0

A Risky Return

I paced the floor anxiously.  I stood up, sat down, stood up, sat back down.  I let out a disgruntled moan.

The time had come.  My cousin and his wife would be returning from their trip in only a couple short days and I needed to make a decision on where I would go next.
My mother and I were meeting in Bali in a month’s time, so it seemed silly to begin a new job and settle down in a new place, only to have to pick up and leave soon after.
I didn’t want to stay where I was so I considered travelling for the month, but was seriously low on funds.  I tried to find a temporary job doing farm work or fruit picking, but did not receive a single response.
The only option that really appealed to me was returning to the surf town.  I reasoned that I could get my old job back, have a few couches here and there to crash on, and that it was necessary because I really truly missed my friends and needed them in my life.  All that was true, but maybe the real subconscious reason for my decision was that I wanted to see Nick, even though my heart started pounding and my skin started sweating anytime I thought about seeing him.  It had been nearly a month since his announcement and I had yet to respond.  I knew that seeing him would be inevitable, so I decided to try and be the bigger person and call a truce.
My fingers trembled when I dialled his number.  After an eternity he finally answered, I took a deep breath and firmly spoke my peace.
“I’m trying to be happy for you, because I know that this is all you’ve ever wanted,” I told him.
“That’s not true -” he interjected.
“Do NOT interrupt me.  I’m speaking now,” I spat and he shut right up.  “Anyway, I’m coming back to town and I know we have all the same friends and I know I’ll have to see you so I wanted to tell you that I don’t hate you and that we’re cool, but in no way can I ever be your friend.”
He said he understood and thanked me for my call.  I hung up the phone and got to work planning my return.
Oh dear God, what have I done?


I had changed and so had the town.  It was noisier and more chaotic than I had ever remembered, chalked full of all the visiting summer vacationers. I felt reborn and vowed that this time around I would be the most social version of myself and say yes to every experience offered to me.

I met up with Kyle and the two of us walked the beach.  Of course, the second person we ran into was Nick…  He and Kyle chit chatted, while I stood off to the side.
“Nice to see you,” Nick smiled at me, “Otis is in the truck if you want to say hi.”
I spent the rest of their conversation cuddling Otis, who had become a full-grown dog in my absence.
After finally escaping the awkwardness that felt like it lasted a lifetime, I received apologies from both guys for putting me in such a situation.  I told them both not to walk on eggshells around me and that I was fine, but the minute I walked into Kennedy’s house I began drinking heavily…

That night we celebrated my return with an epic chicken dinner cooked by Jill, followed by lots of wine and joints and cigarettes, followed still by a quick ride into town where we would proceed to dance the night away.  I met up with heaps of friends including one in particular who had messaged me earlier in the day named Fred.

… A little backstory on Fred: He and I met shortly after I first moved to town.  Jill and I were sitting on the beach and a group of guys walked by and called out ‘cheers!’ to us while simultaneously tipping their beer bottles in our direction.  They were cute, friendly and drinking so we decided to join them.  They were a group of local street artists and I hit it off particularly well with Fred.  We all ended up getting loose at the bar.  Fred and I snuck out the back to smoke a joint and laugh about our same stupid sense of humour.
“You’re really cool, we should be best friends.  No, seriously, we should be best friends,” he insisted.
After that, we chatted back and forth and he ended up meeting me at the drum circle.  He insisted I come to the bar to have a drink and dance with him. It was getting late and I had work in the morning so I told him I was heading home.  He leaned in to kiss me.  In all my stoned glory, I dodged his smooch and yelled out, “Did you just try to kiss me?!”
“Um, yeah that was my intention…”
I was all too aware of some of his chick friends standing out of his line of vision and filming the entire scene on their phones.  I felt so incredibly awkward, truthfully, I was attracted to Fred in a lot of ways and I was curious to kiss him, but I had just started dating Nick and didn’t want to betray him.  Instead of explaining any of these things, I just turned around and ran out of the bar.  After that, Fred and I were less friendly, but we’d still chat here and there, I’d run into him every so often and we’d have a drink together…

But this time, dancing at the same bar where he first made a move, I didn’t turn away when he leaned in to kiss me.
When everyone began parting ways and heading home for the night, Fred turned to me and asked me to spend the night with him.  Back at his house, drunk and turned on by the prospect of a new partner, I threw him down on his bed and attacked him with all the prowess and seduction within me.
He was tender and attentive, thumbing my nipples and kissing my breasts.  When he took off his pants my jaw dropped at his size, the largest I’ve ever had without a doubt.  He fucked kind of fast, which was slightly painful, but I managed to slow down the tempo.


