Four and a Half Years I will NEVER get back

Although I would be returning to Toronto mid-June, I still had about three months of suffering left in London. I had finally disposed (in a roundabout way) of my Klingon boyfriend and was free to pursue a guilt-free relationship with Tom. We talked on the phone for hours when I was in London, and when in Toronto, we made out for hours. I had fallen head-over-heels for this long-haired, easygoing, laid-back guy. And the funny part? We had known each other since Kindergarten, when he had been the fat kid and I had been the nerd.

Things were going well and I was happy, so I should have known it wouldn't last.

I had to go to Toronto for training for my new job one weekend, and at the end of the day I tried to get a hold of Tom. No answer. I got back to Lyndsey's and tried again. No answer. Finally he called and said he would meet me because we had to talk. And I knew immediately - it was over. Tom arrived at Lyndsey's and we went upstairs, where he told me that he just couldn't handle a long-distance relationship, and although I would be back for the summer, there was no point in continuing the relationship, knowing I would return to London in September. We agreed to stay friends, but when he left I crumbled. After moving to London and the Art Boy debaucle, this was the icing on the cake.

I was back in Toronto a few times before the official move back for the summer, and each time I went to hang out with Tom, we ended up making out. It was horribly confusing, but he was like a drug, and I couldn't stop.

Finally, the big day came, and I moved into my Grandparents' basement. However, life had changed while I had been gone. The "2-4 Crew" weren't drinking down at the Humber River every weekend anymore. Everyone had jobs and new friends and were slowly drifting apart. This is not to say I didn't have fun that summer; smoking joints with Frank at Brookhaven, parties at Lyndsey's and Scooter's places, and the fact that essentially I was living on my own and by my own rules, as my granparents barely kept tabs on me.

One Saturday night, we were all invited to a drinkfest at Scooter's place. There were many people at the party that I hadn't seen in a long time, including Tom's ex-girlfriend Jessica's older brother, who was so drunk that he was running around in the backyard without shoes on and trying to hide behind trees (wearing all white) and attempted to cut his hair off with the hedge clippers. This guy hit on me a few times, and in my drunken state of mind, I mentioned something to him about Tom. He went directly to Tom and told Tom that he was the only person who had a chance with me, so Tom better go for it.

Late that night after everyone had gone to bed for the night, Tom and I ended up going outside and making out. The next day, I lost my virginity to Tom.

September was fast approaching and I was starting to panic. The thought of going back to London was making me physically ill, so two weeks before school started I sat down with my grandmother and asked if I could stay with them in Toronto. She agreed, so I went back to my first high school and registered for September. My parents were not pleased, but told me they were not suprised, either. To this day, my mother regrets not forcing me to come back to London, but I continue to believe it was the best thing for me.

Tom was the first person I told that I was staying in Toronto, and we were both ecstatic. From that point on, Tom and I were officially a couple...and so it would be for the next four and a half years of my life. For the first three years or so, we were happy together and the sex was decent and I very much imagined that we would eventually get married and have kids.

Fast forward to about three and a half years later, when we were no longer sleeping together (he had developed into the three minute wonder and I had gone to the doctor for hormone testing, as I had completely lost my sex drive and would do ANYTHING to avoid sleeping with him), fighting ALL the time, and I was too settled into the relationship to realize that things were not as they should be.

For his twenty-second birthday, I threw him a huge surprise party and saved up all the money I had in the world to buy him a brand new acoustic guitar. Tom started drinking and I was so busy playing hostess that I didn't pay attention to how many tequila shots people were buying him. By the end of the night, he was so drunk that he could hardly walk and when Angie and I got him back to the lobby of our apartment building, he fell down twice and smashed a picture that was given to him.We hauled him into the elevator and got him onto my bed so he could sleep it off, but I was really worried about Tom and paced the apartment for awhile before calling my mom to talk about what I should do. She was concerned because if it got to the point where he needed to get his stomach pumped, there was no way I could get him downstairs to a taxi. I decided to call his older brother for help, but his mom picked up the phone. She asked me how the party went and made small talk, and then I think she must have looked at the clock because she paused and said, "Redhead, what's wrong?"

"I just need to talk to Tom's brother," I told her.

"He's sleeping, and probably drunk. What's wrong?"

