My Secret – Entry 214

Dear Diary

Okay, so it’s secret divulging o’clock. In the last entry I shared with you that I have feelings for someone..someone who isn’t Karate Kid. You need more context though, so let me paint the scene.

Karate Kid and I have been living together for over a year now. We are proud fur-parents of Munchkin-chops and have settled in our daily routines. Karate Kid has improved so much over the year, he’s definitely husband material now. Would you believe that he now does the dishes every day? prepares my lunch and breakfast if I haven’t had time to do it? and, walks, feeds and baths Munchkin-chops whenever I cannot? He also does loads of washing and most of the grocery shopping and evening meal cooking.

The reasons why Karate Kid has changed so much is because of continual negative reinforcement from me in the past, and also because I have a lot to co-ordinate in my spare time these days. To add to this, I have reduced cash flow because of recent events, so Karate Kid has stepped up to mitigate some of the financial burden on me (and so well he should, I’m the one paying the mortgage and major bills).

Karate Kid is very caring and loving towards Munchkin-chops. He coos over Munchkin-chops and wraps him up in blankets on his bed. It is heartwarming to see this behaviour because it directly translates to how he would care for future children of ours. He will be a very dedicated and reliable father.

We have spoke about engagement and children. After one of our ‘talks’ a couple of months ago he was forced to confirm that he would be buying a ring at some point in the next six months and proposing. He was just waiting for the right time to do it (and needs more money for a ring). We have also agreed that early 2020 is when we should start trying for children.

One reason for starting a family then is because I want to go part-time at work. I know it sounds extreme (and maybe irresponsible) to fall pregnant to be able to access this working arrangement, but it’s the easiest way. I also do want children and need to start seriously planning it into my life plan. I’ve had conversations with my boss about going part-time last year and it was not possible, because in his eyes, the sky would fall. I’ve got two choices – wait for my boss to retire/have something unfortunate happen to him, or, become pregnant. The second option is more practical for me.

So, this is all sounding really positive, right? Well, yes it is, but I miss feeling beautiful. Karate Kid and I seldom are intimate and it’s not because of me resisting – he’s the one that doesn’t initiate anything. I can be lying naked in bed and he doesn’t touch me. I know that I’m not in the best shape since being iron deficient and unable to exercise. I’m slowly getting better and back to baseline. Slowly.

Another thing that’s been a problem is that I was on an anti-anxiety tablet for the internal stress I find hard to manage. I did suffer side effects from it; decreased desire for intimacy and vaginal atrophy. Too much information, maybe, but I’ve had to slowly wean off the treatment because it was impacting intimacy negatively. It’s now resolved, but Karate Kid still doesn’t touch or hold me like he used to when we were in the initial stages of dating. I know he cares about me, but I also want to feel attractive and desired.

Two entries ago, I mentioned that I had signed up to a course to learn business. Plan A is to get out of the rat race. I’ve been dedicating my spare time to this, and it’s been (and still is) an arduous journey. There have been times that I’ve cried, times when I’ve had to budget meticulously and times when I had difficulty sleeping. It will pay off in the end, and I am committed to keep fighting the uphill battle.

Part of the learning program that I’m in, involves weekly group video calls. During these calls, members of this business community discuss and exchange ideas. I go to every single one of them, every week. Always. The program also involved three networking events, which were 7th September, 14th September and 15th September, all in different cities. I decided to go to all of them – it’s all about who you know, right?

Karate Kid stayed home to babysit Munchkin-chops for the events on 7th and 14th September. The third event on 15th was in our home city. He also stayed home because it was already costing me a lot of money to attend all three events. Dressed to impress, I flew down on an early morning flight for both of those events. I took carry-on luggage only as I caught a late night return flight the same day.

At the first event, the organisers made me feel welcome and special for being the only one in the community attending all three events. I met a lot of people and enjoyed the experience. On the plane flight home I had a thought – These people organising the event are so lovely. They are so humble despite being so successful. They didn’t have to arrange these events, but did because the community asked for it….maybe, we could give them a surprise thank you at the next event?” I drafted a message and when I arrived home that night, I set up a massive group chat for the next city’s event, and asked them if they’d like to participate in a surprise thank you. The support was astounding, every one wanted to be part of it.