 

I woke up, naked and sprawled across his bed.  My mouth was dry and I was disoriented, but something had woken me up.  It was an older man standing in the open doorway, we made eye contact before he slammed the door shut in embarrassment.  I had a sudden flashback of stumbling into a grandiose house, chalked full of expensive looking art pieces.  And then it hit me: Fred lived at home.  Fred lived at home and we had just spent the entire night having loud, boisterous sex.  I was mortified.  Even more so when I had to get up and be introduced to Fred’s dad and even more so when he had to drive Fred and I into town because apparently we had cabbed into the middle of butt-fuck no where and Fred had lost his license earlier in the month due to a DUI.

Once in town, we went to part ways.  He asked what my plans were for the night and I told him about a show I was meant to go to.  Not even an hour later he messaged me saying he had gotten a spare ticket and would see me there.  I couldn’t help but grin.
“Be careful,” all my friends warned, “He obviously likes you a lot.”

My friends had ditched the show and I hadn’t seen Fred anywhere.  I was just about to leave myself when there he was, leaning against the front door frame, chatting to one of the ticket girls.  When I saw him, he looked embarrassed as he pulled me close to him,
“I was just trying to guess where this girl is from.  I thought Germany, but my friend thought Russia so I had to come over and find out,” he explained nervously.
I just laughed and brushed it off, happy that I had finally run into him.  We spent the rest of the night dancing, drinking vodka and making out against the bar.  When he took me home I told him how uncomfortable I felt meeting his dad.
“My dad really likes you, I’m glad you met him.  I don’t bring girls home very often, and I want you to get to know my family because I want you to be around a lot.”
I blushed.  My friends were right, he obviously did like me… a lot.


Fred asked to see me the following night, but I told him I needed a night to myself.  He expressed his disappointment, but asked me if he could cook me dinner at the beach on a following night.  I could barely contain my excitement at the prospect of such a romantic date, but felt sideswiped when he mentioned that a couple of his friends would be joining us.  Ashamed that I had misread the situation, I desperately texted Jill and begged her to join us.
Once we were all sitting and I was desperately trying to relax, who should walk over, but Max and Brandon and Kyle and bevy of the rest of Nick and my shared friend group.  I knew they were also planning a barbecue but thought they had chosen another spot.  To my horror, they decided to join us and I let out a huge sigh of relief that Nick was not amongst them.
Long story short, we all got stinking drunk and Fred and I disappeared back to my tent, but ended up just passing out on top of each other.

I woke up covered in sweat and with a vicious hangover, I rolled over and groaned with the pain.  Fred awoke and suggested we treat ourselves to a lazy hungover day at my campground.  We smoked weed and swam in the pool, smoked more weed and got breakfast, smoked even more weed and had sex and then smoked a little more while hanging out in the jungle.  We finally left the grounds to catch sunset and smash a pizza on the beach.  We parted ways and promised to get together soon to watch a movie, but after that day things changed drastically.


Fred stopped responding to my messages, whenever I’d see him out he’d make an excuse to leave, yet he would tell me how beautiful I was and kiss me in public, but then I’d hear stories about him leaving with other women.  I confided in my friend Reese and she insisted none of it was true.
“I know Fred really well, he’s not the kind of guy who picks up random girls at the bar.  He’s a sensitive artist type.  Trust me, he’s a good one.”
Maybe so, but it seemed he had moved on from me and I wondered desperately what had changed.

On Aussie Day, high on M and feeling alone, I made the mistake of calling him up and telling him I wanted to see him.
“I’m fucked up,” he admitted, “I want to see you too, but I don’t know if I can make it back into town, you could come here though.”
“Why don’t you text me the address and I’ll try to get a lift,” I suggested.
“Yes, that would be awesome.  I’ll text you right now, I really hope I get to see you.”
I never received a message and I spent the next day wallowing in my hangover and hating myself for being such a fool.

