Love And Its Everlasting Puzzle

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a little something from my book. I mention in my bio how I like to write intervals between discussions to shed light on some of my strong opinions. Well, this is an example. Obviously, it has been written to sell in that it can be a little melodramatic. However, everything is accurate and none of it is exaggerated or fictional, as I hope you will gather from reading it. This is me sharing a little of my deepest thoughts publicly so please, be respectful

Submitted: December 28, 2011

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Submitted: December 28, 2011

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To use the ‘L’ word is never something that should be taken lightly. It is certainly not a word to be used in overly liberal or cavalier tones. ‘Why?’, you might ask, well I’d imagine it has something to do with the fact that no one truly knows what it means. Therefore everyone has their own personal notion of what love entails, and the boxes it should tick. You’d be stepping on thin ice projecting your own notions of love onto the one you think you ‘love’ because, odds are, the opinions of both you and your partner will likely differ greatly. I believe this is the fundamental ingredient of divorce and all kinds of different breakups. Indeed the reason why they hurt so much. It is a value of your own that has been private to you and developed over several sessions of ponderings; suddenly smashed by a particularly dreadful conversation. So drawn out, yet so sudden. Such is the ever changing wind that is love. So, particularly in-keeping with my arrogant self, I once again shall try to ponder out the meaning of this word as you have undoubtedly guessed there has been another episode in my life with regards to this hideously convoluted topic.

For a moment, this episode as I keep calling it, had led my mind to consider something that any normal twenty year old should not be thinking about at such a busy time in his life. The biggest impracticality anyone could consider-I thought about marriage. What on earth am I doing contemplating such things at an early stage of my life? Others of my ilk are far more concerned if they pass the year into the next level of study or going out on the pull, trying to score a hottie with a tight arse and nice boobs. But not me. I seem fixated with prospects of the future. I keep referring to this as an episode because to me, the surreal experience of what we think is love, walks hand in hand with Hollywood or a famous HBO series attempting to show us the exciting lives of fictitious people. I fix the concepts of real love and portrayed love together as I am fully aware that they are complete opposites of one another. I’m always comparing the differences of the two and on occasion, I see people trying to replicate what they’ve seen on the telly and it makes me laugh. They’ll learn soon enough, I think. Love in the stories always takes the protagonist through a series of events, usually in the order of mutual obsession, betrayal, catharsis, and the chase, ultimately leading to a happy ending. However, life isn’t like that. You can encounter someone briefly on the street, talk to them for twenty minutes and regret that you’ll probably never meet again. You could be chasing after someone for years only for it to amount to nothing. You see, in the films all the events are rounded off to a conclusion but in life the events are left on loose ends leaving you only to ask the question ‘Why?’. You persist to ask yourself this over and over in your mind as what you think is your love for this person spurs you and your curiosity forward. And to think: I used to be so naive.

I suppose, by now, you all want to hear what my not so dramatic episode of supposed love was like? Well, just like the backs of all the DVD’s tell you, it was a rollercoaster ride of emotions. As the Welsh would say, this episode certainly did spin me out. These emotions still do to this day. I won’t tell you her name, you nosy buggers, because of legal reasons but she was from America. Now, don’t hold it against me. I know they pronounce things differently to how they’re spelt and I know some of them have very annoying accents. But the only annoying thing about her was the former of the two which you would soon get used to. Besides, it didn’t take a long time to convert her to good British music and even turns of phrase in everyday use. She was OK with that and was happy to keep an open mind. Ultimately, I think she considered Britain the land of the free, and not America, as she could smoke and drink outdoors without being alienated, go to clubs and even speak openly amongst myself and my friends about topics that are horribly taboo in the state of Kansas.

 A year and a bit ago, she came to stay in the student village for a period of two terms and it was her first night of ‘letting loose’ that I had the good fortune to meet her. A little intoxicated, she bounced up to me and introduced herself. Before I got past what I study and how old I am she was interrogating me, repeatedly asking if I had any liquor. ‘Have you got any liquor? I need more liquor’. I took a moment to think and it was here that I realised I had a big soft spot for foreign girls so, after telling her I had no ‘liquor’ to offer her we set off, relentlessly searching, even though I was fully aware the convenience store of the village closed hours ago. We spent a fair while traipsing around the student village in search of any spirits that might have been exposed next to an open kitchen window or something like that. However, we came to no luck on that front. The night came to an end and we parted ways. Now this is the part where a lot of people my age would say something idiotic like ‘Aw mate it sounds like you were well in there. Why didn’t you shag her?’. To which I would reply ‘I knew just from that first night, she is certainly of far more worth to me than a one night stand punter from Oceana or any other sticky floored club’. However, at this stage I rather thought she wouldn’t remember me the next day and would simply blank me in passing on the uni campus. Yet, much to my surprise, it would seem she didn’t feel too embarrassed by this strange new name in her phonebook and left me a text a few days after our encounter. I figured that must mean she does remember me and she wasn’t that drunk and we had shared something very few people manage to do these days – a chance encounter of fun that wasn’t fuelled by too much intoxication. Just a little bit.