I told her that Tom was very VERY drunk and couldn't walk and I was extremely worried that he had alcohol poisoning. That's when I heard Tom making noise...puking noise. "Hang on!" I said and threw the phone down, running to my bedroom door.

Tom was sitting on the floor beside my bed and there was puke EVERYWHERE...my bed, the blankets, the shelves, the floor...

"TOM!" I yelled, and he slowly raised his head and looked at me with glazed-over eyes.

"The...the war was coming and I didn't know how..." he mumbled.

"Say WHAT? Tom, what the fuck are you talking about? You barfed all over my...EVERYTHING!"

"The war...the war was coming and I didn't...I didn't know how to stop it," he said. Then he started puking again.

I ran back to the phone and said, "He's WAY too drunk and completely messed up and he's talking about a war and he's not making any sense!" I was in tears.

"We're on our way," his mom told me, and hung up the phone.

I heard the shower running and ran back down the hall. Tom was sitting in his underwear in my bathtub, with the shower turned on. His head kept bobbing and when he looked at me, the lights were on, but there wasn't anybody home. He continued to mumble about this war, and I finally got him out of the tub and into my room, where I toweled him off and got him dressed. Angie came out of her room, took one whiff of the vomit-infused air and retreated back to the safety of her bedroom.

Tom's parents arrived and hauled Tom's drunken ass out of my apartment, while I spent the next three hours with one of Angie's bandanas over my nose and mouth, cleaning the puke off of everything in my room with water, lysol, Febreze, and repeat x 3.

I believe the puke incident was the start of our downward spiral. I was growing closer to graduating college and the prospect of my whole life ahead of me. Tom had no ambition and although he was always whining about how he wanted to work with computers, he wouldn't go to college and get the piece of paper that would allow him to do so. Tom was willing to work in a warehouse for the rest of his life, and had no ambition or drive to do anything more with himself. He was practically living at my apartment and would get angry with me when I was too busy with schoolwork to spend time with him.

Both of Tom's grandparents passed away within months of each other (I loved them like my own grandparents and it was a very difficult thing for both Tom and I to go through), and without them there to make me feel like an equal part of the family, I began to feel unwelcome. Tom's brother was dating a girl so bubbly, perky, happy, and smart that I began to fade into the background. At Christmas, they lost the gift they had for me (but didn't lose the gift for the brother's girlfriend), gave Tom $20 to give me, and then he spent it.

Tom never wanted to go anywhere or do anything, and I started leaving him at home more and more. When he wouldn't come to The Phoenix for my birthday, choosing instead to stay at my apartment and watch tv on the couch, that was the last straw.

One afternoon when Angie picked me up from work, I told her that I needed to talk to her. I was questioning my feelings for Tom and the direction (or lack thereof) our relationship was going in. She had noticed our constant bickering and the ever-widening distance between us.

A few weeks later, Tom called me one night to say that we needed to talk, and I agreed. We discussed the direction our lives were headed in, and what I had been assuming was confirmed: he had no intentions of getting engaged anytime soon, and never wanted to leave Weston. I thought that four and a half years later, it was time to shit or get off the pot in terms of our relationship, and I wanted to get out of Weston as soon as possible, as it had turned into the ├╝ber ghetto and I no longer felt safe there. He told me that he had noticed us becoming more and more like friends rather than boyfriend and girlfriend. I agreed. He told me that maybe we needed some space. I told him that it was time for more than space, because our relationship was not working and it was time to go our separate ways. We both started to cry and promised to remain friends, since we had been friends for so long. Neither of us was really to blame - simply put, we had grown apart.

I cried for three days. A shockwave rippled throughout our mutual friends and family, everyone in disbelief that Tom and I had actually ended things.

Tom came to me, begged to get back together, offered to move in together, promised to leave Weston, asked to try couple's counselling, but I was finished. I felt like a large weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I was no longer part of a "unit". I had forgotten what it was like to put my needs and wants above anyone else's, to not worry about constant fighting, to be able to have the freedom to do whatever I wanted to do and not have to think about anyone else.

When all was said and done, I turned to Angie and said, "It's nice to have me back."

1 comment :

  1. Anonymous6:19 PM

    Yeah! Finally an update...k, I'm off to read it now....