Recovered from a heartbreak that took place last year I was perfectly happy on my own at last, ‘happily ever after’ with myself, if you like. And I really was. Happy, I mean. I enjoyed life, I loved the independency and capriciousness of making and changing plans as I pleased, spending my days as I wanted to. That is also what I like about traveling – I get to decide what I want to do, explore, discover without having to account for every single step. Because that’s what living and traveling is all about, right?
Until one meets a guy.
There, I said it. I met a guy. And to be honest, I haven’t met a guy in quite a while. One that I liked and who liked me back. It’s quite simple, really, after you confess to them or they confess to you. Or so you should think. Unfortunately my guy is an asshole kind of guy. And to top it and be precise, the lying, swearing, smoking, drink-driving, unreliable and compulsive kind. But you can guess where it gets really complicated: I like him despite knowing because I genuinely believe there is more to him than that.
Why? Why would anybody like to be with someone associated with the above-mentioned catalogue of arguable ‘qualities’? If I read about this kind of guy in a book and the heroine made out with him or even just considered making out with him, I’d furiously ask that question: why?? Have you got no self-respect, girl? He obviously is an idiot not willing to commit to you.
And I said maybe …
I think I got involved because I really liked the idea of him liking me. And then he was (and still is, obviously) Maori, and that’s just plain attracting me. I told myself that this wouldn’t work out anyway, so why shouldn’t I just go for it and have a bit of fun, knowing it wouldn’t lead to anything deep and meaningful? And let’s face it: you only find out what kind of person people are by spending time with them, right? I did spend quite a lot of time with him and because I am not stupid I figured him out quite quickly. But I let it go on, because: when did I last do something reckless?
Well, I have gotten myself into a fine mess.
We had such a good time, we drove around, we went for walks, he went on the swings with me and he taught me Maori, a language that I find simply beautiful. We sat and talked in the car, we laughed, we mocked each other, he cried and I hugged him. He held my hand, he went grocery and op-shopping with me. He made me tea, making a real effort finding out how I liked it and he also sat in the library with me for more than 3 hours flat because he wanted to spend time with me. And I f* fell for it, fell for him. How idiotic of me.
This used to be a funhouse …
On our last night before my moving out of the hostel, he went out with his mates. He just left without saying goodbye and came back at 10.30pm – only to change. He was drunk and I asked him not to drive but he ignored my asking. He said he’d be back later, not without asking if I wanted to come, maybe? I declined his invitation and he kissed me goodbye, went out the door and drove off. I couldn’t sleep that night. I was worried, not only for him but also for me. He had been drunk when he’d left, intending to get even more pissed with his mates. Who knows what he would do to me in his wasted state? So every time a door went or the light went on in the hallway or a car drove past, I sat up, my heart beating nervously, yet hopefully – in vain.
It was 8am when I finally released myself from my bed, because 8am is a respectable hour to get up at after a night without sleep. I went to check the car park because he might have just lost his keys or fallen asleep in the car. (Is it just me who is so exceptionally stupid and gullible or are there other people out there who act similarly?) To add to the embarrassment of the whole situation I suddenly found myself in, one of the hostel owners poked his head around the corner and asked if my mate had left without telling me. ‘My mate’ still hadn’t got back when I prepared to leave the hostel at 9.30am which was very late considering his new job was supposed to start at 10, at the other end of town, and he hadn’t changed. I had no means of contacting him and I couldn’t ring hospitals either for lack of his full name.
I’m here without you, baby.
I couldn’t be asked to sit around and wait, so I just left a short note – 5 words and my name – from which a girl would have gathered how pissed off I was. I didn’t feel that way because of him going out with friends, and not because of him getting drunk – if that’s what he wants to do I have no right to tell him not to even though I strongly object. In fact, my primary feeling can’t even be described as ‘pissed off’ – it was a toxic cocktail of worry, disappointment and sadness topped off with a feeling of utter idiocy as a result of my getting involved in spite of my initial gut feeling.
By spending time with him I figured out he wasn’t reliable and honest, not all the time at least, and I kidded myself that I could work with it – and I did well, up until the point he left to have a good time, not giving a thought to the girl he got involved with and that she might care. And I really did – at this point I cared for him. And that made me so angry – I didn’t want any of this shit, I didn’t want to be in a relationship or something that involves another half and all the baggage that comes with caring for said other half. FFS, I had been happy the way I had been, until he marched into the ‘boy free zone’ that was my perfectly functioning world. And then, when he had me where he wanted me – involved – it felt like ‘out of sight, out of mind’ and that hurt. It really, really hurt and made me feel very, very stupid. I only partly blame him, though. He was unaware of all that, which is not a good thing, but who I was mad at was myself for betraying my instinct and ‘going for it’ anyway – have I spent the last 23 years apart from myself? I should know (myself) better than that, should know that I care way too easily.
I don’t believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now.
When I got back an hour later, he was there, in the reception area, playing it cool in his designer clothes and sunglasses. I didn’t even bother to go inside, just backed off and turned to walk away. That’s when the kitsch part starts.
He pushes open the door, calls my name. I don’t turn around. He calls again, I do turn around to tell him to leave me alone. He repeats terms of endearment, uselessly of course, because I keep repeating ‘leave me alone’. Then, zoom in on his face, he takes of his sunglasses and stage-whispers my name … you get the picture. The full monty.
We haven’t talked. He left a note which he must have written before our argument because it contained the L-word and a smiley-face. It said to meet him at the library on Sunday at 10am. Foolish me contemplated not going, but in my heart of hearts I knew I’d be waiting for him. And so I was.
If, at this point, you are waiting for the story to come up with a happy ending you might as well stop reading now. Of course he did not turn up. Having waited for a good 25 minutes I lost my patience and left, only to come back later with a wrecked heart, sitting in the tiny wifi-room in the library, jumping every time somebody passed or entered the room and came up the escalator. But no, not him. My hope can’t be squashed easily, let me tell you that and I would have given a lot to see his face. And no, I am not proud of that fact.
And can you still love me when you can’t see me anymore?
He didn’t come to the bus station that evening, either, to see me off – I was leaving New Zealand. He was never again seen or heard of. I rambled on and on about it to one really good friend of mine and bless her, she let me. On and on it went, and random things would trigger memories of him. She listened to me and threw in the occasional swear word and made me feel so much better about it all.
I’d never take the whole thing back though. Never. I believe that every person comes into my life for a reason and leaves it for a reason. He was there to teach me something about life and myself and I need to figure out what that something is. With a little help from the universe …
When I touched ground in Melbourne I ran into Fraser. Well, I got shouted at from across a fence when I was about to hop into a taxi. That was a firm and loving shake from the universe. I remembered how gutted I had been when he had left the farm but after two days I found I didn’t miss him nearly as much as I thought I would. And now I am absolutely, perfectly fine – and that was the universe’s message: it will be fine, you will be fine. I am grateful for the time the guy and I spent together – we had a good time and I enjoyed myself enough to stick around so there must have been something about the whole thing that made it impossible for me to just leave it at the acquaintance / friendship stage.
Having spent a couple of days without him now I realise that I don’t miss him – I just like thinking about what we had (or what I think we might have had). I am sure he didn’t fake it, and neither did I, but we got carried away. I hope he gets flashbacks like I do, but being a person who forgives and forgets easily and quickly I think fondly of him and our time. Whenever I do think of him I send him positive feelings and hope my vibes put a smile on his face and happy memories in his mind.
I will be fine.