I Prefer Chocolate
Chapter 9. face to face
One thing is inevitable. My ex will be getting on a plane soon, so I want to do one last act that will remind me of what a good experience this is. I just sent him a text and told him to meet me for coffee. Ashley and another friend, Liz, are tagging along. My friends are asian like me, but I call them by their English names.
These are the messages:
Me: Hi Let’s meet at Starbucks at about 2p Don’t worry about the gifts.
Stalker: Don’t worry about the gifts? I don’t understand.
ME: Why do you want to give me those gifts? Since I’m not interested in a relationship, I don’t see the point.
Stalker: Well, I took time preparing them, including writing a letter to you. You know -- remind us of the good times and tell you how special you are to me. See you at 2p.
We are all in agreement that the plan to visit my ex is good. Here is a portion of the conversation with RK:
“Just go with 2 or 3 friends. I think you said in the dream he failed the boyfriend test, right?”
“You mean, kind of arrange it like my dream?”
“Whatever is safe and helps you to bring closure. Remember, we don’t want to make him feel like he is a really bad guy or a criminal. He did some stupid things, but nobody got hurt, and so on.”
“Ok. Can we review that please?”
“Sure. Just remember, this has been a traumatic experience for both of you. His goal, most likely, was to prove to himself that he could chase after you like in a movie, be the strong one, and be romantic. The problem is he failed completely. He'll be getting on a plane soon without any reward. He did some stupid things and this event has offered a chance for everyone grow.
"I kind of feel bad for him. I mean, a few days ago I feared him and now -- wow!"
"Remember, I write stories to support this cause. Maybe one day, he'll read this story. I work with young men like him."
I pondered his comment and heard myself speak in a tone that surprised me.
“Sure. We all suffer from traumatic events in our lives. This is how life works. Without trauma, life would be so boring. Your job is to pull the people out of those memories and give them new ones. You have experienced this and will do so again.”
"Yes. No one is exempt.”
The call ends.
As I walk towards the Starbucks building, it’s a little like living the first dream. I feel the chills all over as I walk through the door. I know I’m safe as Ashley and Liz lead the way. I look around and notice he isn’t there yet, so the girls grab seats. They are acting a bit naughty. Their giggles and facial expressions are playful, and how they prepare the chairs helps me relax more. Our three chairs are close together on one side of the table and his is kind of in the spotlight. Here is a diagram.
!! add diagram
Kind of like an interrogation.
I know this meeting is not going the way he planned. I have no love in my heart for him; I feel sorry for him. I fell out of love (if I was ever in love to begin with) with my ex a while back because I don’t need him anymore. I don’t know the exact moment this happened, but I don’t love or need him since he is no longer a solution to my problems.
My parents taught me, probably without realizing it, that I should make big decisions, such as marriage and career, based on solving problems, so much of my life has been about finding ways to solve problems instead of making choices because of other reasons.
I’m still trying to sort out how to make good choices. I’m young -- give me time.
I’m still not sure how to explain my problems, or more honestly, the long-list of problems. I’m only in my early twenties, so its fair to say I will not present all the answers in this short memoir of mine.
Today, I know two things will happen. First, I’ll experience how nice it is to bring closure to an unhealthy relationship. Second, I’ll trust myself more. If that’s not totally cool, I don’t know what is.
I stand to stretch and take a deep breath. I love doing deep breathing exercises. I do this often right as I am preparing to do a new or challenging task. I notice a familiar sight in my peripherals.
Just the sight of him at a distance challenges my emotional state. My heartbeat speeds up and my nervousness kicks in. After feeling the nervous trigger, I unconsciously stop my deep breathing and stretching. I’m disappointed in myself that he is still having this effect on me.
Chapter 10 He Enters the coffee shop
I shake ever so slightly and force a smile.
I compare my feelings to when I first saw him in the dark hallway and how he looks as his eyes dart around trying to find us. We chose seats towards the back to give him a small challenge. I’m thankful his strut is gone. Since its kind of like a maze in this place, I enjoy watching him make his approach through the maze: people in line to order, people coming and going near the front area, people moving around after they order, and purses and backpacks taking up space.
