He Turns Away Again

Today, Tyson and I just experienced our first fight.

It was a Friday evening, particularly stressful day for Tyson. His meetings were scheduled back to back along with critical project deadlines. I could tell by his face as he paced by my desk that he had a lot on his mind. On top of that, Tyson had to cover for Chip who was sick in the shipping room. Although I tried to help lighten his workload a bit, I took my cue to keep my distance.

We originally planned a dinner date that night but I felt hesitant, noticing how exhausted Tyson appeared by the end of the day. But Tyson insisted dinner would be a stress-reliever.

Fortunately, we were able to leave JLS right on time. His mood had lightened up once we exited the office building. Not together of course. He even squeezed my hand and kissed my cheek as we strolled down Tremont Street.

However, as we entered the restaurant, Tyson’s face suddenly turned cold.

“What’s wrong?” I gazed up concerned.

“We should not eat here,” he started to turn around.

“Why?” I persisted, noticing that the restaurant was only half full and no one waiting to be seated. This restaurant is also well-known for its farm-to-table concept and emphasis on sustainable cuisine.

“No reason,” he pulled my arm, but as we headed out the door, we heard a voice behind us.

“Tyson!” We both turned around to see an older gentleman heading in our direction. He had brown eyes and checkered black hair combed back. He sported a blue blazer with a white collar and a pair of jeans.  I felt Tyson’s body stiffen and eventually turned around to face the gentleman.

“What do you want?”  He glared at the older gentleman.

“Can’t you say hello to your father?” My eyes widened as Tyson’s fists tightened.  His face turned from cold to anger.

“You mean the one that walked out on me and my mom, breaking our family apart,” his voice full of irritation and loud enough for restaurant customers to turn their heads. My heart skipped a beat as I witnessed the scene before me.

“Tyson, that was a long time ago,” the gentleman pleaded. “Can we talk about this?”

“Talk? Do you have any idea how much pain you caused me and my mother? How I had to pick up the pieces?”

“Tyson, I know I may be the last person you want to talk to but I want to make it up to you,” he edged closer towards us.

“Too late for that,” Tyson immediately turned around and marched out of the restaurant. I quickly ran to catch up with him. I wanted to say something once I caught up with him but realized Tyson needed to let off some steam. We finally ended up at a bar on the financial district.

The atmosphere felt uncomfortable. We mostly ate in silence. Tyson kept looking down at his plate and pushing his food around with his fork. I tried to lighten the mood by sharing stories about when I took Phillipe to the park and when I took him to the Vet. Tyson still didn’t make a sound.

Thank goodness for the availability of white wine. Otherwise this date would have been  unbearable.

“Can we talk about what happened earlier?”  I finally asked. “You never really mentioned your father before.”

Tyson just rolled his eyes at me and put down his fork.

“There is nothing to talk about,” Tyson snapped. “He abandoned me and my mother. End of story.” I already knew the whole background from Mrs. Knightley. I just wanted to hear his side.

“You know you can tell me anything,” I lightly touched his hand.

“Belle, it’s none of your business,” he angrily pulled away. “Did my mother put you up to this?”

“No she didn’t,” I answered patiently. “I am just asking because your father clearly made some impact on your life and him walking out was especially devastating.” Tyson motioned me to stop.

“Belle, drop it.” The intensity was rising between us. “Unlike you, I don’t believe in airing out my feelings and engaging in heart-to-heart conversations to make me feel better.”

“I’m your girlfriend,” I pointed out.  “We shouldn’t be keeping secrets from each other.”

“How about you act like my girlfriend and drop the subject?” he fumed, causing a chill up my spine. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the bartender and servers all staring at us.

“Why are you shutting me out like this?” By now, I am frustrated.

“You wouldn’t understand.”

“Why wouldn’t I understand?” I probed him.

“Because you grew up with your father always being there for you and loving you. You never had to deal with a parent suddenly out of your life and you can’t do anything about it.  You never felt the emptiness and suddenly having to take the role to fill the void.” I stared at him, my jaw wide open. I couldn’t believe the words I was hearing. I’ve had enough.

“How is it any different with losing a mother to cancer and dying right in front of you? And feeling powerless? And having the growing up without a mother? And miss out on the big moments in your life like my prom, my college graduation, and my 16th birthday? And dealing with that big hole in your life?” Tears were coming down my face. You clearly don’t know me at all,” I responded bitterly. I grabbed my purse and got up from my seat. I had to leave.

“Belle, I’m so sorry,” he tried to reach for my hand, realizing what he had said.

“Tyson, you need to figure out a lot of issues and need some space to clear your head. You can call  me tomorrow when you are ready.”  I know he didn’t mean what he said. But his words still hurt, not to mention, offend me.

I immediately made my way out of the restaurant and hailed an Uber straight home without Tyson trying to stop me.

Sometimes I don’t understand him. I thought I changed him in encouraging him to open  up to me.  We grown closer since our weekend in DC. I confided to him about my past. How I coped with my mother’s death as a teenager and growing up with only my dad around. I thought we could relate along those lines.

I even told him why I broke up with Ben and turned down his proposal. Sigh. At least my furry little friend is waiting for me at home.

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