I’m doing the “Couch to 80k” – a writing bootcamp from writer and poet Tim Clare. For more information go here: http://www.timclarepoet.co.uk/couchto80kwritingbootcamp/
Another free write. Write on any subject. Keep writing for ten minutes.
Standing in the queue for check-in we made small talk about what plans we’d got for the next few weeks. Well, I talked about what plans I’d got. His plans were simple. Move in. Get to know the surroundings, start work.
Making small talk was difficult because all I wanted to do was break down and cry and tell him not to go.
Six months ago I’d starting seeing a Scottish guy. We’ll call him Nick for the sake of this. He was tall, attractive and funny. He was kinda perfect. Or so I thought. Turned out he was a massive twat but that’s not the point of this.
I introduced Nick to my best mate Chris. I’d known Chris since I was eleven. Over the years we’d experienced a lot together. We had a pact. If we were both single and not interested in hooking up with strangers then we could tell people were boyfriends. If were out and getting unwanted attention we could say we were a couple. We had a been an actual couple from a time to time. A very easy on-off relationship. We were always besties and sometimes we had sex. It was perfect. I loved him with all my heart. We were never going to be the forever couple, it would never have worked. We both knew it but neither of us could explain why. We just knew. But we also never tried.
Chris and Nick instantly adored each other and this made me so happy. My boyfriend and my best mate getting along. From all I’d heard it wasn’t often that this happened but now, for us, it had.
Six months after getting with Nick, Chris called me. “Can I see you?” he asked, “we need to talk.” Of course, without question, I said yes and that night we met at our local pub. Over a pint he told me his thoughts about Nick.
“He loves you. Very much. And you love him.”
“Yeah, I think I do, I’m not sure. I thought I loved Gavin.”
“Gavin was a asshole.”
Chris continued to tell me his thoughts and feelings about Nick until eventually he said, “I think he’s the one.”
“The one what?”
“I think he’s your future. I don’t see you two ever splitting up.”
“Well that’s good to hear.”
“But you will if I stay around?”
“If I stay you’ll always think about me and you. Because I always think about it.”
“What are you saying?”
“I’ve accepted a job in Japan.”
“What the fuck Chris?!”
“You can’t give Nick your heart if you’re always thinking about giving it to me. And he’s perfect for you.”
“So you’re just going?”
“Yes. And look, this isn’t easy for me and I’m sure it’s not easy for you, but this is a complete break. I’m going and I”m not gonna contact you. I’ve told mom and Charlotte [his sister] not to give you any of my contact details once I’ve gone. Because we both know you’ll ask.”
I finished my pint, stood up and said “Fuck you Chris,” and I walked out.
Walking home I was beyond angry. When I got back to my apartment I sat alone in my lounge and cried. Long hard tears. The phone rang but I ignored it. I didn’t care who it was even though I knew it was going to be Nick. We called each other at the same time each night. I locked the doors, went to bed and cried some more.
The next morning I called Nick and told him everything. He was concerned as well as touched. That weekend we spent all day and night together but I just felt empty.
“You need to say goodbye.”
“No I don’t,” I replied, “he did that for both of us.”
But he was right. I had to say goodbye properly. Chris still lived with his mother so when I called it was no surprised that she answered. “No, he hasn’t gone yet,” she said, “but I’m under strict instructions not to tell you anything.”
“Just tell him to call me.”
And he did. I apologised for my outburst and he accepted it. We met the next day.
“Okay, you’re going, I accept it. I don’t like it but I accept it. Let me take you to the airport and see you off.”
“I was gonna get a coach so yeah, okay, you can take me.”
Two weeks later we drove to Heathrow and now, here we were, waiting to check in, making small talk.
It felt like he’d already said goodbye, like he’d already let go and I hated him for that. Yet still, I loved him.
Check-in done and his heavy overweight bag heading down the conveyor, we walked to security. I couldn’t go any further. This was it. I had to say goodbye to the one person who knew me better than anyone else. I was heartbroken.
We hugged. We kissed. And it was proper full on romantic almost love-making kiss. I had never cared about those kind of things at times like those. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of sloppy kisses in the street and over excited public displays of affection, but when you’re saying goodbye to someone you won’t see for a long time, If at all, then I’ve no problem with it.
Finally letting go of each other he turned and left for security. I stood and watched until I finally couldn’t see him.
I didn’t want to move because in my head he was going to coming running out and tell me he’d changed his mind and we’d run away together.
Finally I did move and went back to my car. I sat there for hours, costing myself a small fortune in parking charges, crying my eyes out. He was gone and I didn’t know if I ever see him again.
When I could finally drive I headed back to Midlands and this weird thing happened. I started to think about different outcomes if I’d said something other than just accepting it.
What if I’d told him to stay and said I wanted to be with him? And then my thoughts turned dark. Why didn’t HE say he wanted to be with me? What was so wrong with me that he couldn’t picture the rest of his life with me? Wait, there was nothing wrong with me, HE was the one in the wrong! No spine! He was a coward and he thought it better to ruin two lives rather be brave enough to say how he felt.
And those thoughts have stayed with me ever since. Every now and then I still think of the times we had together and I remember those times fondly, but him as a person, well it’s been twenty-six years since the day at the airport and I’ll be happy if it’s another twenty-six more years before I have anything to do with him again. He’s a prick. I did think I saw him out one night when out in town. This would have been ten years or so after he’d left but I’d still swear it was him. I was tempted to approach him and say hello but before I could make my mind up to do he’d gone again. I often wonder if he’d seen me.
Nick, as it turned out, wasn’t “the one” and after five and half years together we split up because he was a absolute asshole. They weren’t a wasted five and half years. I spent twelve months living in Edinburgh and it’s a beautiful city that I long to go back and see again.
Luckily for me it wasn’t long after ending with it with Nick that I met Brad. We’ve been together over twenty years and married over eleven. He IS perfect and every day I know how lucky I am to be with him. Sometimes I wish he could have met Chris but then I remember Chris is a prick.
Okay, I kinda cheated with this one. I wrote for more than ten minutes. Now much more but more. I felt like I had to get it all out.