If you’ve ever been at a coffee shop in a college town, it is a beautiful scene of diversity. It reminds you how wonderful life is by how colorful humanity is. When we are relaxed and enjoying our lives, we have a glow about ourselves. But when we are not relaxed and we are afraid to take our next step in life, we have a distinctly different look — I see the latter in his face and how he moves.
He is a man on a mission, not a man in love. He’s not in a hurry to arrive at our table and give me a hug. He isn’t holding flowers or any obvious gift in his hand. I almost pinch myself because I feel like I’m still in the dream. Without cognitively being aware of my behavior, I change my emotional state again and my confidence goes up. I realize I don’t have anything to prove to him, and I’m feeling it. I’m feeling so different today, it’s hard to describe. As I’ve learned from my trance sessions, I enjoy this moment fully.
!! state - explain this
The young woman (that special part of me who I love) who wants nothing to do with this guy, shows up for this meeting. She announces herself by offering me a surge of adrenalin. Out of nowhere, I start to feel so good. It is at this moment that I notice how unconsciously started to do my stretching and breathing exercises again. Yes, another change in state. The weird part is it is all happening so quickly. It’s an automatic response I’ve developed from my trance sessions. I’m proud she is part of me. The more I let go and grow, the more she shows up.
!! trance sessions means with RK zombie trance means with mom
During my trance sessions, I learned a tool called anchoring. It basically means you do a specific action to remind yourself of the good feelings you have. I do this by making a fist with my right hand. It typically takes just seconds to start feeling it. As I make the fist, I imagine a familiar scene in my mind that brings empowerment.
As he comes even closer, only one thought comes to me. “What’s left?” He lost the power strut and he looks very nervous. My nervousness is mostly gone, so I become the watcher. His eyes are still darting around the place. I give his approach a name: fear.
I smile and wave at him. I know he saw me before my wave, yet he did not try to initiate the greeting earlier. I’m standing close to our table and the girls are gazing at him as he approaches, so he must know the girls are with me. After all, they keep look back at me and giggling.
I smile again, giving me a moment to guess why he didn’t bring that gift bag. Perhaps, he left it behind because he was planning to convince me to go someplace else with him, such as a romantic walk somewhere, or something like that.
He finally arrives within a few feet of our table.
“Hi ---------. Please have a seat. This is Ashley and this is Liz.”
“Hi” he responds with a slight nod. I don’t offer any form of hug and he doesn’t act surprised. He doesn’t make any attempt at a hug or handshake. What a relief.
Watching him nod at my two friends, instead of shaking hands, adds to the mood. There is no love. He has no confidence. He isn’t trying to tower over us or to force a stare. He is acting so different from the dim light hallway back in my building; I must admit, it’s refreshing.
As I watch and take it all in, I realize emotionally why RK made this suggestion for a meeting. What empowerment for me. What a glorious moment.
!! sept 18 changes
I feel micro-movements in my muscles from my lips and cheek bones. I love this twitching feeling. RK calls it small bursts of energy. He said the unconscious hints to the world what our true emotional state is when she (my unconscious) is. I used to feel ashamed of these almost-unnoticeable movements — today I love them.
What I really want to say is, “Wow Stalker, you’ve changed since I last saw you. Why not tower over us or make a lame attempt to fight for my love?”
!! name added
“Why don’t you humble yourself, apologize for forcing me into my home, and offer to buy everyone drinks?” I want to shout at him, “WTF. Act like a man in love.”
This moment is so surreal. All of these statements and questions are running through my mind so quickly that I’m losing track of time. However, I don’t care. There isn’t much to say, so I choose to enjoy my thought life.
He must know my thought life is running out-of-control. I am beaming a smile and he must know its not because of my love for him. After all, I am not saying anything, yet my twitching face with all its beautiful muscles is telling its own story. Not to brag too much, but I have adorable dimples, so when I shine my twitchy smile, a guy can fall in love with me from across the room. Girls too. I know this because guys and girls have told me this.
He kind of looks my way but is uncomfortable. Feeling a bit sorry for him, I break the silence.
“We” as I gesture to my friends, “We are going to get some drinks. Can we get you anything?”