For some reason that I can’t recall, one of the organisers contacted me during the week between 7th and 14th September and mentioned that another organiser who was MCing had a head cold and needed to get better before the weekend. I replied back making a suggestion of what could be done to resurrect him before the weekend. The next day, the MC left me a message saying that my advice had worked and that he ‘was back’ and feeling good.

At the event on 14th September, MC found me to give me a kiss on the cheek to say thank you for helping him. About half an hour later was when the surprise was to be unveiled. Everyone in the room knew what was happening, apart from MC and the organisers. I had arranged for a lady based in that city to prepare a note that the MC would read. When the time came, the note was handed to the MC who was confused and concerned at what was happening. He slowly and cautiously read the letter:

Dear MC, this letter is intended for you and the entire XX team. We have written it because we want you all to know that you are amazing.

We wanted to show you how much we appreciate and love you all, and so, have a special surprise for you on behalf of us all here today

The letter stopped there and MC looked around the room to try to see what was about to happen. From the corner of the room, a waiter delivered an elaborate cake to the centre of the room.

MC and the other organisers looked at each other and were frozen in shock. After they found some words and thanked us, another letter was handed to MC. Again, he slowly read it’s contents:

We have one more surprise for you all. A lot of thought and discussion went into what would be an appropriate gift for you all.

There was an overwhelming consensus to provide a donation to XX charity, as we know how close this is to your hearts.

We are delighted to say that we have successfully raised 1,300 dollars.

We hope this makes your day, love from (us)

Again, MC and the other organisers were absolutely stunned and didn’t really react. They stood in silence looking around the room at the sea of eager smiling faces. We then handed them a large card that everyone had signed. MC did later say that it’d be a moment that he’d remember for the rest of his life.

During the networking event, MC came up to me to thank me. He also found me another time when I was speaking with a new contact. He mentioned that I looked nice in my dress. He then asked where I live, and I told him the city’s name (the city that we’d be at again the next day, on 15th September for the next networking event). He then asked when I was flying back home, and I said straight after the event. He asked what time was my flight – 7pm. He asked if I could stay longer at the event because I had plenty of time to catch my flight. I politely declined this invitation as I needed to be on that flight (I’d already missed on the previous weekend and needed to re-book at the airport – expensive).
I smiled and told him that I’d see him ‘tomorrow’ and indicated that the conversation could end.

I left that event without saying goodbye to MC or the other organisers. I was going to see them the next day, after all. I also had a hint of suspicion that maybe he was interested in me….no way, I am a very small fish in the big pond (I’m also at least 25 inches shorter than him, no joke), I’m also desperately dieting to fit back into my dresses that I haven’t worn in over a year because Karate Kid never takes me anywhere nice – Why would MC be interested in me? he’s just nice and wanting to say thank you for the kind things I’ve done in the past week. Surely. And surely he knows that Karate Kid is my boyfriend. I then dismissed any further thoughts.

The next day I attended the networking event with Karate Kid. I did study MC’s reaction to meeting Karate Kid when he greeted us at the door. He didn’t seem too disappointed, and seemed to not be surprised that I had a boyfriend. I felt a bit silly that the previous day I had entertained thoughts that MC may be interested in me – I’m a small fish, after all, why on Earth would he be interested in me? ha – I thought to myself.

At this event, I also rallied everyone to participate in a surprise. This time it was boutique chocolates for all, plus another large donation to charity (1,700 dollars). Everyone was buzzing with excitement in the room, and I really feel that everyone had bonded before we even arrived that day because of the common goal and dialogue with organising.

When it came time to leave the event, I did make a point of saying goodbye to the organisers as I wouldn’t be seeing them again for months. When I said goodbye to MC he gave me a big and prolonged hug…in front of Karate Kid…I figured that he was just very touched at the speech I gave and the appreciation that everyone had shown him and his team. Again, I left the event not entertaining any thoughts of there being something to interpret.

Diary, I couldn’t leave the first city out of the surprise. I hadn’t thought of the idea until I left that first event, so wanted to give them a chance to save face. I had actually set up a collection for them separately as well, and our plan was to announce it at the weekly video call to surprise the organisers one last time. I had already collected over 1,000 dollars for this third group, so had to go ahead with it, even though I was sure that the organisers were probably sick of this small fish’s name popping up everywhere all of a sudden.

