Every boyfriend I have ever had, has made me fall in love… I fall in love pretty quickly and hard. Extremely hard. And then the full extent of my passionate, crazy, scary love gets too big. It takes over. I start to freak them out. They’re in love too, but, like… more chilled out love. The kind of love that isn’t really love, because it’s selfish and lazy and it can get scared off by passion.So then they run a mile. They make me feel like I’m this crazy stalker woman who will do anything for them (which, yeah, it’s not far off. I do get a bit crazy but they don’t even KNOW how crazy I get. They don’t have my internet history, they don’t know how many times a minute I refresh their facebook pages, how I lie awake at night worrying about whether we would disagree on child raising issues or what exact mesh of our features would work best on a male or female child.)
So they run or they freeze me out, knowing only the iceberg’s shiny hat of my true emotions. And then I DIE. I wail, I lie in bed worrying about the child raising issues that will never be, about what I did wrong, about what truths I should have kept hidden and how I could have shrugged more and been like, whatevs.
And then I heal, and I heal badly, because I keep picking at the scabs and that’s how you scar, which is why I am leaving my drunken knee injury ALONE. My legs are my fortune, you should know by now.
The knee has new pink skin on it today. Still delicate, but I can bend it now without going full on tourettes.
But my other injury.. my ahem… less badass injury… it has pink skin too.
Sorry I get really paranoid about using metaphors because I love using them but when other people do it I’m like, lame. Lame lazy and also, it’s very easy to equate things to each other and then make a point.
If you will permit me to continue…
The… and I’m loath to say heart…
The emotional injury.
That one is like… well it’s still not ready to be fallen on again. It’s not ready for me to lunge out into life shrieking and trying to kick people.
So what happened?
Sunday, I get a message from Antoine.
It was only a matter of time, but here he is, asking for another chance.
He had been torturing himself not knowing what to do, wanting to contact me, not sure what to say… ever since he learnt I was in France.
He said maybe I wouldn’t want to speak to him again, and he understood… but he wanted another chance to continue our story.
And all that hard work… gone. I stewed over it for a few hours and then replied a little coldly, saying I don’t know what to say but I am not going to talk on facebook, and if he wants to talk to me he can call me.
He called me, we talked, I was standoffish and wary, he wasn’t really promising anything but he wanted to see me.
I said I’d think about it.
OF COURSE I WANT TO SEE YOU YOU STUPID ASSHOLE.
But I have learnt something about caution, I think. Maybe.
So I let it be for a few more hours. That’s not much in human time but in Abby time that’s like months.
Eventually wine and self loathing got the better of me as they are wont to do…
and I wrote to him, just asking why he changed his mind? Why now? Why, after what he said in that final horrible conversation? Why would he want to see me again now?
And he told me it all happened so fast. He didn’t know what to do. He thought there was no choice but to end things, but now I’m here and maybe I don’t want to see him again but he wants a chance, and if I can trust him again, could I let him back into my life, could I let him love me? He said he knew I was a rare person and he didn’t want to give that up. He would come if I wanted, he could be with me in 2 hours.
I had already completely melted by this time and was ready (I know, I know, I’m an idiot) to open the door, physical and metaphorical and metaphorical relating to my physical (vagina) and cradle his head in my arms again and smell him and kiss him but NO I have grown a little bit of dignity also my best friend gave me strict instructions not to be nice to him for a while.
So I said hmm don’t know how I feel, I have to think about it, I don’t know if it’s a good idea, I’ve moved on etc.
Lots of bullshit of course.
And then he came.
He just came the next day, on a train, and he called and said he was here, he wasn’t trying to force me but he wanted to show he meant what he said, he was being spontaneous and fighting for what he wanted.
Oh my god it’s like the notebook except instead of building me a house while I marry someone else and then reading our story to me night after night while I don’t remember, he spent two hours on a train on one of his days off.
But still, totally romantic.
What a dick, I know.
I agreed to meet him,
I walked with him,
I had coffee with him.
We talked about our lives. Mine = really impressive right now. His = living with parents in a small town, working a few days a week.
I looked at him, a stranger in my city but a master of the language. The tables have turned but he’s still on home ground.
He looked young again. He had lost the ease of talking english, after 3 months here.
His stammer was back, he doesn’t really have it unless he’s tired and stressed and having to speak English. Towards the end in Ireland he barely had it at all. It endeared me back in Ireland but now it made me sad for him because he was stressed and tired and I didn’t care about making him unstressed or putting him out of his misery. I didn’t care about him any more, and maybe I only ever cared about how his mood would impact our days and nights together.
It was a selfish thing, me and him.