A couple days later, I saw him out, but walked away before he could notice me.  Sitting down on the patio with my friends, I tried not to notice him leave with a skinny brunette.
When Reese arrived and I told her, she was in disbelief and disappeared to get the scoop from one of Fred’s friends.
“Okay babe,” she said upon returning, “this is going to hurt really badly, but it’s better for you to know so you can move on.  That girl he left with is his girlfriend, apparently they’ve been dating for a while.”
Ouch.
“And on top of that, supposedly he fucks a new girl every week.  I’m so sorry, he had us all fooled.”
Double ouch.

I tried to be strong and laugh it off like I didn’t care, but I fell apart.  All the Nick issues I’d buried inside came bubbling to the surface.  I told everyone I didn’t want a boyfriend, but I’d used Fred to distract myself and to replace that giant gaping, Nick-shaped hole in my life.  I cried, a lot.  I could not stop.  I left the bar and went home where I cried myself to sleep.


At 7 am I staggered into work hungover, sleep deprived and depressed.  My co-worker and I smoked a joint before starting on our cleaning duties and the weed helped numb me.  In fact, all I’d been doing since I’d returned was drinking, smoking weed and using hard drugs and the chemicals were reeking havoc with my emotions.  On top of it all, after finishing my shift, I received an angry phone call from my dad, accusing me of being a shitty daughter.
“You’re right,” I admitted, “My life is an absolute mess right now, but I’m going to try harder.”
I wanted to go back to sleep, but my tent was too hot so instead I met some friends at the beach.  The moment I got out of the water I made eye contact with a smiling Fred, walking towards me, blissfully unaware of the revelation I’d just received.
I panicked.  I had no idea what I wanted to say to him.  So I did what I do best and quickly ran away from the beach.

That evening, I was still too terrified to face him, but instead constructed a long text message.  I knew it was the cowards way out, but I didn’t want to see him and I had to get some things off my chest for my own sake.
I just told him that I thought we were friends and he really disappointed me by being like every other Aussie guy.  I explained that I never wanted a relationship, but would have appreciated honesty and a bit of respect.
He apologised for being distant and blamed it on his upcoming move, before asking me to hangout the next day.
My response?
“The reason I’m saying these things is not because of you being distant.  We live in a small town, and I’m not an idiot.”

I didn’t expect a response and wasn’t surprised when I didn’t get one.  I seriously questioned my judge of character, took a deep breath and tried to make the most of my remaining days in town, thankful that I had Bali to escape to.

 

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1

September is for Self Sabotage

Damn, I want a cigarette is all I can think right now.  As I begin to write this, I still haven’t fully processed just what the fuck has happened.

The other night there was a party at my friends’ house so my co-worker convinced me to check it out with him when we finally finished work.  Of course, I walked in the door and an extremely inebriated Dan was the first person I saw.  Of course, he hugged me and started acting all flirty while reminiscing on our past encounters.  I excused myself to do a lap, but somehow ended up talking to Dan again.  At one point, my brother literally stepped in between the two of us and started talking to me and now I realize why… because he saw something in my eyes and was doing his best to put a stop to it.  Because in that moment I really hoped something would happen between Dan and I.  If it were ever to happen again, it would be right now I rationalized, I’m drunk, he’s drunk, we’re vibing.

As I stepped outside to enjoy a smoke, he followed me and began mooching off me, as is his way.
“Seriously, you’ve smoked half of every pack I’ve ever bought, you really need to buy me a pack!  And pick up a pack for yourself since obviously you’re a smoker too.”
“I’m not a smoker anymore,” he retorted, “I smoke maybe a cigarette a week.  It’s only when I’m drunk.  Or when I’m around other people smoking.”
“I think it’s only around me because you take advantage of my good nature,” I responded, but still, I shared all of my last few cigarettes with him.
Later on, I was sitting with him on the front steps and went inside the house to use the bathroom, when I came out he was gone.  Biked home; didn’t even say goodbye.  I wasn’t all the surprised, but it still hurt, a lot.  I like the expression “heavy hearted” cause that’s exactly what it felt like: my heart had sunk to the bottom of my stomach.  Why was I doing this to myself?  Why was I letting him into my life and just throwing myself in his line of fire?  I just kept giving and giving and he kept taking and taking.  I couldn’t even stand up for myself.  Hadn’t I learned anything?