It turned out this exciting new specimen in my life was landed with a flat in the same block as my newly made friends. And so, as a result, the American girl was immediately integrated into my social circles in uni but more importantly; in my life. I was even more surprised that she had been shacked up with my friends, as a series of extremely fortunate and coincidental events very rarely happen to me. I knew how lucky I was to have had events play out in such a way and this awareness gave me a feeling that, whenever I was with her for whatever amount of time I would always be smiling inside in the knowledge that, for once, providence had dealt me a winning hand of cards. Although, I did say earlier that life is not like the movies and loose ends happen whether you like it or not. By the end of the two terms, myself and the American girl (she’s always hated being referred to as that) had undergone a deep connection. I’d never felt this before and I certainly hadn’t felt this with my girlfriend of the time! Of course, because I’d had a girlfriend at this point, I never paid much thought as to how much I might miss the American girl. The last I saw of her that year was when myself and her flatmates left for a festival, during which she would head back home to America. I soon spoke to her on facebook and it was only when she was on the other side of the world that I had learned from her, she felt the same odd connection. I was confused, suddenly no longer attracted to my girlfriend and most of all I didn’t know what I really wanted out of life. People sometimes say to you ‘This conversation never happened’ and thats usually a good thing. But they are so rare and sometimes you wish ‘that’ conversation had happened with better timing.

The rest of the second academic year of university floated on by and, in hindsight, it simply wasn’t the same without her. Admittedly, my communication with her over the internet was poor. Now, I could say what I said to most and tell you ‘It’s because I live in the countryside and the internet is either shocking or non-existent’. To a degree, this is true. But it’s not a passable excuse. She had simply begun to fade from my mind. Near the end of the second term of this year, she contacted me again, this time saying that she was coming back for a few weeks and would be coming to the festival she’d missed from the year before. I’d offered my room for her to stay in as my house was the most civilised out of the student house options available to her. She stayed in bed with me for most of her stay and this was nothing new for us. Only this time, I was single and so was she. Some nights I’d go to sleep at the late enough hour of one or two o’clock. However, she was jetlagged and her bodyclock was all over the shop, and my best mate was an insomniac. He was in the room right next to me so she went in to visit him from time to time and she’d stay so late that she’d end up dropping off in his bed instead. There were several mornings where I’d wake up alone, jealous and angry; I had no idea what they were doing in there. Alas, I’ll get back to that later on. I can only assume that she never let anything happen between us because she was aware that it would just be more painful for us when she had to leave me once again. Which is why I did worry about the two of them. With him, there were far less strings attached. This is just a worst case scenario however and I am either a complete fool or I have done the right thing in trusting her word. She did have these little quips in bed though, and we did enjoy one another’s presence as we drifted off to sleep.

On her last night in Swansea, I had her to myself and we wondered down into the pitch black park near my student residence. We lay there, on our towels both sharing a broken sleeping bag, hardly big enough to cover the two of us. Staring up into the stars, we didn’t talk much. We didn’t need to. Neither of us were stupid and neither of us wanted to hurt the other by making a move or saying anything too mushy; saying anything we’d regret when we were once again half a planet away from each other. So we just lay there for a good hour, running our fingers against one another’s arms and legs with a smug smile upon our faces. When it was time for her to leave, the bus arrived ten minutes early and we didn’t get to say the things that we really wanted to say all along. Maybe it’s just as well.

The fact is, on our first period of time together, my having a girlfriend and her having designs towards other men acted as a smokescreen to this odd bond we’d both acknowledged had developed between us. Is it this odd indescribable bond that Shakespeare based so many plays upon? Is it this bond that all the singers seem to want to tell us about? Is this love? I’m not sure either of us really know, or are ready to let it into our lives. Whatever it is, it has given me so much motivation. At the time of my writing this, I have very little money and have to face the prospect of being a graduate in debt. After she left, I started rounding up as much clutter as I could to make money on eBay to go and see her again. It certainly was my turn to cross the ocean. I felt that if I saw her for one day after two years of waiting and fundraising, it would be worth it. All the heartache is worth it. It is. So now, I make a marked effort to keep in touch with her and every message in the inbox makes me smile.

Continuing the terrifying notion that I might be ‘in love’ with this girl I come back around to my best friend. The one I mentioned earlier. When she returned for the second time, he and she also bonded. So much, he felt, that it would be justified by him setting off for Kansas just one week after she had left. I felt jealousy’s cold grip around my heart as my stomach shrunk when he told me. The little bugger wasn’t even going to tell me in the first place! He knew it was going to majorly fuck with my head and so, instead of letting me down gently with the news, he only bothered to tell me the night before he was leaving. And that was only the result of me calling him to see how he was doing and if I could come and visit him. The bastard wasn’t going to tell me. Atall. Jesus, what a bomb that was dropped on me. I couldn’t yell at him or tell him this was the wrong thing to do because at the end of the day I was simply jealous. I was so jealous, it made every fibre of my being burn with envy and I’m ashamed to say with a little hatred as well. I had never been so jealous of one human being and I had never missed another quite so much in my entire life. And to think the two of them would be together on the other side of the world, far removed from my prying jealous eyes. I had to stop and think why I was so angry with him; so jealous. Everyone else seemed shocked at my mate going across the world for someone he’d only known a few weeks. But they weren’t angry like me. A few of them bothered to ask how I was and if it was affecting me. Just one of them was on the same page as me and had asked my best mate if he’d had my blessing to do this. He hadn’t of course and neither did he need to. I wasn’t his good and bad conscience, straddling either of his shoulders, to command his will and keep him in Britain. To demand his asking of my blessing to go out there would have been totally pretentious and arrogant. So, off he went, leaving me behind to wonder for three agonising weeks just what they were getting up to. And I thought I had it bad when they were just in the room next to mine!

