“Why are you hugging me like you’ll never see me again,” Korey said after one of our award-winning dates. We had just spent the night dancing to Questlove’s spinning and spent the wee hours of the morning spinning in the sheets.
Korey and I had been exclusively dating for six months and I liked him…a lot. There was one problem though…Korey wasn’t a stand up guy, though he tried to be one…kinda.
He’d been to prison before for drugs and gun possession and was literally a product of the streets. I wanted to save him. I realize how stupid that was now, but when I was loving on that man, I was happy. Or pretended to be. When Korey not so playfully clapped both of his hands against my cheeks and pulled me into a kiss, I was shocked. The sting brought tears to my eyes.
But I shrugged off his aggression as a disadvantage to his personality mostly because it felt like my eyes would exhale every time I looked at that chocolate hunk of a man. I’m shallow sometimes, sue me.
Each and every time we parted ways, I would hold him like we were that couple in the airport in a romantic comedy, hugging and kissing and regretting that we had to leave one another. This time around, I was headed home to North Carolina for a week to visit family. I knew that I wasn’t going to be seeing Korey for at least two weeks because when I got back, he was going on vacation, so I held him much tighter and much longer than I ever did. “You’re coming back babe,” Korey said as he pried himself from my grip.
“Yeah, I know, but…” I trailed off. I didn’t know how to finish this sentence without sounding desperate. Here’s the thing I hate admitting: Somehow, some way, the men I date seem to vanish into thin air as if they’ve been interning for Siegfried & Roy.
I know that at times, I get a bit intense, but I’m never crazy. I’ve watched some of my closest friends date a guy, become stage five clingers within the first couple of weeks and lose him like he was never there in the first place. I made it a point not to be that girl. Just like any girl, when I like a man, I want to spend time with him. But, because my career keeps me busy, that’s not always easy. Basically, I don’t have the time to be clingy. But when I really like a dude, I have clinger tendencies; which is why I was holding on to Korey like he was a tree and I was a Koala bear.
“But, what?” Korey flashed his 1000-watt smile. He grabbed my chin, lifted my mouth up to his and kissed me. “I’m gonna call you and I’ll see you when you get back,” he headed towards the door and for a split second, I caught a weird look in his eye. It was a uncomfortable mix of pity, concern and hesitance.
“Miss you,” I said, grabbing his hand, letting each finger leave my grip one by one, until I was left with his pointer finger in my hand. I tugged on it and pulled him back in for another kiss. Without hesitation, Korey kissed me deeply. I lifted up on my tip toes, losing myself in his pillow-soft lips. “Bye babe.”
The door slammed. “Bye?” I questioned, resting my back on the door. “He never says bye.” That three letter word plagued me the entire evening. And continued to plague me when I texted him later that night to no response.
The next morning, I boarded my flight, texting Korey one more time before turning off my phone. “I’m taking off. I’ll call you when I land.” PHONE OFF.
I landed, turned my phone on and lit up when I saw a message from Korey, “Have a safe flight.” That was it. No exclamation point. No “babe,” no context. SMH. I try not to read too much into texts, but I’m a girl! Of course I read into it. My stomach stayed in knots my entire trip home. Every noise my phone made, I rushed to it, thinking it was him. Four days into my trip, I decided to give him a call. He didn’t pick up. I felt like I was in a tunnel. I couldn’t hear clearly. I wasn’t seeing properly and my vision was fixed on making sure Korey and I were ok.
I texted Korey, “Hey sweetie. Hope you’re well…” No, that’s not going to work, it sounds too formal. I deleted the message. I went to call him. No, that’s not going to work, either. I called him already and he didn’t pick up. “Maybe he’s busy?” my mind chimed in. So I waited another two days and then I texted, “Missing you.”
He responded 20 minutes later. “Same here.” I wanted to throw my way-too-expensive phone across the room. Why are his texts so damn elusive?! I decided to stop worrying over him and enjoy my time with my family. I would worry about Korey when he’s worried about me! Hmph!
Once I got back to New York, I tried to reach out to Korey, but I would either go straight to voicemail, ring once and then voicemail or no answer at all. So I tried the only other way of contact I had–I emailed him. I waited days, then weeks and then a full two months before I finally decided that Korey was done with me and way too much of a punk to tell me so.
So I did what any confused chick would do–I asked my guy friend why my boyfriend disappeared on me without a word?! His advice? Either he just wasn’t that into you, he saw something in you he didn’t want to deal with or the relationship he was dealing with before or during you worked out in his favor. All of these options weren’t computing for me. But guys are indeed simple that way. And assholes that way. He could have at least told me.
I thought Korey and I had something. Granted, it was only a few months of honeymoon bliss, but we were consistently dating. So if he wanted out, he could have just told me, right? Wrong! My friend explained that often times men choose to retreat, rather than tackle their issues head on, especially if that issue is a woman they have to cut off. “You know women don’t handle things well!” My homeboy laughed. “Korey probably sensed that you were intense and in his retreat, decided to save himself,” my homeboy said as if it was the punchline to his awful joke.
While this wasn’t at all funny, I could see why Korey decided to break up with me by disappearing, but I thought we had something better than that. That’s the type of breakup actions you take with a jumpoff, right?
I told you it was hard for me to keep a man. And this wasn’t my first time dealing with a disappearing act. It’s been over two years and I still wonder why Korey never manned up enough to tell me he wasn’t that into me. Rejection hurts, but this is was a brand new kind of rejection. This was like waiting for someone to be a part of your life when they’ve already opted out. That’s painful.
Why do men disappear? Why did mine? I’m sure he did me a favor.