When my friend offered me a little bit of mushrooms, I gladly took them.  It was, after all, officially September, we all had reason to celebrate the end of summer.  The mushies hit me hard and I spent the remainder of the night getting followed around by one of the roommates 20-year-old brother who was visiting from out of town.  I began to seriously contemplate going for it, he may have been young but he was totally beautiful.
“Don’t forget about the staff party tomorrow,” my co-worker called as he left.
“I won’t! I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Hey, I got invited to that thing,” the 20-year-old chimed in, “My brother’s girlfriend works there.”
The two of us then decided it would be a brilliant idea to try and stay up all night and show up absolutely wrecked to a daytime party full of families with young children.  By 5 am we were passed out spooning on the futon.  Again, I seriously considered taking it further, it was, after all, September and I had lasted the whole summer like I set out to.  But he seemed so nervous and when I considered the fact that he would tell his brother, who would tell his girlfriend, who would tell everyone at work, who would tell everyone else including Dan, I decided against it, but thought that even saints deserved a good cuddle sesh.
The draught continues I thought, but I was so very wrong...

In the morning it was pissing rain, so I got a ride with my bike and we all stopped for breakfast sandwiches.  The guys were discussing getting stoned on the couch and watching movies all day and I felt incredibly jealous.  I didn’t want to spend my only day off at this event; I didn’t want to ride into town, go on a boat, and be out in the rain surrounded by families and happy couples; I didn’t want to socialize and make small talk with my relatively new co-workers.  I. Just. Didn’t. Want. To.  I wanted to take a hungover day for myself and I wanted to start by having a nap.  My co-workers texted trying to convince me to come, but I relented.  I (wrongfully) assumed that I wouldn’t be missed at the 100+ event.  To this day, I’m not sure what it was that changed.  I had every intention to go to this thing up until that moment.  Maybe it was my own insecurities or just plain laziness, but what I did that day was very entertaining indeed…

“John? John?”  I heard my roommates name being shouted down the hall.
I stuck my head out my open door to see his best friend Jess.
“John went to the staff party with Carlie,” I told him, “How’re you doing?  Long time no see.”
He began to tell me about how he was going through some hard times and feeling rather depressed about his recent breakup.  I climbed back in my bed and invited him to sit down in my room. I listened to him talk and tried to offer advice and encouraging words and then gave him a huge hug.
“Would it be strange if we cuddled?” he asked me.
“I was actually kind of thinking the same thing.”
We started spooning and at one point in our cuddle session he began sort of massaging me.
Okay where is this going?
Then his hand grazed my braless breasts and I gasped, he continued to massage around them while playing with the waist of my pj pants.
I should probably stop this… but maybe not just yet
He continued to explore and I didn’t stop it, it just felt too good.
It wasn’t long before we were both naked and I was digging around in my dresser in search for condoms.  The two of us got down and dirty and the weirdest part was that not once in our entire encounter did we kiss.  There was no intimacy involved whatsoever, just straight animalistic sex and it was pretty hot.  I came twice and we both collapsed on the bed.
“How the fuck did this happen?” I gasped.
“I have no idea,” he replied.
And with that we both passed out, still cuddling unit I woke up again at 4 in the afternoon.
I had a missed call, voicemail and text from my manager saying that they’d all like to see me present at the staff party.
Shit I thought.  I looked over at a naked Jess, shit shit shit!

We started talking, trying to comprehend what had taken place between us.
“I always thought you were hot,” he admitted, “and thought about asking you on a date.”
“Why didn’t you?”
“I thought you were seeing someone at the time.”
“I guess I was,” i said, thinking back on how I was smitten with Dan when I first met Jess and then he had gotten a girlfriend shortly after.  I’d always thought Jess was cute, but thought nothing more of it since he was John’s best friend.  He was also close with my girlfriend Sally and I had encouraged her to go for him when he became newly single, but she always saw him in the friendship light.
As if reading my thoughts, he said, “You know, Sally’s going through some stuff right now too.  She and I are good friends and we’ve only ever been friends, but I don’t know if she can handle this… maybe we shouldn’t tell her.”
“You know her better than me.  If that’s how you feel…” I had no problem keeping our indiscretion quiet, but the first person I thought of telling was her.
“So, I think you’re really cool and I’m not seeing anyone right now at all, so I think…”
“I’m leaving soon,” I told him, “I wanna keep things casual, but I would like to spend some time with you, get to know you, just take it day by day you know?”
“Yeah okay, sounds good.  Maybe we could hang out tonight?  After I have dinner at Sally’s?  I gotta go teach a surf lesson now.”
We exchanged numbers, hugged, but still, not a single kiss, not even a peck.