I feel a little strange asking the question because i really don’t want to buy him anything. In fact, I’m hoping he says he doesn’t want anything.
“Um, no thanks.”
I think the obvious: You invite us out for coffee, yet you don’t order anything and you don’t offer to pay for us. On the top of all that, you forget to bring that important bag of gifts.
I admit it. If he does have a seat for at least 5 minutes, I planned a small list of questions for him. One of my favorite questions is “So, do you like my friends? If they like you, you might have a chance with me in the future.” Honestly, he has no chance with me in the future, but I like the question anyway.
The girls tug on my arm as they head towards the counter to order drinks. I follow. I almost forget he’s waiting for us as I stare at the menu.
He declared his love to me just a few days ago, and now he doesn’t even try to hug me in an environment where I feel comfortable and supported. It’s hard for me to grasp this mentally. I mean, how lost is this guy?
“Oh wow.” Liz squeals excitedly.
I look at Liz as she sort of points while using her eyes to scan whats going on across the crowded cafe. We all look and watch together as he makes his way from our table to the back door.
“Hey. He’s leaving. I think he’s outta here.”
The focus of our meeting was to change how I feel about me. Well, I feel great about me. I feel great that I’m with girlfriends I like and trust, and feel unafraid of a man who only a few day ago had treated me so poorly that I felt fear, false guilt, and depression simply because he showed up in my life with the intention of controlling me, most likely for sex.
We all head back to our seats and Ashley asks the question I know is coming.
!! name change
“Mi Young —” when she uses my Korean name, I know the question is important. “— you wanted this to be a great experience for you. Well?”
“I’m having a hard time believing this.”
“Yeah, it’s really cool. He was so creepy hon.” Liz smiles as she says this.
“In my dream Liz, you actually say ‘you’re creepy’ to him. I’m glad you didn’t say it in real life. He is so lonely. I don’t see him as creepy, just lonely and lost.”
!! name change
“Girl, that guy did not come here because he loves you. In fact, —.”
I interrupt, “I know Ash.”
“I don’t think I’ve seen a guy who is supposed to be in love with a beautiful young woman, look so — I don’t know a good word — fragile.
“I know. You-know-who predicted everything.”
“I’ll admit, I’m so intrigued by your mentor. I’ve never met anyone like him. He’s kind of like a father or uncle figure, but one you can talk too.”
“Ash, you got the idea.”
With drinks in hand and my ex gone, we head back to our table, sit in our pre-arranged seats. Without a word, we stare at the empty chair.
!! added sept 22
“We’ll, I think it’s over.”
Both girls seem disappointed that the drama is over. I think they wanted to interrogate him and tell him how creepy they thought he was. Ashley starts a new topic instead.
“Most guys are so easy to understand. You know how it goes. A guy walks up, hardly knows your name, maybe you met a week ago at a party or in a class. About all he remembers about you is your first name and how beautiful you are. He probably already fantasized about having the perfect date: dinner, a romantic stroll, and sex.
I’m a little surprised with how loud Ashley is speaking because I notice a few customers look in our direction, trying not to be obvious. The looks are mixed: disapproval and interest. Ashley is picking up on the attention, and she kind of steels the show.
“In most cases the two of you have never talked for more than 5 minutes about anything and yet he gets up the courage to ask you out to an exclusive one-on-one dinner date. Since the male sex drive is so strong during his twenties, he needs to deal with the energy that keeps building up inside him, so he does anything he can to ‘get some’.”
“Been there. Done that.” Liz says, while chuckling and waving her hand.
“Yeah Liz, we all have.”
“Girls, we all know it’s mostly about sex.”
“Who can blame these guys?” Ashley and Liz say this together.
“My ex just saw the new me, felt the new me, and left. For me, it feels like a compliment that he wasn’t interested. For the first time in a long time, I feel powerful. I set the tone, the mood. It was so empowering.”
As I sit at the table and drink my tea, a thought comes that makes me uncomfortable. How do I find a boyfriend I can trust? Someone I can love and grow with. Someone who I’m as comfortable around as Ash and Liz. As these thoughts flutters through my mind, I feel a slight depression coming on. Ash and Liz pick up on my mood, so they give me a little space to think.
Chapter 3 coming soon