Posts Tagged ‘edinburgh

It’s been one month since British ended things on facebook.

I haven’t reached out to him since he last said “Talk to you soon” and he hasn’t called/emailed/txted me either. I want to tell him I miss him, that I still think of him *all the time*, but I know I shouldn’t. I try to focus on the bad instead of the good, and really, there was far more bad than good. I cried over him so much, it’s embarrassing. For the approximate year we talked, I think we had about 3 months and 5 days (those 5 days were when I was in Edinburgh) of “really really good” – the rest of it was excuses and possible lies and me crying over a boy who said he loved me but never showed me he loved me.

He didn’t break up with his girlfriend like he said he would. In fact, I have no doubt that if I hadn’t booked my tickets to visit him, they’d still be miserably together (miserable according to him, of course). He said he would look for tickets as soon as  the cast came off his wrist. That was March 2011. That didn’t happen. He actually had even told me that he’d talked to doctor about splitting the cast early, if need be, so he could travel to see me.  Clearly, that never happened either. Then he had to get through physio, then he had no money, then he still had a girlfriend. He said he would ask his mom/sister if I could come as his guest to his sister’s wedding… when I booked my tickets, I was leaving a week before her wedding was to happen. Not a peep to say I should come later so I could go as his guest.  Not one word about taking me, even though we’d talked about it. I was so blinded by my ridiculous love for him, I couldn’t see what was right in front of me.

As much as he was a smooth-talking, British-accented asshole, I was a fucking idiot. Just massively stupid. Everyone had told me to end things with him, put him on the back burner, stop loving him the way I did… and I couldn’t. I just couldn’t and now I’m paying for it with my tears and wasted time.

I want to scream at him and tell him he’ll never do better than me. He’ll never meet someone like me again. That he threw away what could’ve been a lifetime of happiness because he’s such a scared little boy. But the thing is, he doesn’t care about any of that, or me, anymore. And I have to accept it. It’s hard though… because even though deep-down I know it’s not really about me — it’s about him and his issues — it is very hard not to wonder why I wasn’t good enough for him, why he didn’t want to try to work things out, why he said he loved me but didn’t mean it.

I also want to yell super mean things to him, like: “Fuck yourself, Fatty! Suck your own man-tits from now on!!”  Haha. I know that’s awful, and he was sensitive about his weight gain, but seriously. The boy had fucking moobs and I didn’t say anything. More than a mouthful, you know? And again. I didn’t care. I loved him.  He turned me on more than anyone else ever has. I was SO attracted to him and cannot explain that either.

I regret letting things get to where they did. I had always told him that if it was just about the sex, we could’ve kept things light/easy and with no feelings involved. He always responded that it wasn’t just sex for him, that wasn’t why he wanted to talk to me, see me, be with me. And yet, again, he really did nothing to make any of that happen. I wish we’d stayed just ‘facebook friends’ – occasional emails about life, working in Africa, working in public health… it would have saved me an emotional roller-coaster for a year. Hopefully, one day, I’ll look back at this relationship and be able to see what it did for me, both good and bad, but since it’s only been one month, it’s hard to do that right now without so much hurt/anger/love that still exists within me for this stupid boy.


… in Scotland! Get your mind out of the gutter. I don’t think I’ll be revealing *those* details in this blog, at least not yet. Maybe at some point.

So although this relationship ended in a disaster for me, and nothing happened like I had planned for it to, I did get to visit Scotland for the first time. It had never really been on my list of places to go – I hadn’t thought much about it as a destination. And yet, I fell in love with it the minute I landed at Edinburgh Airport and talked to the very nice man at passport control (Atlanta may want to take some lessons on welcoming people to the country).

I had been worried since booking the ticket that he would forget to pick me up at the airport. I had this overwhelming fear that he wouldn’t remember what time my flight was and he’d leave me sitting at the airport — just ridiculous concerns about what I would do if that happened. My friend was going to be in France at the same time, so I told her I’d be joining her if things went badly. I didn’t know exactly how I would get there, but figured I could if I needed to. I had such little hope and/or expectations on what would happen. I was excited, but I contained it so that I wouldn’t be disappointed…

The flight was eventful. First, as I went through security, they ran my purse multiple times. The agent finally came to me and asked, “Do you have a wrench in here?” and I, of course, said “No! Why would I have a wrench in my purse??”  But… I did. I forgot that I’d picked up a chair from a friend and had taken the wrench with me in case I had to take the chair apart. So we found it, and they measured it and said I could keep it.  Ok… so first of all, a wrench that is only 3 inches in length is not as dangerous as one that is 3.5 inches? It makes NO SENSE!!! Secondly, as I told them, I was connecting through Amsterdam. There was NO way they would let me through… basically, TSA said – whatever. Still your wrench.

So I talked to my parents from the waiting lounge in the airport and they also said I had to get rid of it before AMS…which I did, by wrapping it in tissue and dropping it in the sanitary napkin holder in the bathroom. I treated the wrench like it was cocaine. I’m an idiot. (Also, my parents had no idea I was going to see this British boy. They thought I was going with a friend who’s dad was playing golf there…. thankfully, they didn’t ask very many questions, because that is about the worst lie I have ever told.)