That night, after texting back and forth, he came over when everyone else was asleep and we threw down again like we had earlier and passed out in each others arms.  Having the satisfaction of sex and the warmth of a man next to me was incredible.

I woke up in the morning to my roommate texting me, asking if I was ready to go for breakfast.  I groaned and texted her back that I needed 20 minutes, then started laughing because obviously she knew not to enter my bedroom.
“I gotta go have breakfast,” I groggily informed him.
“I’m supposed to be having breakfast with my boss in a little bit,” he yawned.
I got ready, but he stayed in bed, “I’m just gonna sleep a little bit longer.”
I hugged him and told him I’d talk to him later.  When I returned home from breakfast, a part of me hoped he would still be in my bed, but he was gone.  I lay in bed all day and thought about the situation over and over again.  I lamented going to work in fear that everyone was mad at me and that I’d get fired for not attending.
Why didn’t I just go to my staff party?  Then none of this would have happened.  I would never have fucked Jess and my life would still be boring but uncomplicated.
Yet I didn’t regret any of my actions, in fact, given the chance I’d do it all over again.  What I really felt guilty about was my lack of remorse.  I knew I should regret getting involved with someone so mentally and emotionally unstable, it was just asking for trouble.  But I believe we both just really needed it, we sort of helped each other.

That night at work, everyone asked why I wasn’t at the party, but no one seemed mad.  I couldn’t very well admit I was busy getting laid all afternoon, so I made up a bevy of excuses: I was tired, under the weather, not feeling it, etc.
When I left, I had a text from Jess.  I wanted to see him, so I texted him back asking him about his day.  No response.  One day later and still nothing.  Finally he texted me to say he was going to the mainland for a week for work.  I asked him when he was leaving, he informed me that he was already gone.  That was the last I heard from him.

Now I’m really starting to trip out.  Do I continue this messed up relationship with him?  Do I tell my roommate John?  Would he even care?  Do I tell Sally?  If she found out would she be mad?  Or just mad that I kept it from her?  What the hell do I do?!?!  I guess I wait the week out and try to sort out my thoughts.

Apparently the theme for September is self-sabotage starting right off the bat and turning my whole world upside-down.  Shit.

0

The Hippy Flip

Bloggers Note:  I do not condone the use of drugs, but I personally find they are incredible tools for self discovery.  Please keep any judgement to yourself.

