Please be reminded; any names of people portrayed in this series are altered to protect their identities.
My break-up with Felix was hitting me harder than I thought it would. I had mistakenly allowed myself to get too attached, and to top it all off, I had essentially “broken-up” with the majority of my friends as a result. I decided to try jumping right into a different relationship, certain that my sadness would go away if I found someone else to focus my time and energy on; I created an account on an online dating site. Not the smartest idea since I was still technically underage.
I had a few responses, but only one really seemed to stand out. He was a 21 year-old named Cory. He seemed like a sweet, level-headed guy, but he lived an entire province away. That didn’t stop us from trying to meet, however. It wasn’t long before he made the decision to drive out to meet me. I counted down the days and agreed to meet him in the park one afternoon. When I arrived, he was waiting for me on the swing-set, and the first thing he said to me was, “saved you a seat; you get the squeaky one.”
I laughed as the tension faded and we began our first conversation we’d ever had face-to-face. He was exactly what I’d thought he’d be. He only spent a few days there with me, but it was the most calm and relaxed I’d been for a long time, so seeing him go was a particularly sad day, but we started texting each other constantly until he returned a couple months later. While he was here, we’d dubbed the French Vanilla Iced Cappuccinos our personal drinks; seriously, we couldn’t stop, it was unhealthy. Some couples have a song, some have a movie, we had a cold drink. That’s not weird, is it?
That was when we decided to get a little more serious. We spent the day in the townsite by the mountains, listening to music and exploring the shops before driving back to the city by sunset and going our separate ways at night. The next day, I’d decided to join him in his hotel. I don’t recall much about the experience, but before too long, it was time for him to return home again. Knowing he’d be back before too long, I was content with texting and calling until then.
Once again, he visited me a few more months down the road. The first couple of days were fantastic. We’d spent the second day at the movies, but for some reason, I found myself feeling a bit out of sorts. I was not as jovial as I usually was and I think he must have noticed; I knew I was simply wishing he didn’t have to leave the next day. We came home to my house that night and cuddled up on the couch until the late-night. It was about two in the morning when a silence set over us. Before even a minute had passed, he spoke quietly. “I really like you…”
I smiled at the compliment, but he finished the sentence with, “but I don’t think I’m ever going to love you.”
It took me a moment to process the blunt remark and I moved away from him in hurt confusion. He explained that he enjoyed being with me, but just didn’t think I was ‘the one for him.’ While I understood, I can’t say the feeling was mutual. I held back my tears as much as I could and suggested he sleep in the guest bedroom while I slept in mine upstairs. He agreed and the moment he was out of the room, the tears came. I cried quietly, hoping no one would hear. I managed to achieve scattered sleep before morning came. He had wanted to be awake by a certain time, so as I usually did, I walked down the stairs to wake him.
He seemed to have forgotten our conversation when he had just woken up and started to pull me down to cuddle with him, but when I gently pushed away and stood for a moment in awkward silence, it seemed that he remembered what had happened. I met him upstairs, thinking he would want to be on his way, but he lingered between conversation and watching tv with me until sunset. The wait felt like torture, but a part of me was happy because I still got to spend a little more time with him there.
I helped him bring his bags out to his car. As we loaded the final piece into the back, we looked at each other and he took a step towards me so he was close as I dropped my chin to cover my face with my hair, hoping he wouldn’t see my eyes welling up with tears. He lifted my chin and apologized for hurting me. I said nothing, and simply nodded. He pulled me close and we shared one more long kiss before he drove away into the light of dusk. I watched until his car turned around the corner for the final time and returned to my home to finally let myself break.
To be continued…