How Can I Miss Her…

Dearest Rachel –

I will occasionally wonder what things might have been like had our roles been reversed that awful day. After all, freak accidents don’t just occur to the risk-takers, or they wouldn’t be considered freak accidents. I went down that hill a few times myself – I even lost my phone during one particularly bouncy run, although I eventually found it inside of the tire, much better off for the experience than when I landed on it barely a year later – who’s to say I couldn’t have hit that tree with similar results?

You probably would have had a little more trouble dealing with the household finances, and for that, I apologize. I really didn’t make a point of showing you what it was I did with everything. At least, thanks to your parents, you and Daniel would have been able to pay everything that presented itself to you with no difficulty. I’d like to think you would have been champing at the bit to travel as much as I’ve been, although I suspect you would not necessarily have been brave enough to fly overseas on your own – even less so, given that you made it clear to me only after our train trip to visit your Aunt Ruth in San Antonio that you didn’t even like flying. Up until then, I had no idea. So yeah, Europe and the Caribbean probably wouldn’t have happened to you. You would probably have made more time for Suzy (which would have pleased her no end), but you would not have planted the urge to run within Erin. Things would have been very different, I suspect.

One thing I’m pretty sure about is that you would have wasted no time looking for someone else to fill your life with like myself. I remember explicitly giving you permission to do so (indeed, I think I remember putting it that I would be honored if you enjoyed married life enough that you wanted to continue it once I was gone); you never returned the favor. And while I think you appreciated the offer, your response was along the lines of ‘who would I even consider getting together with?’ The thing was, you literally had no attraction to anyone else the way you did with me. I was your first boyfriend, your one husband, your last romance. Why bother seeking anyone else out? And in fairness, I wouldn’t be seeking anyone else out, either, except for the fact that you’re gone, and you’re not coming back.

It appears that the rainbow community would claim you as one of their own; evidently, the ‘A’ in LGBTQIA+ refers to ‘asexuality,’ which supposedly has its own international day of celebration today. And before you point out that you were not asexual (believe me, honey, I know that), they would have considered you to be ‘demisexual,’ fitting you under the whole umbrella:

And maybe you would have found the flags to be somewhat appealing, as the only color involved (apart from the various shades between black and white) is purple. Or maybe you would have resented them hijacking your favorite color for such a purpose.

Certainly, you had a penchant for picking friends (not all of them, but a plurality of your closest ones) who would fall under the main umbrella. And really, when you come down to it, I find even ‘demisexuality’ to be no more than straight-up (see what I did there?) monogamy. The idea that such inclinations are the antithesis of ‘straight’ seems very odd, even to me.

But I have to admit, not having any desire for anyone other than myself would certainly preclude you from having to deal with the ridiculousness of the modern dating scene. I could get a couple country song titles out of my current entanglements, just by starting with the title line.

…When We’ve Never Even Met?

This applies to virtually everyone I’ve encountered online, to be honest, apart from the first one. When we both agreed we didn’t have that much chemistry between us and parted ways, I thought I could easily find someone else – after all, I’d been on the site for barely a week at that point. It’s couldn’t be all that difficult, could it?

Well, assuming you’ve been keeping up with these letters, you know how that question has been answered. Even the ones who don’t end up with their hands out, I never get the chance to actually meet in person. As far as I’m concerned, they might as well not exist; and as a result, I can’t bring myself to get emotionally invested in them.

And I’ve had to actually admit it to E.C., who contacted me yesterday after arriving back home in Pretoria. Right after greeting me, she asked, “Did you miss me?” which is what prompted the title of this letter. She’d only been silent for a little more than a day – and, being a Monday, one of my busier days. Why would I miss her after so little time, especially when all the contact I have with her is in text messages? If I’d been actually seeing her these past few Fridays, like I’d hoped for and hadn’t materialized, it might be different, but in the situation we have between ourselves, there’s been no face-to-face connection, so the emotional link isn’t there just yet. And that’s basically what I told her; look, I’m not about to lie.

I don’t know how she felt about my admission; she’s been silent since then.

…When She Won’t Go Away?

And then, there’s Ruby. I really thought I might have been rid of her after forcing her to actually meet me in person if she’s so all-fired desperate for the money to buy a dress and shoes in order to go to her friend’s wedding (as a bridesmaid, no less – who does that with only a week to go before the event?), only for her to claim that her uncle in Phoenix area had all but lost his house, and she needed to jet down there to help him out.

And yet, all throughout today, while I’ve been busy in meetings up at camp going over next year’s budget, she’s been sending text after text, asking me why I won’t respond to her.

It occurs to me that this would be a nightmare for someone with a nine-to-five job to deal with on a regular basis; I can barely stand this, and I’m certainly not going to bother reading these walls of text. Why flying to Arizona (and, evidently, Minneapolis, where the wedding is supposedly being held) is no difficulty for her, but a dress and shoes require my help to finance, I don’t know. And that’s assuming she’s even who she claims so vehemently to be. At this point, I’m almost of the opinion that even if she were real, she’s so annoying that I wouldn’t want to deal with this for another day, let alone the rest of my life. I haven’t the time or stamina to go through everything she’s written and knock it down point by point, and yet I’d rather not simply ‘ghost’ her, either.

The problem I’m dealing with now is, what would it take to get her to just stop bothering me? I don’t trust her any further than I could throw her, and since I can’t get anywhere near where I could even see her, I’m certainly in no position to pick her up and do so. But she’s insistent that we know each other perfectly well, and I have no idea how to disabuse her of this notion. I don’t need this kind of drama, especially from someone I haven’t met (and no, Ruby, we haven’t met, regardless of what you claim).

It’s not a pleasant situation, and I don’t quite know what to do about it – but whatever I do, it can wait until tomorrow, at least.

Until then, honey, wish me luck. I’m really gonna need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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