I board, and just my luck, I sat next to a Russian couple who decided they would ignore every law possible. First, the flight attendants came by multiple times to tell them to shut off their computer, which they never did. They just made it look like they closed it so they wouldn’t lose the game they were playing. Then, about half-way through the flight, I look over and he is shirtless. Yup… no shirt on. And she’s putting salve on his apparently new tattoo. Who gets a brand-new tatt right before flying somewhere? And why do I end up sitting by them?!!??! WTF. I just looked away and tried to erase the image from my brain. Hard to do, when he still had no clothes. AND THEN! We land and we’re taxing to the runway and he pulls out a lighter (how’d that even get past TSA?) and starts flicking it on and off….  I finally just looked at him and said, “No. Stop. Put that away.” And he did, but seriously, wtf.

So we landed and my luggage came quickly and there I was, sitting in the waiting area, hoping he remembered to come get me. And there he was … looking exactly as I’d remembered. He leaned in to kiss me hello and I gave him my cheek and I was so nervous I started talking a thousand miles a minute telling him about the naked Russians and the wrench and even how I thought he would forget to come get me. We drove through the city and it was gray/overcast, though not freezing, and I loved it. Just loved it. His flat was nothing as I’d imagined – I don’t know what I thought it would be, but it ‘fit’ him, if that makes sense. It was a lovely 2 bed apartment with bicycles everywhere that backed up straight to the park. His view from the living room was Arthur’s Seat. It was gorgeous.

I asked him what we were doing that first day and he just grinned and said, “I thought we’d spend the day in and around bed, if that’s ok with you” and it was more than okay with me. I knew how I felt about him the minute we’d got into his flat and he hugged me – a real, true, deep hug that conveyed so much for both of us. That night, we climbed Arthur’s Seat — yeah. I’m seriously out of shape. I think I made him take 3x as long as he normally does. But whatever. The view from the top was just amazing… we just sat and enjoyed the scenery.

The next day, he had to go into work – in my half-sleep jet-lagged state, I told him as he left “Bye babe… have a good day. love you.”  He teased me about it later…how it seemed so easy for me to say those words. But as I told him, I say it because I mean it and I never expect to hear it back, unless the other person means it to. I’d rather not hear it at all than hear it falsely. And he didn’t say it back then, and that was ok. It actually didn’t hurt my feelings. I knew if he was going to say it, he would mean it. And if he never said it, I would know where I stood.

We walked around the city that day – shopped for shoes for him (totally helped him save some money on the pair he liked! I am an awesome shopper), had lunch at a little pub, took in all the sites. Honestly, I can see why people love Edinburgh. It is amazingly pretty and most everything is walking distance and for what’s not, it’s easy access to everything else. That evening, we went to the beach at Portobello. We walked, hand-in-hand, all the way down the  boardwalk before we picked up some things for dinner and cooked at home.  These moments were my favorite… the small glimpses of what it would be like to really be with him, living there, figuring out dinner, driving to the local ASDA… I loved him and all of it and I was so stupidly hopeful about everything to come. There were no indications, in person, that this would all fall to shit in a few short months.

It truly was the little things that made me happy – like him remembering I don’t like honey when we were shopping for ice cream, him thinking of what to make me for dinner and what I would like…. those small daily thoughts made me happier than any grand gesture ever has.

We went to St. Andrews the next day… knowing my love of all things Royal, he thought it’d be fun for me to see where Wills and Kate went to Uni. And I did love it. The cathedral was gorgeous, the sea was rough and the city itself was small and quaint. What marred the day was him getting a text from his coworker saying she’d finally gotten paid. We checked two ATMs to see if he’d also been paid. He hadn’t. My heart truly hurt for him knowing he really needed the money to come through.  We kept walking through the city, but he was far quieter than he had been and it was just hard to know I couldn’t help. We got back to EDI and went out to dinner. I offered to pay but he wouldn’t accept, and then, I offered him money. Whatever he wanted, I would’ve given him… he said no, but thank you.  I’m glad he didn’t accept it because I would be feeling even stupider than I already do… small silver linings.

We were laid in bed that night, and out of the blue, he said to me, “I love you – you know this” and I did know. Even still, with how everything ended, I do believe that at some point he did truly love and want to be with me. Partly, I have to believe this for my own sanity. And partly, there is not one person in this world who could fake it for a whole week. He loved me and I loved him but love alone has never been enough to make things work.

The following day, we went through the city again. We saw the museums, walked to the castle and traipsed through Holyrood Park. And he held my hand all day. From the minute we left his place to the second we got back, he never let go. If we broke the hold, he’d be the one to reach back for it. It’s easy and sweet to do this, but knowing that he hates holding hands to start with (as do I), it was just very strange and awesome how much we both craved each other’s touch.

