunday night. I'd already rescheduled with her a few times, so I couldn't blow her off again. She'd just gotten married and I wanted nothing more than to take Cayden out to their cute little house on their huge, sprawling ranch to have a couples night with her and her husband. It was so Texas.
We'd only spent a half an hour with my family while Cayden had been in town, that Friday, right after his plane landed. I was running out of time to have family time, bridal shower time, friend time and alone time with Cayden. I'd struggled with it before, but for some reason, during this visit, it hit its peak. I couldn't stand it. It put me in a bad mood.
I wanted to quit my job and run away to a deserted island where I could have Cayden all to myself for as long as I wanted. I wanted to cry. I wanted to turn off my phone. I wanted to turn off my alarm clock. I wanted to kick people.
For a moment, I understood why long-distance relationships didn't always work. How much easier would my life have been if I hadn't met Cayden that night at the bar? Would I have met a nice guy who lived around the corner? Would I have been a better girlfriend who didn't forget to call on the weekend until it was too late and he was already cozied up in bed? Would I have been a better friend who didn't blow my friends off for weeks at a time every three months? Would I have been a better employee who went to lunch with my coworkers and came to work early and stayed late?
But then I realized, that doesn't matter. None of that does. I don't want a guy who lives around the corner because he's not Cayden. I wouldn't know what real, true, passionate love was if not for Cayden. I'd still be an anti-romantic, bitter that all of my friends found their someone, which would make me a shitty friend. I'd be a workaholic with a shrinking bank account balance and a growing waistline thanks to daily lunch outings.
My life is 100 percent better with Cayden in it, but it will be 1,000 times better when he's here for good. Meeting Cayden is the greatest thing that's ever happened to me, and it changed me in more ways than I can count. Thinking about our future is what gets me through the present.
But for all of you out there in close-distance relationships, please please please appreciate what you have. Next time you have a fight about something stupid, be grateful that he's there to have makeup sex with and then fall asleep next to you. Next time you go see a movie together, think about how many couples have to have their "movie dates" via webcam. And next time you're crying from writing or reading a blog post, be grateful for the fact that he's there to wipe your tears.
I'll be wiping my own tonight.