Something big was going on late last year/early this year that I never mentioned on here, but I think it’s time to get it off my chest.
Not long after signing up for OkCupid (one of my LEAST favourite sites, to be completely honest), someone I had been out with once and wrote about in this blog contacted me again (no, I’m not telling you who). It had been so long that when he told me who he was, I had trouble placing him, but it eventually came back to me. We chatted for a bit, and he informed me that he had never stopped thinking about me, and wanted another shot.
I was hesitant, as it’s not generally in my nature to give someone another chance, but I couldn’t avoid the fact that we had really good chemistry online. It was ME who walked away the first time, and maybe I hadn't really given him a fair shot? He offered to take things as slow as necessary for me, and even remain just friends, if that’s as far as things progressed.
So we talked, talked, and talked some more. We talked pretty much every day, for hours, about anything and everything, and he continued to grow on me. I began to consider him a good friend; someone I could laugh with, vent to, and ask for advice.
Finally, he asked if I would consider meeting him for a quick coffee when I was working from home one afternoon, and I agreed.
I was standing outside a Starbucks in my neighbourhood, when I saw him crossing the street. He was just as I remembered (too skinny for me!), but he walked up and wrapped me in a giant hug. “You’re so fucking hot,” he said, and I pushed him away and rolled my eyes.
“No,” he grinned at me.
We sat at a table on the patio, talking and making fun of each other for the next hour. We were both a little weirded out when some grandma just pulled up a chair and sat at the table with us, and we took that as our cue to end our little “date”.
He pulled me into another big hug and whispered, “I’ll let you off easy this time, but next time, I’m going to kiss you.”
I remember walking away feeling completely torn. I wasn’t crazy attracted to him, but there was chemistry I couldn’t deny, either.
We talked via Google Chat for a couple more weeks before I agreed to an official dinner date with him, and he picked me up at 8 on a Saturday night. We headed over to Yonge St. for Mexican food, but the popular restaurant was so packed that we came back to an amazing little Mexican restaurant in my area of the city. During dinner, I realized that he had really, really grown on me over the course of a few months, and I was willing to give him a chance. Maybe not ready to be his girlfriend, but I wanted to figure us out.
He paid for dinner, we headed out of the restaurant, and he grabbed my hand.
I responded with “the look”.
“Redhead, I KNOW you’re not a hand holder, but I really fucking like you and I want to hold your fucking hand. So just DEAL with it.”
I kept my mouth shut and let him hold my hand.
Our plan had been to watch a movie at my place, and he asked me to come to his car with him so he could grab something. He opened the back door, leaned in, and handed me a white bakery box.
“What is this?” I asked warily.
He just smirked at me, so I opened it.
Cheesecake. He brought me cheesecake. Cheesecake is my most favourite dessert in the whole world. I gaped at him, and he shrugged and said, “I know you love cheesecake. Best in the city, apparently.”
We headed into my apartment, sat down on the couch, and he jumped me. I didn’t fight it or freak out or anything else that sometimes happens to me. I liked him and he was a good kisser and it just felt right, so I went with it.
Next thing I knew, we were in my bedroom and clothes were coming off, and then he was on top of me, hesitating.
“Okay, what?” I asked him.
“Are you sure?”
“What? Are you kidding?”
“No. Seriously. Are you sure this is what you want?”
I groaned and said, “Jesus. YES this is what I want. You wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t, I assure you. Now can you just fuck me already?”
And he did. And it was amazing. I mean, let’s be serious here: you bring me cheesecake, you get laid.
On Monday at work, I was all happy and everyone noticed (happy at work is a rare thing for me these days…like a unicorn). I still wasn’t ready to put labels on what he and I were, but I was enjoying the process.
We continued to talk on a daily basis, went out for dinner a few more times, and he admitted to developing serious feelings for me. One night in bed, he propped himself up on one elbow and said to me, “Redhead, I know you’ve had a lot of guys treat you like shit, and you have walls up, but I promise that you can trust me. Let me in. Let me be that guy for you. I WANT to be that guy. You're beautiful and crazy smart and incredibly witty. You make me want to be a better person, and I’m so happy when I’m with you. I can’t imagine a girl more perfect for me, and I’m ready to commit 100% as soon as you’re ready. I ADORE you.”
I was at a complete loss for words…what does one say to a declaration like that?
He and I had plans to hang out one Friday night, when I received a text that he couldn’t make it because his father had had a heart attack, and he had to go home (about 3 hours away).
Upon his return, he said his dad was doing okay, but he didn’t want to talk about it much. As an only child, his parents depended on him heavily, and I knew it would only get worse with his dad ill.
My birthday was coming up, and he asked me to spend a weekend at his place in the following weeks. We made plans to cook meals together, and he said it would be difficult, because he knew he wouldn’t want me to leave when the weekend was over.