I’d been having the greatest time of my life, but I was really missing my closest girlfriends.  So when Suki and her boyfriend Paul came up for an impromptu visit, I was over the moon.  The three of us went into town and met up with my two favourite girlfriends here, Violet and Kennedy.  We all sat on a patio pounding back margaritas and discussing various options on how to spend our night.  I mentioned that Paul had brought an endless supply of MDMA.  Violet squealed that she had just received a huge amount of mushrooms, “We HAVE to hippy flip you guys!  Tonight is THE NIGHT!” (Hippy flipping is combining MDMA and mushrooms to get the ecstasy of the M with the visual stimulant of the mush.)
Suki and Paul looked hesitant, I was totally on board.  A bunch of us headed to my house and began barbecuing and drinking.  As it got later we all took the M and started feeling its effects immediately.  We decided to cab to staff accom so we might have a fire on the beach.  Once down at the fire with our huge group of co-workers, Paul and Violet started handing out party favours freely and before long there was 15 or so of us waiting for the effects of the combination to hit us.  And boy, did they ever hit us hard!  We were all cuddling and holding each other around the fire while intermittently running and splashing in the ocean waves.  The sand was rippled with water and the orange crescent moon reflected off the smooth surface, bouncing and dancing with every step we took.  The phosphoresce glowed in the crashing white wash.  Violet, Kennedy and I held each other closely as the water lapped at our ankles.
“Can you believe this is our life?” Violet whispered.  “We get to live here and see this every day.”
We held hands while spinning in circles while screaming, “I love my life!”
Throughout the night I would stare up at the sky, arms raised above my headed and opened towards the heavens and would let out the heaviest sigh.  There was so much beauty, I couldn’t handle it.  I felt overwhelmed by my own insignificance.  I could see every constellation in the sky, the animals jumped out from every direction.  The stars were all webbed, linking together like the ceiling of a circus tent and all the light in the sky, all the energy seemed to be focused on the cluster of stars directly above us.  My mind cried over and over again, “This is for you.  This is all for you.”  Looking up at the night sky I knew, that something big, something great was coming for me.  I didn’t know what and I didn’t know when, but I could feel it in my soul.  As the sun started rising, we all began coming down and began our trecks back to our respective beds.  After a 2 hour nap, we were all back on my patio, sprawled across blankets, still tripping over the swaying tree tops and watching eagles and falcons circulate overhead.  We smoked doobies and drank beer in the hopes of evening out.  I had spent the entire night enthralled with feelings of love and friendship for all of those around me, but now that the fun was over I craved a cuddle session with a beautiful man named Dan.  I texted him, he responded, I fell asleep, we didn’t meet up.  The next day I felt better but still a bit “off.”  I set to work baking a cake for my roommates birthday when I realized I had no milk.  I sauntered down the road to my brothers house to borrow a cup, but with no one home and nothing in view except almond milk, I went next door to ask Dan.  He greeted me with a  huge hug, gave me the milk and asked if I wanted to hangout.
“I’ll come by around 10” he said.
“You better text first, I might be in bed,” I responded.
The man showed up within 10 minutes.
After amazing cake and amazing sex I finally felt like things were starting to go my way, like I was in control of our relationship for once and that I could handle being just friends with benefits.  I went to bed late, but feeling fantastic.

When I woke up the next morning my attitude had done a 180.  I was sick.  Really sick.  Like, can’t-get-out-of-bed sick and totally miserable.  I cried out loud when I thought about my half-marathon in a mere 2 days, I couldn’t believe that after all my training I may not even be able to run it.  I wanted to be babied and considered texting Dan (after all, I’d been so nice to him when he was sick, didn’t he owe me the same?) but my pride wouldn’t let me.  I didn’t need him, I had plenty of doting friends.  Kennedy brought me a joint and some munchies in the hopes of cheering me up.

My race day arrived and I felt miserable while running the course.  The entire time my mind kept returning to Dan.  Could I be okay with only a physical relationship?  Could I handle him sleeping with other women?  Could I do without the emotional support?  Did he even care about me at all?  I made up my mind that the true test would be if Dan texted me to say “Good luck” or “Hey, how’d the race go?” I had been talking about it for weeks, if he remember then maybe he really did care.  The race day came and went and nothing.  I felt disappointed but not entirely surprised.  My disappointment turned to anger and humiliation and all night long my idle mind thought up various terrible scenarios in which he was using me.  I began overanalyzing everything he’d ever said and done and coming to the most negative conclusions.  The next morning, before I headed home, I walked out onto the black jagged rocks and meditated to the sound of crashing waves.  When my eyes opened, most of my anger had dissipated and I knew what I had to do.  I needed to swear off men…

