Our Story – “An affair of the heart.”

Posted: May 20, 2008 in Calvin, Drama, Journal, Memory Lane, Warm Fuzzy

I clearly remember the Holy Shit/Wow look on Calvin’s face when I kissed him. It probably mirrored the expression on my face when he kissed me back. Oh, it was lovely. Soft and gentle and perfect. But short. There was absolutely NO lingering once the kiss was over – my face burning, I high-tailed it back to the construction trailer as fast as my little legs could carry me. I just could NOT believe I had done that. I didn’t regret it – not one bit. But I was NEVER “that girl” – the girl with the boyfriend or husband who would put herself “out there” to other guys. I just wasn’t.

But, as I found, my feelings and reactions around Calvin were going to be a major exception to what had previously been my normal, predictable behavior.

As the months went by, Calvin and I continued to see each other at lunch. We would meet a few times a week and hit the nearby burger place in the bowling alley, or Teakwoods for some wings, or just hang out in the AcronymCo cafeteria. Our town wasn’t as monumentally built up then as it is now, so lunch locales were shorter on selection. But the place didn’t matter; it was the company we craved. Then there finally came a point when the construction company moved me from the site construction trailer to their downtown Phoenix office, as the project at AcronymCo came to a close. Calvin and I still conversed over the phone on a daily basis, but we both missed our lunches and seeing one another in person.

After a while I began to realize that I had developed a monumental crush on Calvin. It didn’t cause me dismay, more of the sense that yes, I have stronger feelings for him than I probably ought to, but there wasn’t anything I was going to be able to do about them. Still, the desire to be in one another’s company made us less respectful of our significant others than we should have been. Neither my husband nor Calvin’s wife really knew how much time we were spending together, either on the phone or in person. We didn’t make our friendship a secret; we just didn’t make it clear just HOW close we were.

My home life by that time had disintegrated to the point where I was looking forward to going to bed at night, so I could just have some peace from my (soon to be) ex and think about Calvin – what we’d recently talked about, how I felt understood by him, how I felt more at ease and more myself when I was around him. Calvin became kind of a foil – I already knew that my relationship with my ex was poisonous and unhealthy, but once I was able to compare him against a normal, kind man, my ex’s flaws became magnified and highlighted to an enormous extent. I think Calvin experienced the same kind of thing – the problems in his relationship with his ex, while well known to both of them by that time, suddenly became less easily borne when compared against a healthy friendship. Because, of course, shouldn’t spouses also be friends?

I can’t remember the circumstances leading up to it, or whether Calvin and I had a mutual day off from work or if we called out sick, but one spring afternoon we decided to go to the Phoenix Zoo together. We felt clandestine and naughty as we met for lunch, and then wandered around the zoo. He was supposed to be somewhere else, I was supposed to be somewhere else, but we both felt that we actually were where we belonged. Since the day in the MSB neither of us had initiated another kiss, but on this day we paused during our stroll, Calvin took my hands in his, smiled that lovely smile at me that lights up his eyes from within, and kissed me. It was our second kiss, and more heady and more passionate than the first. I had a split second to decide on the morality of the situation, and then simply gave up to my feelings. We drew out our day as long as we could, but we finished our tour of the zoo sooner than either of us would have liked, and suddenly it was the end of the day. I spent the drive home wishing it was Calvin’s face I was going to see when I walked in my front door.

Not long afterwards, the construction company laid me off. It wasn’t unexpected – as a construction project winds down, if there’s not another project immediately on the horizon, the “sundry” personnel tend to be let go. To be honest, I wasn’t particularly broken-hearted about it. My only (big!) concern was that I was the primary bread winner of my household, so I had to get another job as quickly as possible. I went back to the temp agency that had originally gotten me the job with the construction company, and lo and behold, there was a temporary administrative position open with AcronymCo.

Calvin being the manly sort, he didn’t join in on my happy dance, but we were both pleased to reconvene our daily luncheons together. In just a couple of short months my temporary job became a permanent one and I officially became an AcronymCo employee in October of 1995. Since we now worked on the same campus for the same company, in addition to our daily lunches, Calvin and I started meeting for morning and afternoon breaks in the AcronymCo cafeteria.

By early 1996, if you’ve been comparing the timeline of Calvin’s story with the timeline of my ex’s story, you will recall that my relationship with my ex was (thankfully) in serious decline. It may be difficult to fathom, but my feelings and friendship with Calvin really had no part to play in that decline. It’s hard to explain, but I wasn’t pursuing Calvin for myself. I was honest with myself about my (as yet unvoiced) feelings for him, but wasn’t intending to leave my husband for him, if that makes any sense. Calvin and I both continued to be supportive of one another, as friends, regarding our separate relationships. We both knew each of our marriages were impossible situations. We both knew that we each had to work it out for ourselves, in our own way.

There did come a day, though, after one of our lunches while sitting out on the patio at AcronymCo that I felt that I finally needed to say something to Calvin about how I really felt. It was after a particularly frustrating and saddening conversation, when we were both feeling discouraged about our situations at home and the continued difficulties we were having. I wanted to tell him how I felt so that he would know, and I would know he knew, that someone liked him for who he was. Someone didn’t want him to change. Someone understood him. So I took a deep breath, and began.

“I have something to tell you. And you don’t have to say anything, I just need you to know something. I just have to tell you, because, well… I just need to.”
“Um, okay… what is it?”
“It’s nothing bad, at least I don’t think it’s bad… I hope you don’t think it’s bad…”
“What is it? Just tell me. You’re starting to freak me out.”
“Well, the thing is, I… love you.”

To be continued…

  1. cariskicker says:

    OMG! 🙂

    Now this is getting good! 🙂

  2. Taoist Biker says:

    “I was honest with myself about my (as yet unvoiced) feelings for him, but wasn’t intending to leave my husband for him, if that makes any sense.”

    Actually, that makes perfect sense. I’d go so far as to say that’s an ideal approach to take – so ideal, in fact, that it’s almost never done in reality.

    Given your age and what was going on in your life, I am quite impressed that you had that degree of level-headedness!

    And here is where I turn my head and mutter “damn cliffhangers” again.

  3. Jen says:

    “but once I was able to compare him against a normal, kind man”

    wait. You just called (crap. scroll up…. Calvin. yeah. that’s it.) Calvin NORMAL?
    Even comparatively, I wouldn’t call him that!

    Okay, now I’m going to scroll back up and finish reading. I had to stop in my tracks at that line to post this comment.

  4. Calvin says:

    Wonder what Laura has been sharing with Jen that I don’t know about?
    I always thought I was being completly normal around you?
    Wait!! have you ever been over for a weekend of drunken cuzzi,rockband,naked twister,hairbrush karaoke and I did not remember?
    If so well then nevermind.

  5. Jen says:

    you married t…er…. laura. (man, this secret identity is hard stuff. No wonder Clark didn’t tell people.

    no way you could be normal…

    plus, i hear things 😉 And if what I’ve seen is you trying to be normal, your “normal act” needs work!!

    And trust me, you’d remember if I’d been over for twister, naked or dressed.

  6. Heather says:

    Has Jen seen the ‘Oingo Boingo’ Calvin video?

    Juuuuuuuuuuuuust kiddin’.

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