It was my last day in Edinburgh and we drove out to the ruins of Fast Castle. The walk down to the castle is one of the best rated in Scotland, though I didn’t know it at the time. I just thought it was amazingly beautiful. We passed some sheep, walked through fields of heather and got to the edge of the cliff, where the castle used to sit.  There are no rails, no barriers … just a sheer drop off into the sea below. But I felt safe with him. I never felt worried or uneasy.   We sat there for a long time, just the two of us, me curled up into his arms to brace against the wind. It is the most romantic place I have ever been. We didn’t really talk a lot, just sat there and watched the waves come in. Our reverie was disturbed when a family came down the path, so we left. The walk back up was tough and he asked me if I was still happy that he’d brought me there. I was. Incredibly happy and at peace with him and the life I was imagining.

We started the drive back, and he had his left hand on my thigh for a bit until putting both hands on the steering wheel. While I loved being touched by him at any time, I was rather glad he had control for what happened next. Just as we rounded a curve, boulders on one side, a sheer drop-off on the other, a random pigeon FLEW INTO THE CAR. I shit you not. Stupid suicidal pigeon!!! I gasped as feathers flew everywhere, and he thankfully kept control of the car… as he said later, “Glad I didn’t have my hand your leg and I didn’t swerve!”  For real… me too! Also, I totally thought we drove back to Edinburgh with a pigeon stuck in the grill, he said they are too light and we probably just “blew it away” – turns out he was right. Who knows that random stuff?

We got back into the city and went to dinner, to a cute little Indian place – as he pointed out, it wasn’t because I’m Indian, he just really liked the place. Ha. I had wanted to try Scotch, so we’d planned on going to a bar after dinner – as he said to me, “So, you’ll order the Scotch and I’ll order something agreeable to both of us, so when we have to switch you’ll still have something to drink”… and I had the giggles because I knew that was exactly what would happen when I wouldn’t be able to finish the Scotch. On our way after dinner, I changed my mind and just wanted to go home. I didn’t want to sit in a bar with people I don’t know when I could spend my last few minutes alone with him.

We headed out to the park that night to watch the fireworks. Apparently, they are a ‘thank you’ from the organizers at the end of the month-long festival. His mom called while we were watching, and obviously I only heard his end of the conversation – “Yes… $1500 would be great… Love you.”   And I wasn’t going to pry but he volunteered the information. His mom was aware of his dire straights and offered to give him some money… he said he wouldn’t have asked her for it, but since she volunteered it, he would take it. Well, that and he desperately needed it. He had paid for everything while I was there, and although that should probably be expected, I still felt awful about it. I felt like I should have contributed more since I could, but looking back, I’m kinda glad I didn’t.

In any case, that was it. My 5 day trip was about to over… we woke up the next morning, both sadder than sad. I was on the verge of tears about leaving him, and I know he felt the same about me going. He said he would visit. He said he loved me. He said he loved having me there. He kissed me goodbye at the airport and I flew back, happy to have spent so much time with him, sad to know that it ended so quickly. When I woke up the next morning, alone and in my own bed, I cried as I sleepily looked for him and realized he wasn’t there. When we chatted, he admitted he’d had a hard time falling asleep without me to snuggle up to.

I guess, in the end, as a smart friend said, it’s all about habit. I was used to him calling every day, and when that stopped, I freaked out because I knew what it meant. In the time I spent in Edinburgh, I got used to him being there, chatting with him, laying with him.  For almost a year, I had the habit of doing the math to figure out what time it was for him – whether he was in Scotland or Africa, whether I was in the States or Africa: +5 hours, – 2 hours, + 8 hours, just depending on where we both were. I’ve stopped doing that when I wake up, but I still catch myself checking the time and automatically calculating what time it is for him and trying to guess what he’d be doing. I want to stop that habit so badly.

What can become habit in just 5 days is slightly amazing. I wanted that life with him to continue, even though I’d seen the red flags in person. When I asked him in St. Andrews what he wanted to do next, after he realized he hadn’t been paid, he said very matter-of-factly, “It’s not what I want to do. It’s what I can afford to do.”

I am not the type of person who thinks money is everything. I used to be, when I was younger, but not so much anymore. I don’t mind putting in effort upfront, emotionally or monetarily, if I think I’ll receive the same in return. And honestly, I wouldn’t even ask or expect for the same in return. I know I love deeply and offer things easily – but if I only got half back, I’d be happy.  But that’s all easy to say now… if we’d gotten together and things were the same way 5 years from now – would I have been so forgiving then? Would it have been ok that he was constantly broke and I had to carry the family? I don’t think so. As much as I don’t mind doing things up-front, I think at some point, I would’ve expected things to even out… I expected that he’d eventually contribute to the fiscal health of the relationship. I assumed he’d provide the emotional fulfillment that would be needed. I guess I’ll never know what things would have been like 5, 10, 20 years from now, but I had so much fucking trust and hope in him. Hope that I hadn’t had with anyone else, in such a long time. And it hasn’t stopped hurting yet, now that it’s all gone, even though I see things so much more clearly than I had before.

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