3

Back on the Horse

After getting over my initial partying, catching up with friends and trying to organize my mess of clothing, it was time for me to come up with a new plan of attack on life. I wasn’t entirely sure where to go or what to do, but I wanted the new and improved me to fulfil any longstanding goals and follow any and every dream.  I began to wrack my brain, constantly posing the question “What do I want?” The first thing that came to mind was for years I’d been saying I wanted to teach English overseas but never took any steps to actually do it.  I figured now was the time to stop saying it and start living it.  After all, it would put my English degree to use, let me test the teaching waters, give me writing material and give me the chance to make money while travelling, what was left to ponder?  I began fine-tuning my plan.  I researched a variety of TEFL experiences in a multitude of countries and finally settled on Indonesia.  Why?  I’ve always wanted to travel Southeast Asia, particularly Indo.  The cost of living is low, while a teaching salary is relatively high.  Most schools assist in securing teachers a work visa and provide accommodations and flight reimbursement.  I vetoed China as too hectic and dirty, Brazil as too sketchy and South Korea because I read that as a people they are very adverse to visible tattoos (D’OH!)  A little more research into Indonesia and I discovered that obtaining a TEFL certificate on top of a university degree is a government standard.  No sweat, I would register for an online program, get a serving job to save up while having ample time to complete said certification.  I set to work handing out resumes and quickly secured a job at a local watering hole.  Perfect.  Now to register for school, but that’s when I ran into some setbacks.  Mainly, a crying, on the verge of bankruptcy father who begged me for some money to keep him going.  Next thing I knew I was in the hole fifteen hundred bucks (I know, I know, I just wrote an entire post on not succumbing to guilt, but he’s my father and he asked for a favour, I owe him my life.)  Gone was my money for school.  On top of that, my job wasn’t going so well either.  I was working three day shifts a week at the pub and grossing a whopping $35 in tips, along with measly pay checks.  I was solely living off my credit card and even though I was living with my mom she was still charging me out the ass for rent.  I received invitations to attend elaborate weekends in the city and my credit card limit crawled closer and closer to “maxed out.”  It seemed to me that I would never reach my goal, but instead die broke and alone in the shitty joke of a town that I had vowed never to return to.  Finally, things began to look up for me.  My dad got a job and began to pay me back, after months of banter back and forth, my insurance company finally decided to write-off my car and offered me an obscene amount of money for it (which I gleefully accepted.)  And my brother encouraged me to apply for a summer serving job at the resort he was working at located in a well-known tourist town (of which there were mumblings of me definitely securing the position.)  I enrolled and began my certification.  Things were finally coming together and I was on my right path.  Then, I met Matthew…


Another one of my goals was to be an all around better version of myself: workout daily, eat healthy, no drinking, being more positive and happy, making more time for friends and trying new things that would normally make me uncomfortable.  The last resolution was what brought me out that night.  An old co-worker invited me to an EDM show at the headquarters of the local university radio station.  The idea alone scared me to shit.  Show up alone (and sober) at an unfamiliar venue?  Scary. Meet up with someone I hardly knew and meet her new girlfriend and homies from her polyamory club?  Horrifying.  But I resolved that rather than bail, I would put myself in a potentially uncomfortable situation if it meant possibly meeting some new people in my hometown and hey, if it went to shit at least it would make for a good story, right?
Cut to me standing alone at the bar.  The hot guy I’d been eye fucking had just left with another girl and my friend had completely disappeared.  I was contemplating if I should just finish my cider (while looking cool and unfazed) before fleeing the scene and returning home for a night of Netflix, when the guy beside me suddenly turned to me and said, “That’s really cool of you!”
“What?” I responded, clearly confused.
He gestured to an old lady in sequins, cutting a rug on the dance floor. “It’s nice that you bring your mother clubbing with you!  I bet you taught her those sweet dance moves didn’t you?”
I could’t help but laugh and thus began my introduction to Matthew.  He wasn’t traditionally good-looking, I wouldn’t have picked him out in a room, but his confident nature intrigued me.  He told me he was from the town over and had just moved home following a failed business stint in the Philippines.  He was in the midst of starting his own web design business, but was also an amateur stand-up comedian and aspiring writer.  A man who shares my sense of adventure and creativity?  Amazing.  As we continued to talk we discovered more and more similarities between the two of us.  When my acquaintance finally reappeared she announced that she was leaving and asked if I wanted a ride home.  I was torn.  I knew the sensible thing was to go home, but I was so intrigued by this character, so I took a huge risk and chose to stay.  Things quickly got intense on the dance floor with Matthew grinding against me and constantly trying to go in for a kiss.
Wow, this guy does not waste any time I thought.  But still, I continued to ignore all common sense by going to an out of town after party with he and his friend.  After a night of drunken debauchery (and me constantly insisting to Matthew that I would not be sleeping with him) his friend insisted the two of us crash in the spare bedroom.  After a whole 10 minutes of resisting, I gave in and sex happened.  And happened.  And then happened again.  Before I knew it, it was morning and we had spent the entire night fucking.  I’d had countless orgasms and we were starting yet another round.  It was the best sex I had ever had in my LIFE.  When he drove me home in the morning, we stopped at Starbucks.  Every time his arm went around my waist it sent thrills down my spine.  When he dropped me off at home, exhausted and rug burnt, I found myself already beginning to miss him.  Imagine my surprise when I soon discovered he was the ex of an old friend of mine.


