This is a serial about love and awakening. Previously: While I’m recovering from a ski wreck, Billy forces me to say yes or no to him, and I say no. Click here to start with Part One. To read former posts, go to right hand column and check “Recent Posts.”

After reading Billy’s goodbye email, I told my friend Claire, who’s a psychotherapist, I was thinking of calling him.

“Why would you do that?” she asked.

“I want to apologize for putting him on hold for so long. And….there’s something else…”

I was not sure what that was, what was making me so unsettled. “Some small doubt… like, maybe I shut the door on something that might have had a glimmer of possibility?”

Claire looked dubious.

The next morning, I called Billy and said, “I hate to end things by email. The next time you’re in Boulder, why don’t we talk in person?”

A few days later, he called and said he was driving up for the Boulder Film Festival and would be staying with his sister, who worked for a solar panel company.

It was a great day for solar panels – brilliantly sunny in February – when Billy arrived in a BMW convertible with the top down. I’d forgotten how attractive he is: tall, lean, with large blue eyes and a playful, teasing manner. He gave me a lithograph that a Western artist had drawn of Billy in his 20’s. In between the lines of the drawing, Billy had written in tiny print you had to stare at closely to read: “I wish I’d kept you awake for more than one night.”

Most surprising — and disquieting – I felt the same jolt of energy pass through me that I’d experienced that first night at the Grisly Rose. My entire body wanted to connect with his. We eyed each other, cautiously, like two animals.

After lunch, we talked about what had happened since the accident. He said he’d felt rejected and dismissed. I said I’d felt he was unreasonably angry and quick to lash out. He didn’t understand why I had to be so inactive with a broken collar bone. His sister and mother hadn’t been that way. “If the bones are in the same area code, they’ll connect,” he said. I told him my doctor had said the nature of the break made it uncertain whether they’d connect without surgery, which I wanted to avoid because I have a history of phlebitis, which makes surgery dangerous.

We relaxed, and before long we were talking and laughing like old friends. When Billy left, he gave me a hug and we felt our bodies line up perfectly, as if they’d been cut to match. He said, with some surprise, “I thought you wanted to break up with me in person.”

“I think we should keep the door open,” I said.


Please leave a COMMENT. Have you had a relationship that started badly and ended well? Do you think that’s possible here?

This blog is based on a true story, but I’ve changed names and identifying details to protect privacy. I’ve also, in a few cases, compressed time or altered elements to serve the narrative.
The title “Sex Love Enlightenment” is an homage to Mark Matousek’s book, Sex Death Enlightenment.



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11 thoughts on “PART 5 – ROUND TWO

  1. BarbaraF

    I think this is an accident waiting to happen. Not sure just how yet…. But it will.

    No, I do not think it can end in a positive way.

  2. Steph

    It sure makes an interesting read. How long does physical chemistry last and when do you think Billy and you will be getting it on?

  3. Anonymous

    There’s some obvious physical and emotional chemistry here. Just take it slowly. I say go for it but tread carefully because of his controlling nature.

  4. Chris

    This guy (Billy) sounds like a person with Borderline Personality Disorder. That’s spelled “T-R-O-U-B-L-E”.

  5. Debbie


    I dated a guy for about 9 months who could be so sweet and adoring,but who erupted into seemingly unprovoked tirades at the drop of a hat. He, too, was someone who felt that he was “not understood” by women, and I eventually realized he had alot of pent-up anger against his mother and sisters that he’d never worked through. Very passive-aggressive… I don’t think he’s every really trusted a woman in his life, dooming long-term relationships from the start.

    Yet, that said, I still have a great deal of fondness for him, and hope that he is eventually able to work through his issues and find someone who truly “understands” him – but I have real doubts that will ever happen. As for me, I’m looking for someone “whole” and hoping that I’m smart enough next time to pick up on these “red flags” and not try to “save” someone who doesn’t want to be saved.

  6. Felicia

    People who have something to hide are the ones best versed in projecting their pheromones outward and surrounding their victims, enveloping their prey in “the charm that cannot be denied.” My ex was like that: he knew exactly what to say to make me believe I had found Prince Charming; but his great warmth and earnest sweetness hid a very dark addict, alcoholic, narcissist,and pathological liar. The closer I came to him, the more competitive he got, and he played dirty: stealing my friends and maligning me to them. He’s still utterly charming.
    Every time you see Billy, he bowls you over with his magnetic appeal, and he’s enraged when his charm can’t win the day. JUST SAY NO.

  7. slohabob

    Dear Sara, Being involved in a relationship is like being part of a conspiracy…and I don’t mean anything negative by the use of that word. However, you had ever chance to never see this guy again, and you decided to go for it at least one more time. From this point on, that makes you an active participant in the conspiracy. Believe me, I know that such things as love, romance, sex and companionshp are extremely important in our lives, but, based on what you’ve written, I’m not sure what your motives are. I hope that you do, and I wish you the very best! Aloha, Bob

  8. Anonymous

    It was a long, scary haul getting this guy to stop sending you emails, but you finally succeeded in shaking him off. Message after message was sent obsessively from him, without a peep from you. Then, silence: he finally gets it that it’s over. But then: you see that you don’t really want him to give up, that you aren’t ready to cut him loose: you want to “keep the door open.” You are playing power games with him now, exploiting his obsessive streak, further ungrounding him so that when he explodes again, it’ll be violent. You’re tangled in this mess with him. Sorry, but somebody’s gotta say it.

  9. Anonymous

    Hey Sara,

    Your head and heart were probably having quite a battle over this guy – but, the heart(or is it our hormones?) wants what it wants…that just seems to be the way we’re put together. As they say, hindsight is always better than foresight – can you honestly say you’d feel resolved if you HADN’T given him a chance? So, can you speed up the blog posts a bit so we can all find out what happens??

  10. Max

    Sara, you are still feeling the head chemistry of this relationship, fueled by Billy’s attractiveness and his ability to intrigue you–egotists can do that, you know. The chemistry will wane and the intrigue will wither sure as winter turns to spring. Please just look at what’s really happening: he drives up to see you in February in a convertible with the top down. What does that say besides “Look at ME, wealthy (the BMW), attractive (tanned and lean), your prince, come to take you away! Then he gives you a litho of himself at 20 (how old is he now, forty-something?) as if to say this is how old I am really (I suspect mentally he still is 20-something, immature and narcissistic with his 20-year old looking body to boot — ok I envy that part of him). Did you really want his picture? Where are you going to hang it, if I may ask? I would have brought you something for YOU. But he doesn’t really know you well enough to do that, does he? He only brings you something that reflects the person he knows best–himself! All the time saying to you, “Look at Mr. Wonderful, don’t you like what you see?” And, of course , you do!Then he intrigues you with his wit and follows that with his 20 year-old looking body by closely hugging you with it. Whoa, this guy is good! He knows the right things to say and do to keep you on his hook. Aside from your wanting to keep the door open to this realtionship, where do you want this to go, I ask you? I can tell where he wants it to go, adoration of Billy is the goal. But, Sara, where are you in all of this? What do you get out of it except for the physicality of it all? This guy is dangerous. My opinion. Max

  11. veek

    this sounds like classic lust to me. lust and infatuation. the lust is a biochemical thing and i don’t believe we can control it when it happens. all we can do is control what we’re going to *do* about it. just by what i’ve read so far, i predict that this won’t be ending well – but there will be major fireworks while it lasts. and there’s something to be said for fireworks. you just owe it to yourself to see it for what it is and not to blindside your own heart because you’re in denial.

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