Two selfish people, falling in love with our reflections in each others’ eyes.
But he didn’t look like my lover, he looked like someone else. He had different shoes.
He had a black shirt on and then he pulled out of a massive bag, a shirt he wanted to show me. My stomach knotted when I saw it and heard him ask my opinion. A red and black flannel shirt. Just like my husband had. It’s no big deal, it’s a fairly common shirt. But he wanted me to like it and I said it was nice, and then when we were leaving the cafe he said wait, I have to change my coat.
Why? Are you cold?
No, I want to wear this shirt (the flannel one) but not with this jacket. He was wearing a khaki jacket.
He pulled a spare coat out of his overnight bag and I tried to examine how I felt about a man who carries a spare coat in case he wants to wear a different coloured shirt.
I guess I had no feeling about it, I always liked how he dressed so I can’t complain if some thought went into it.
A little bit gay.
That’s what the part of me who wanted him to fuck off and leave me to enjoy my independence, wanted me to think.
We walked down by the river and I knew more or less where we were going but my knowledge of the city wasn’t enough to be proud of, really.
I told him stories of my nights out here, I named friends, I named male and female friends. He was impressed. In one month you have made a lot of friends… that’s really impressive. Ah. I’m impressive, man. It might have taken you a few months to realise it but most people are quite happy to have me in their lives, you arrogant cunt.
The general feeling as we walked along, was… for me… a feeling of distance, of forcing something dead between us, just because we’re both a bit lonely. Forcing something that maybe wasn’t anything anyway.
Interspersed with anger and a desire to say something cruel to hurt him.
I never loved you.
I fucked other people when we were together.
I just met with you to end things nicely, I have a new French boyfriend called Jean Pierre now, he’s tall too, and he has a proper beard and he makes me come just by looking at my nipples.
I knew we didn’t have much to do in the city. It was just walking and he had a big bag with him because he wanted to buy some clothes while he was in the city as his town sucks.
We walked some more and then we went for another coffee.
He ordered for me, a coffee with lots of sweet cream. It was good, we sat and looked at our coffees as a huge greyhound watched us and then put its forelegs up on the bar and stood there expectantly until the bar owner yelled at it.
We both looked at the greyhound in silence before one of us made a comment about the dog and then there was a silence and then a few minutes later, the other person said something similar.
And then I looked at him and he was sad, and he said are we ready now, to talk about us?
And I thought then, no, no I’m not, I don’t know why I met you. I don’t feel like I love you, I don’t feel like kissing you. You’re a stranger but you’re worse because you hurt me.
I said, I don’t know how I feel.
And he looked so sad and lonely, a part of me cared about his feelings then and I reached out and touched his hand and I do love him, I do love him, his hand was electric and clammy and big and I looked at his eyes and they were the eyes that gazed up at me from my navel and they were the eyes that left me at the airport and that seemed to ask a question every time we came together.
And I wanted him, and I knew him again and again we were us.
He stroked my hand and his face looked sadder than any tears.
I wanted him to be happy then. I wanted to tell him I still wanted him, that all I wanted was to kiss him and hold him and tell him… but no.
I stroked his hand back and felt how clammy it was and I said I didn’t know but that I did still feel something, but I don’t know…
And he said he understood… it was understandable.. he didn’t expect…
He wanted to kiss me, but he wasn’t a guy who kisses in cafes.
He stroked my hand up to my wrist, and along my arm a little.
How does he have this effect on me?
I touched his arm too and wondered if it was the same for him.
He told me again, he wanted to kiss me.
My insides were mush…
I’m not kissing you in this cafe.
And I’m not taking you back to my place.
Where… he asked
Well, I said, I could take you where I normally go to kiss guys…
He smiled weakly.
Let’s just go for a walk.
We left the cafe and it was torrential rain.
I wanted to press against him in the rain, I wanted to kiss him and I wanted his tongue in my mouth and his hands firmly everywhere but I felt like he had to make all the moves. I couldn’t jump on him…
Well, I said, I guess we do have to go to my place until it stops raining. We took the metro and I felt like I held the reins again. I knew where I was going. We didn’t touch.
We dashed through monsoon and into the building. The tiny lift seemed like a joke for him. He’s so tall, I had forgotten how tall he was. I warned him my lift makes a scary noise and drops a tiny bit… it always does that.
He nodded but jumped when it happened. I used to be scared of lifts, he told me.
So did I. But I guess I’m more scared of excercise, so I got over it…
Inside my apartment and the seconds inched forwards. I hoped my flatmate wasn’t home. The cool swedish girl has gone home now and damn I miss her, she was awesome. I still have the weird, hermitlike French girl.