The video call came….it was last night. This time, to unveil the surprise I felt that I didn’t need to do any talking. I asked one of the assistant organisers to send through an email to MC who could read it aloud to the community on the video call. The message was similar to the first note, and announced that we had managed to raise 1,589 dollars (a total of 4,600 dollars between the three cities). Everyone in the call was buzzing again and when MC asked me to come off mute, I politely declined and said that my laptop’s microphone didn’t work. I left the call soon after as I had a meeting with my business group.

At 9.30pm, I received a voice message via an app on my mobile. I didn’t listen to it until the following morning. It said:

You’re an amazing woman, Anastasia…. what you’ve organised is… ah.. extraordinary…. I can’t imagine that you’re employed because no one with a job would be able to have done what you’ve done… well……*takes breath*.. I don’t know quite what to say, Anastasia, but I’d love to spend some more time with you.. some, some proper time…. *clears throat*.. I didn’t think to say this before I started recording, but… ah.. it’d be nice to sit down with you and.. ah… take a proper amount of time to learn a bit more about  you.. and ah.. and say a proper thank you for all that you’ve done.”

*pause*

“…..Can you tell me where you live, Anastasia? I think you told me that you live in XX city…. I am hoping that you could be a bit more specific about where you are. I’m often there and it’d be really nice to see you some time..so ah.. yeah, please be in touch. And finally, thank you so much for everything that you’ve done *clears throat*.. the, the um, energy in the (video conference) room tonight…um, I’m not sure if you were there or not as I couldn’t see you.. there were 50 or so people who stayed for an hour after the call finished and shared stories and became closer to one another, and Anastasia, so much of that… and so much of the energy in the room at the events last weekend, has to do with you…. ah, a huge part of that has to do with you, so thank you, thank you for helping to create these special moments. *takes breath* I’ll see you soon.

Okay, so maybe there is something there? His voice was nervous in that voice message, and he normally is much more confident when he talks. He does know that I have a boyfriend.. but, maybe he genuinely wants to just get to know me and be friends? or does he want more?

I thought for a few minutes before sending a neutral voice message in reply:

Good morning MC, I hope that you slept well. Thank so much for your message, you really did make my morning [this is true because I had been having a horrible day up until that point. His soothing voice made my worries immediately go out the window]…and I’m happy that you guys enjoyed another surprise, it was totally worth doing it a third time. Um. For the video conference last night, I did stay for a little bit after it ended. I didn’t want to leave the room, but I had to to join a meeting with my business focus group. Otherwise, I would have stayed longer because it was just so nice seeing everyone talking so candidly together, and yeah, I really wanted to just eaves drop *laugh*.

As for working full time, yes, I do actually work full time, believe it or not. Sometimes weekends and sometimes on call. One day I will be firing my boss, but for now I am playing the long game. Um yeah, so I do live and work in XX city, but it would be awesome, really awesome to get to know you better, like I think that on the video calls that we get to know you and the team because you’re always talking and we get to see your personality coming out. So, we have an idea of who you are, or who we think you are, but I guess most of us would be strangers to you guys.

Anyway, so yes it would be lovely to catch up some time. And, um, I just wanted to let you know that as long as you and your team are feeling loved and appreciated that my job here is done. Have a good day. Bye.

I’ll admit to you, Dear Diary, that when I listen to MC’s message that it gives me butterflies in my stomach. I confess that I have listened to the voice recording at least 10 times in the last day, no joke. It is just so nice to hear the words ‘You’re an amazing woman, Anastasia‘. Again, and again.

I haven’t heard from MC again. Who knows what he’s thinking. Maybe he is having second thoughts about contacting me. Or, maybe he really isn’t that interested.

The other question is, should I actually meet with him? I guess it depends on the setting, right? if it’s casual coffee or lunch, then that’s harmless, right? whereas if it was an extravagant dinner or day trip, then that may be a bit too much considering I’m living with Karate Kid.

I need more time to think about this. To be honest, Dear Diary, nothing might come from it, maybe I won’t receive an invitation from him. We will just have to wait and see.

I’ll let you know if I do hear from MC again.

Anastasia xo

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