I felt riddled with guilt at the discovery, but how could I have known?  They dated years back when I was living out of town.  I’d heard stories but never met the guy or even saw a photo.  I knew if I wanted to see him again I would have to get my friend’s clearance.  I told her what happened (minus the sex details) and she actually encouraged me to sleep with him.  “He’s great in bed and really well endowed,” (yes, yes he is) “he’d make a great booty call” (minus the fact we were both living with our moms) “but… and this is not coming from a jealous ex-girlfriend perspective: do not date him!  He’s egotistical and superficial and a shitty boyfriend who only cares about himself!”
Whoa!  I reassured her that the last thing I wanted was a boyfriend (the truth) and that I would keep her advice in mind, but her words scared me.  Two days later when he asked if I wanted to see a movie I made up a paltry excuse.  The next day when he invited me out for drinks I didn’t respond, nor did I answer when he called.  Feeling slightly guilty for blowing him off (and incredibly horny) I resolved to call him the next night to make plans.  What was meant to be a 10 minute conversation was suddenly going on 2 and 1/2 hours and we’d made plans to spend the following day together.  WTF?!  How did the situation get away from me?
He told me I was easy to talk to, I melted.


Our day together was fun, albeit frightening.  We went up-island to some tourist shops and he was constantly trying to hold my hand or lean in for a kiss until I expressed my displeasure for anything resembling PDA or any date-like activities in general, but there was one form of physical activity I was keen on.
“Hey, my mom’s at work for a couple more hours if we want to head back of my place…”
Post coitus we were driving in my car and giggling like school girls.  We stopped for coffee and to recharge and talk some more.  I was hooked.  Following that day my face would light-up whenever his name graced my caller ID.  He had his place to himself for two weeks of which I spent most nights there having mind-blowing sex and long conversations.  I made excuses for dropping off the face of the earth, but finally came clean to my friends.
“OMG, he’s your soulmate the psychic described!”
“But it’s not even spring?”
“It’s February, that’s close enough!”
Soulmate?  Matthew?  The words alone made me cringe, but there was no doubt I was infatuated with this man.  But what about me and my plans for the future?

During a crazy party night in the city I drunk-texted Matthew to tell him I had networked a potential client for him.  When I received no response I realized how clingy I had come off.  Trying to round up business for him at a party?  Pathetic! (The conversation had actually come up naturally, but still.)  That night I couldn’t sleep and felt myself beginning to panic over the whole situation: my ex, my life, everything.  I told myself if Matthew never spoke to me again I would move on with grace and dignity.  That’s when it dawned on me just how much I really did care for him.  The next afternoon I texted an apology for my drunkeness.  He responded to say how flattered he was that I was repping his business at a party.  I smiled from ear to ear.


As time went on we began shifting more and more into couple territory without ever assigning the title or even discussing the nature of our relationship.  As we grew closer I began to see those little red flags my friend had warned me about.  He praised me for my psychical attributes and nothing else.  He steered every conversation back towards the topic of him.  He name dropped and bragged about how rich his friends were.  On top of that, he hated camping and everything outdoorsy (BOO!) and honestly believed that having tremendous wealth was the most important goal in the world.  He interrupted me and talked over me and argued every stupid thing.  I realized that I had worked so hard to get away from an uneven relationship and here I was in almost the same situation. I resolved more than ever to get myself away from my surroundings and begin my new job and new life in a new community.


A week before I was to move, he left for a bachelor party in Barbados.  I was relieved that I wouldn’t have to have an awkward goodbye with him.  He kept suggesting that he would come visit me while I was hoping to make a clean break.  Especially after my friend finally admitted that she was actually pissed off at me for sleeping with her ex.  He tried to call me twice from Barbados, once I was out with friends and rudely dismissed him when he tried to launch into a huge story about his travel troubles.  The second time I did not answer.  He texted me once when he got back to ask how my move was.  I never responded and we haven’t spoken since.  It’s funny how for a while there I was convinced this man was the one for me and since I left his company I haven’t given him a second thought.  The true definition of a rebound.