I emailed her and let her know outright that this didn’t sit well with me. I wasn’t entirely sure why. I mean, I told her reasons justifying why I felt physically sick at the prospect but, as ever, I had a hard time articulating exactly why I felt like this. I couldn’t very well say ‘I think it’s because I’m falling for you’. Neither of us need to hear that when we’re worlds apart. I sent her a small essay all the same, explaining how I felt. That night, I felt such an odd cocktail of emotions that I never knew existed and I couldn’t sleep for shit. After going to bed at ten o’clock, I finally dropped off at four o’clock only to jump out of the sheets at eight o’clock the following morning, adrenaline quickly returning to my body as I remembered the email I’d sent the night before. I was on and off facebook like a jack-in-the-box until I’d finally seen that she’d replied.

 I had anticipated what I’d gotten used to with girls I’d grown attached to and spoke my mind to. I was particularly worried I’d get a brief email, strewn with sentences adorned with angry capital letters and phrases like ‘you don’t have the right be angry about this, it’s none of your business’. Such were the kinds of answers I’d get from my ex just before we split up. Alas, the American girl continued to surprise me. The reply I had received from her was possibly the most reassuring and heart warming message I had ever read. It certainly worked. I was reassured. At least for a good week until my mind began playing errant unwanted scenarios on repeat once more. However, upon completion of reading it, I smiled and leant back on the chair, releasing a big sigh of relief. She was very empathetic to my point of view yet this message only made me miss her all the more and my best friend left me to question my reaction to his spontaneous visit and just how much this girl really meant to me. After all, I was so emotional about this, I’d felt physically sick and I hadn’t experienced that in a very long time. It wasn’t too difficult to answer my question as to how much I cared about this girl. I figure that after all the opportunities that fate handed me to spend time with a one-in-a-million from across the world, it’d be a shame to waste the idea that there is something special between us. My best mate was extremely lucky that he happened to have the money to do what he did. I’m very nearly broke and good things don’t come to me quite so easily. I hope it was worth it because it cost me a lot of grief and perhaps I won’t tell him how it affected me. About how I ran worst case scenarios non-stop through my mind for three weeks, despite her best efforts to reassure me.

So I tried selling as much as I could on eBay just to have the time he had with her. I’d already made £130 in the space of a week, put away in a savings account to be untouched until the appropriate time. I’d never been so motivated in my life.

 I found myself saving every single penny as each coin saved would make my reunion with her come all the sooner. I had to raise myself £1000 to even begin considering this as a possibility. I knew I’d do it, it was just a question of time and frankly I couldn’t bloody wait to hold her again. I couldn’t wait to make her laugh again or make her breakfast in bed again or even make her those cups of tea that only I could seem to make. Worst of all though, I thought, when I step through arrivals in America to see her waiting for me, I think there’s a pretty strong chance I’ll burst into tears. I knew that as soon as I laid eyes on her again, it’ll only be for a limited amount of time once more. The biggest ray of hope in my mind is something she said to me in that reassuring email. A sneak peak for you. She said ‘someday, maybe we can work something out’ and I hear that in my mind often. Typical of a loose end, I find myself asking that same ‘Why’ over and over again. Why does something like this happen to me? Why is she on the other side of the world? She had left me behind in a state of beautiful agony.

Three weeks of ponderous agony drudged on by and I have to say, they were the longest three weeks I can recall. When my best mate finally got back I thought to myself ‘Has it really only been three weeks?’. For about two days I felt a lot better. He was no longer over there to taint her or steal her heart from me and I could now relax. If only I were so lucky. If only I were smarter and learned not to fall in love with this girl. Had I not fallen in love with her, all these horrible possibilities would not be so horrible. Alas, my worst fears had indeed been realised. After the terrible kind of conversation that sends your body heat soaring, your heart racing and adrenaline coursing through all your limbs to such an extent that you couldn’t move; I had learned that, after two months they were now an item. He had stolen her from me. He had gone over there with one thing in mind and he accomplished it. I suppose, considering his track record with girls I knew all along. But I wanted to believe I could trust her. I wanted to believe her when she said she could never hurt me like this. I wanted to believe her all the times she had said ‘I love you’. But it would appear I was a fool all along. Just a fool.

So I suppose the moral of the story is- never forget people’s capacity to let you down, no matter how much they mean to you. Forget, and you risk being more hurt when something untoward does happen.

 


© Copyright 2017 Nick Banks. All rights reserved.

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