In every relationship, there comes a time when you move out of the initial honeymoon period and into real coupledom — when you begin to explore whether love really does conquer all.
That transition was an especially bumpy one for me and my California-based love Mark (a.k.a Sparky). About eight months into our complicated romance, I made my third consecutive visit out to L.A. to see him.
I felt strongly that it was Mark’s turn to do the traveling, but pleading phone calls from him led me to book a last-minute weekend trip. Just before end of semester final exams my senior year — and without my parents’ knowledge.
I now Open The Vault and take you back to December of ‘94…
New York, NY
Tuesday Dec. 7th, 1994
Our reunion Friday night was sublime…Like Friday, Saturday was great.
We woke up early and clad in our robes, went downstairs to the living room, where we had one of our most magical mornings ever.
Cueing up the ballad “All I Ask of You” from “Phantom of The Opera,” Sparky and I melted into one another’s arms and began to dance. As we held each other close, I rested my head on his shoulder. Then, feeling Sparky’s eyes on me, I turned to look at him.
“We were meant for each other,” he said. “You know that, don’t you?”
Right then and there, for one fleeting moment, I did know it.
Later, after a relatively serene afternoon, things between us began to take a turn for the worse. I became unhappy as Mark reverted to his distant mode.
When we woke up on Sunday, Mark sensed my hostility and asked me about it. I told him that I felt he wasn’t being affectionate enough.
“Well, I’m sorry,” he said coldly. “But I think that’s bullsh*t.”
I immediately stood up, furious that he could be so tactless. Another argument ensued.
Afterward, while I was in the bathroom putting on my makeup, he suddenly appeared and said —
“I’m sorry. I guess I’m not used to having such a sensitive, beautiful young woman in my life.”
The rest of the day was up and down. There were a lot of silent moments and I found myself unsuccessfully fighting back tears for the duration of the afternoon.
Over brunch at Marina del Rey, Mark said he was concerned that our relationship was becoming more than I could handle.
* * *
That night, we finally got around to discussing what had prompted me to make the trip — the difficulties surrounding our situation. Mark admitted he needs more. I said I don’t want our circumstances to ruin what we have.
“What this relationship needs,” he observed, “is the test of time.”
* * *
Our rocky weekend together was the first of many tests for Sparky and I as a couple. I had no idea when he uttered those predictive words the worst of that particular encounter was yet to come.