Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Better Halves

"ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT N?!" a coworker of mine asked today as I stood at Sunny's cubicle. Well, it wasn't so much "asking" as "accusing," and her tone was more "threatening" than "inquiring." I don't know what she overheard. I don't blame her for asking, as she was one of a sea of people who e-mailed me thought-out pep-talk paragraphs and launched into you-break-up-with-him-girl speeches when N was being a jerk.

"No..." I said. "I was talking about his friend, Six-Two." (This was true, actually.) As an afterthought, I added, "I'm not dating Six-Two." (Also true.)

I don't remember what I was saying about Six-Two -- maybe I was just telling Sunny a story or making some sort of soft comparison. But as I walked back to my desk, I had a thought: When did N go from being my cute, rogue-ish Nicky Arnstein to my detrimental bad habit -- my Blake Fielder-Civil? My Raffaello Follieri? My Pete Doherty? I suddenly find myself reading news stories about Amy Winehouse and Anne Hathaway and their blind love for their shady men and feeling some sort of kinship with them. Okay, so N has never been in jail (that I know of) or swindled people out of thousands, but where is the line between love and bad decision-making?

I'm afraid to mention N to much of anyone, because I don't want to hear the criticism. I know it all, in my head, already, so even if I feel that N is genuinely trying now -- really working to communicate with me, be present, and be nice to my friends and me -- everyone else is still going to hear what I said before, when he was making me miserable.

The question is, Will he be able to sustain this? And will I ever be able to trust him again?

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