At the end of January, I was heading to London, Ontario for the weekend to attend a TOOL concert with my brother, and celebrate my birthday with my family. I boarded the train at Union Station, set up my laptop, and logged onto Google Chat as the train pulled out. He immediately sent me a message:
Him: Babe, we gotta talk.
Me: Sure? I’m on the train, so be warned, signal sucks.
Him: Oh shit, I forgot you were going to London this weekend!
Me: What’s up?
Him: I wanted to talk to you before I left. My dad is not okay, and my mom can’t handle it alone. She’s freaking out. I need to go.
Me: Of course you need to go! For how long?
Him: I don’t know. I don’t think it’ll be too long, but I’m taking a leave of absence from work.
Me: Wow, okay.
Him: You’re handling this really well.
Me: It’s family. My family means the world to me, so of course you have to go, it’s not even a question. I mean, it sucks that just as I want to spend more time with you, you have to leave, but it is what it is.
Him: I’m sorry.
Me: I am the queen of bad timing, honestly. So, what does this mean for us? What changes? Are you ending this?
Him: No, I don’t want to end this. We’ll just continue as we have been…figuring “us” out.
Me: I haven’t said this to you yet, but I feel I should now: I have developed serious feelings for you.
Him: I know, babe.
We continued to talk for the next couple of hours, but I kept losing signal and getting frustrated. I was really upset, and I almost cried a few times, but I didn’t know why, and I chastised myself for being so silly. As the train pulled into London, I told him I had to go and that I would talk to him soon.
That weekend, in a completely freak change room accident, a metal-tipped string from my hoodie snapped up into my left eye and tore out 25% of my cornea (two months after laser eye surgery, I might add. I am horribly clumsy and accident-prone, but thankfully, I'm all better now!) Missing him, I sent a text message:
Me: So, I smacked myself in the eye with my hoodie string, tore a chunk out of my cornea, am wearing a bandage contact lens and my vision sucks. How’s your day?
My birthday came and went.
Co-workers and friends would ask about him, and I would shrug it off as no big deal. I hate it when people know that I’m hurting inside, because I don’t like to feel vulnerable or weak.
I left for a month in Thailand, very confused and heartbroken, but glad for the distraction.
I remember swinging on a hammock on the porch of our little hut in Koh Yao Noi, drinking a Singha, and just pouring my heart out to Stef. I didn’t understand how he could have vanished from the face of the earth, the boy who had chased me for over two years. Had it all been a game? Did he just get what he want and move on? Had me met someone else and forgotten about me? We were sure that eventually I would hear from him again, but I returned from Thailand, and still…
I called the company he worked for, expecting to get his voicemail and hear an out-of-office message, but his name wasn’t even listed in the directory.
I checked OkCupid, and discovered his account had been deleted.
I tried another text:
Me: WTF? Are you alive? I’m worried about you :(
I Googled his name, fearing an accident of some sort.
Finally, I had to do something, for my own sanity and to have some sort of closure. I sat down and wrote an e-mail:
Subject: I give up.
Date: Sat, 12 May 2012
I'm writing to you because I don't know what to do with this anymore. During our last conversation, I completely understood your reasons for leaving, but I had no idea you were going to drop off the planet for months, and ignore my messages. I have been very confused and hurt; I considered you a friend, first and foremost. I have considered every possibility...maybe something terrible happened, maybe you're dealing with a lot, or maybe, just maybe, this was all a game to you? Maybe you got what you wanted from me? It's harsh and I hope NOT the case, but I have nothing to go on and I’m at a loss here. I mean, shit, I even Googled your name to make sure you weren't dead.
I sincerely hope everything is okay. I've made the decision to get back out there and start dating again, because I can't wait around for someone who has completely shut me out. You told me I could trust you, but apparently that wasn’t true.
Take care of yourself,
I exhaled and pushed send.
Not a minute later, I received an e-mail:
From: Mail Delivery Subsystem
Subject: Delivery Status Notification (Failure)
Date: Sat, 12 May 2012
Delivery to the recipient failed permanently.
Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error.
The email account that you tried to reach does not exist.
I put my head in my hands and I cried. Months of confusion, hurt, anger, and sadness had all built up inside me like a volcano, and it overflowed and spilled out.
My phone rang, and I answered, blubbering incoherently.
“Oh my god. What’s WRONG?” my brother asked, and I explained the delivery failure. He sat in shocked silence for a minute, and then said that all he could think of was account suspension due to inactivity.
I knew, in that moment, that I needed to be finished with it. Should he eventually resurface, no amount of apologizing or excuses could fix the damage that had been done. It would have been easier if he had just ended things with me, so I could have dealt with it and moved on, but to leave someone with absolutely no closure? That’s a fucking dick move.
To be honest, I do feel like he will reappear at some point in time. Maybe it will be in a few months, or maybe in a few years, but he can take his friendship, his promises, and his cheesecake, and shove them up his ass; I don't give third chances.