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Redux: Emotional ADD: Affection-Deficiency Disorder

“It had been a while since she had been on a date, but in light of the week’s events (and onslaught of emotions which followed) she thought it would be a nice break to be in the company of someone other than the ghosts of her past.  She met Jackson online using a website she visited rather infrequently. A profile she created several months ago, after a dating hiatus. It had served to be a rather disappointing reintroduction into the dating world, but she didn’t bother to delete the profile.

Jackson had made consistent efforts in getting to know her. He sent frequent messages and would regularly try to engage in conversation with her and on occasion, would ask her out. She was not as enthusiastic about him. He was good looking, established and ‘stable,’ but she wasn’t attracted to him. She hadn’t been attracted to anyone lately, not since them. She was relatively uninterested in responding to his messages, let alone getting involved with him romantically, but he was persistent… and polite. To avoid the guilt of rejecting such a ‘nice guy,’ she continued to talk to him.

Two days ago he asked her out again. She didn’t respond right away. In fact, she waited until he was offline to say ‘yes.’

It was Friday night, and he was taking her to a fancy new restaurant in town; it was obvious he was trying to impress her. As they waited to be seated, he expressed his gratitude in being afforded the opportunity to take her out. She smiled politely, but had her suspicions. She knew he was sincere, but she was a stranger to chivalry.

As the evening progressed and his courtliness continued, she struggled to take him seriously.  She looked away when he complimented her and avoided making eye contact in moments of silence. She even noticed herself retract her hand when she thought he was reaching to hold it while talking to her. He was reaching for her glass to top it up. She couldn’t accept his feelings for her. She didn’t understand his attraction towards her. She felt overwhelmed and numb at the same time. Why was this happening?

Was her heart really broken beyond repair? Had she become immune to emotion?

Her distress was evident and Jackson quickly assumed culpability. She assured him that her mind had merely wandered to her office; a blatant lie. She couldn’t tell him the truth, not when she still refused to accept it.

Seeing another opportunity to ‘make her smile.’ Jackson asked whether she would like dessert, pointing out that they had her favourite. When she looked confused, he reminded her of the conversation they shared several weeks ago discussing her penchant for desserts and her particular favourite; Tiramisu.

She looked up from the menu. She noticed the curve of his smile and his endearing laugh lines. She looked into his eyes saw her reflection. She did not see any laugh lines or the curve of her smile. She was not smiling. As she sat in the company of this kind-hearted man, who seemed to want nothing more than the opportunity to adore her, she felt nothing. She politely declined and he excused himself to pay the bill before they proceeded with the remainder of the date.  Jackson had mentioned the date entailed more than just dinner.

She noticed two tickets in the inside pocket of the jacket he rested on the chair beside his. She had no doubt they were tickets to the theater. After all, she had mentioned her interest in live theater once. She reached into the pocket and retrieved his cell phone. 8:04 PM

It had only been an hour. She felt suffocated. She hastily grabbed her jacket and bolted out the front door.

Jackson returned to a vacant table and saw the note his date had left behind;

I’m sorry. 

He frantically looked around before running out the door in hopes of catching her before she disappeared.

She was gone. He pulled out his phone to try and call her and noticed her number and contact information had been deleted. He drove around the block, desperately trying to find her, he needed to know that she was safe. No luck. Distraught and disappointed, Jackson sat in his parked car and logged onto the dating website and tried to retrieve their thread of messages. Gone. Her profile had also been deactivated. At a loss for words, Jackson sat in disbelief.

Unbeknownst to Jackson, his ‘disappeared date’ sat in a cab across the street, watching him. She couldn’t blame this one on them; this was all her. She tightly closed her eyes and a tear escaped, rolling down her cheek. For the first time that evening, she felt emotion. She felt grief. It was then that she realized, her healing had just begun.”