I sat there, looking at the text on my phone, and thought to myself, "One of us has to let go before someone literally gets killed..."
We had been friends for years, dated in the 90's and, as is my habit, Actor and I stayed friends long after that part of our relationship was over. For all the years I lived in LA, he'd been in New York City or Minneapolis and now that I moved to Florida, he'd relocated to LA.
I was always grateful for the effort made to remain in each other’s lives and happily, my work (pre-Covid-19) took me back to LA on a regular basis. We hadn't been face-to-face in more than a decade and when he finally decided to make the move West, he landed right in my old neighborhood. I delighted in taking him around to my favorite places while we looked at apartments, shopped for furniture and had a wonderful time catching up.
In the interim, he was staying with a quasi-ex-girlfriend, enjoying free rent, and walking her dog. I knew she was curious about our decades-long friendship but, even when they'd dated back in Minnesota, everything about her told me she was not to be trusted. A feeling that proved to be accurate when she showed up, clearly on a date of her own, at the place where we'd just finished dinner, only to fall all over him in some odd mix of possessiveness and desire to see what I was all about. Choosing not to play along, I excused myself and went outside to return a phone call. And as I stood there, I wondered just how far her manipulations would go.
I generally went back to LA every six to eight months and, as I made plans, Actor and I would always include a time to connect. We'd grab dinner, sometimes lunch and spend time catching up on whatever was going on in our lives. Though he'd moved into his apartment, I knew he was still in regular contact with the ex-girlfriend/roommate. It didn't matter to me, that was his life and his business. Until one day, right before we were meant to meet for lunch, he texted.
The upstairs neighbor had been hassling her and he needed to go over and "look intimidating" until the landlord got there to sort everything out. At 6'6" it was an easy thing for him to do, and certainly something any ex-boyfriend, or even just a friend, would do for a single woman living alone. At least I hope so. He apologized for cancelling and said maybe we could meet up later in the day. I knew that was unlikely.
To my understanding, their breakup had been more his decision than hers and I figured that once she had him there, she'd do all she could to keep him busy, especially knowing I was in town. And that was it. I finished my work; my trip was over, and I was heading back to Orlando. We would try again the next time I was out, which as it turned out, was just a few months away.
I was back in town for a Mary Kay conference and added on a few extra days to work with my clients and consultants. I am still a Director with the company, even as I am consistently booked as a psychic medium. It's a delicate balance, what can I say?
Actor and I had a lovely dinner at a hip downtown restaurant after which, we went for a walk and I showed him the beautiful LA Library and the building where I worked many years ago. Everything seemed fine and we decided to meet for lunch at my favorite Chinese/Thai fusion place before I left town the following evening.
The next day, there it was, the text I knew was coming. Some “drama” with the ex, he needed to go to the rescue, you get the idea. And I remember thinking to myself, "at least her excuses are getting more interesting."
By the time my next trip came around, we'd made a plan for lunch, but I already knew better than to get my hopes up. This time though, was different. In my mind, I had already been mulling over the question, "how much does the Universe have a hand in keeping us apart, and why?"
We'd been friends for more than twenty-five years and lived on opposite coasts of the country for most of it. Only now were we in a position to enjoy a semi-annual meal and visit. I hadn't thought much about it but as time had gone by, her ploys for his attention when I was in town, were getting more desperate and I had to ask myself if something more was going on.
The apartment upstairs had a leak. It was completely flooded, and water was pouring down into the walls of her living room. They were swelling with water causing the outlets to spark and, they'd cut the power while rushing to move anything valuable, or at least not waterproof, to higher ground. As I listened to his voicemail explaining the situation, I thought. "This needs to stop before someone gets killed. One of us has to let go." I had no ill will towards her, I didn't even know her. But it seemed clear that each time I was in town, some dreadful drama would befall her, and he would inevitably be called in to play hero. I get it, I just didn't want to be part of it because, the way things were going, next time someone was going to get hurt. I had to ask myself, "Is this drama even worth it?"
With all my heart, I believe in the power of the Universe. I trust the Universe, my guides, angels and loved ones in spirit, completely and, I KNOW they have my back in all things. I also know that when we choose to ignore those smaller signs they send, those quieter warnings will get louder, ultimately resulting in what I affectionately call The Cosmic Bitch Slap. The Universe tries to tell us. It's up to us whether or not we listen.
Clearly the Universe was trying to get my attention! I had seen the signs and it was time to listen. I knew it wasn't a coincidence he moved to LA not long after we left to move back East. But not until then did the rumblings begin to get louder. The truth was, we were both in different places now and the things we needed from each other were no longer the same. I also knew it felt comfortable and safe for each of us to have the other to fall back on when we needed a friendly voice or advice. But now it was time to move on. I didn't return the call. I didn't text back. I finished my trip and got on the plane back to Orlando. There just wasn't anything more to say.
My next trips to town were drama-free and just as productive and enjoyable. Change can be scary. It's hard to let go and, so often we prefer to hold on to what's familiar rather than move on and allow change to happen. Even if what we're holding on to is leaking water into the electrical outlets! The Universe really does have our back and is always trying to move us in a better direction. That doesn't mean it's easy, too often it's not easy at all. I was sad, mad, hurt and angry but, I also understood it was the right thing to do. Just to be clear, knowing that didn’t necessarily make it easier either. I love my friend; I will always love him and want only the best for him.
Recently I heard he had left LA and is living down towards San Diego with the "love of his life." I couldn't be happier for both of them. In all the time we were friends, I never heard him use that term, or speak that way about a woman he dated. His feelings for her were stronger than any he’d expressed to me in a long time and while he had mentioned her to me before, there always seemed to be some reason they couldn't be together. Isn't it interesting how they figured it out, after we cut the cords between us?
I thought so too.