My mother says, “A leopard never changes its spot.” My mother is right.
In my previous story I said I was leaving Eddie in my past, where he belonged, but I decided against my better judgment to give him one last try. I thought since Eddie and I had both grown up so much over the past few years, that possibly we could have both changed enough for our relationship to work. I’m stronger, more independent and knew I had the strength to not allow him to hurt me and walk all over me. I was hoping he wasn’t a leopard, that he had made stupid mistakes and had learned from his bad choices.
I am running in the J/P HAITIAN RELIEF ORGANIZATION NYC MARATHON 2015 (donate here_)
and invited Eddie to run with me. My other choices as running mates had to fall out due to injury or work commitment. We had texted casually and he seemed interested in me again. I knew he was athletic and thought this was a good opportunity for him to “do good.”
I texted him one afternoon about this opportunity and explained that I really needed someone to run the marathon with me. Eddie immediately said he would love to run the marathon! I was impressed and hopeful. I connected him with the people in charge of the marathon so that he could officially run with me. We texted back and forth with one of the team members about the race and then they emailed him to get him rolling and involved with the run. That night I went to bed with stars in my eyes again, just like the ones we gazed upon that beautifully romantic night in the empty football stadium when we first met and I began to fall for this boy.
The next morning, Eddie face-timed me and explained that I should come out to Nashville and start training with him. He was just getting back into town and if I left now I would make it to his home the same time as him, I decided to be spontaneous get into my car and drive the three and a half hours to see my old Eddie, that is after I called my mom and got her input on the situation. She said, there’s no harm in giving it a chance and that nothing would be lost as long as I didn’t cross the friendship line. She said he needed to earn his way back into my life by showing he was trustworthy and that he had truly changed. That sounded good to me, so off I went.
Once I got into town things felt a little awkward at first. This was the very first time I was alone with Eddie since I was twenty years old. He and I decided to immediately go running. I figured doing an activity rather than sitting at the house seemed like a great idea. I was right we went jogging and I was having so much fun, laughing, dancing and being silly. After our “fun run,” we headed out to grab a bite for dinner. It felt so natural hanging out with Eddie. I could always be myself around him and he was himself with me too, I liked that. We talked about different people we had dated and laughed about our bad judgment in significant others. After dinner we left and went out for frozen yogurt at our original spot. It truly was just like old times. I got super fruity frozen yogurt and he got chocolate frozen yogurt just as we had so many years ago.
Afterwards, we went back to his house. Eddie and I chatted and laughed and then he moved in for a kiss. My heart was racing. I pulled away. That didn’t stop him, he kept trying to kiss me. He used his best moves, his clever lines. It was hard to resist him. I remembered those moments from many years ago, how much I liked kissing him, how much I cared for this boy who was now a man. It would have been so easy to just go for it, but I thought I can’t drive over three hours, go to this mans house and then kiss him, that’s not how things work…we needed time to see how things would go, especially with his track record with me. I was so naive back then I didn’t want to make the same mistakes. I had grown over the years, changed. I said “no.” and I meant it.
The next morning I took him to the airport very early so he could catch a flight, then drove back to Atlanta.
On my drive home, I wondered how things were going to turn out with Eddie. I wondered if after all these years, he had changed and would be my prince.
I found it odd he didn’t call that day to make sure I had made it back, or to even tell me goodnight.
The days past and still not a word from Eddie. The organization he committed to running with reached out to tell me that Eddie had stopped communicating with them. So, Eddie would not be my partner for the charity run after all. Eddie would not be my partner, period.
To this day I haven’t heard from him. Eddie is still Eddie; it is only I who have changed. I am relieved I lost nothing this time. I did however keep my pride and gained more confidence. I was also given the opportunity to close that door again, and open the door for a good man to walk through. My mama was right; a leopard doesn’t change its spots. Eddie is a leopard.