She’s always home, but sometimes she isn’t.
I hoped she wouldn’t be home, but she was. She was on the couch watching tv. I said hi in French and told her, it’s raining.
She nodded and then saw Antoine, and shrieked.
I was like, sorry, it’s… raining… we… it’s raining. This is my flatmate, this is Antoine… eh.
She pointed at her seemingly normal sweatpants and t shirt and said they were her pyjamas and she was embarassed. I have honestly never seen her wearing anything other than sweatpants and a t shirt or hoodie so I don’t know what the problem was, but I apologised again.
We went into my bedroom and left the door open out of… embarassment?
Flatmate ran into her room and I guessed she would stay in there, so Antoine and I took off our wet boots and coats and in a surge of motherly feelings I put his coat on the radiator so it would be dry for him.
We sat on the bed and he held my hand and I touched his face and we kissed and it was like it always was, passionate, beautiful, tender…
We kissed like starving people finding food.
We touched each other respectfully, tentatively, face, hands, arms, neck, shoulders.
I wanted to cry or tell him I loved him but I held back.
He murmured my name into my neck and said, before this gets any further… do you have what we will need?
I said no, I just have those horrible coloured fruit ones.
Did you not bring any?
He shook his head and I kissed him hard on the lips.
I love that you didn’t bring any. I hate that we don’t have any but I really love that you didn’t bring any.
He said, of course.
We kissed for ages and then we went to the supermarket to get condoms, food, wine, cheese.
We landed in my bedroom again and put on music, the music we used to listen to, and we fell into the sex and it was sad and beautiful and hot and sexy and loving and intimate. It was wonderful. He came quite soon, his face contorted like he was in pain, and afterwards he lay gently on my and kissed me in little nips on my face and neck and after every little kiss there was another kiss, like he couldn’t kiss me enough, and each kiss occured to him singly.
I stroked his head and thought how much I love this man. Not him-
Not the whole man. But this man, the man who makes love to me and then lies inside me with little kisses.
I made dinner and I thought it would be really good but it wasn’t great. He told me it was good. We drank wine and watched a tv show and drank wine and smoked and talked and laughed and we made love again and it was amazing and different and so fucking hot.
I only have a single bed and he’s too tall for the bed so I put the tiny matress on the ground and we tried to sleep that way, unused to each others’ bodies after so long…
Gently happy in the novelty of each other, but too conscious of it to drift off. It was a restless, bad sleep but I didn’t care because every time I woke up I woke up with my nose under his chin, or his arm around my sweaty neck, or his hand gingerly encasing my fingers.
I kissed him sleeping and when my alarm went off for school I was too tired to get up and I didn’t want to get up, and we had coffee and breakfast and made love again and then had separate showers and went to the city centre.
He was free until Wednesday (today) but I was wary and I told him it was too much, too soon, and I was going out with friends on Tuesday night. So he went home on tuesday and I went out with my girlfriends.
I wanted to spend another night with him, of course I did, but I’m not going to be 100% stupid. I need to protect myself a little bit.
He said he wanted to see me again soon, and we said maybe the first few days in January we could do something.
I don’t know if this is a mutual desire to take things slow or was he just being respectful of the lies I told him, and trying to act like he didn’t want to see me too soon again either.
You know what I’m like, I’d see him again today if I could
And yet, the little niggling things are still there.
Things about him…
He’s not a man who will give me anything. He has nothing to offer me, except absolute fucking euphoria.
He won’t look after me and he probably doesn’t even WANT to.
He won’t support me, he won’t care… he’s not going to be there for me. He can’t be. And he has so much stuff to do, young person stuff… before he’s ready to be where I am.
I’m not wanting to settle down right now either but I’ve done all my truly stupid and crazy things, the on purpose ones anyway. He hasn’t. He wants to go hitching around south america with a fucking typewriter. I want to stay in one place albeit in a foreign country on my own, and type in comfort on my top of the range computer. I may be a total fucking mess of a person but I am at least a bit of a grown up, in some ways.
And oh, it’s not fair, because the sex is un fucking real. I’m not saying it’s like we’re these amazingly accomplished sex people, but together… it feels so fucking good. Just the way it feels when his fingers touch mine… is more than I’ve had with most people.
So I’m not sure where this can go, what I can do with it, and what’s more stupid, continuing pretending I can have a casual relationship with someone I have that kind of attraction to, or continuing to pretend I can have no kind of relationship at all and move on without something actually unforgivable to go down.
I’m very tired now, I drank a lot of wine while writing this.
And I need to pee.
Your thoughts on my folly are as always, appreciated.