It is barely 6am. I am sat outside in my Pj’s, a fleece hoodie and my walking boots. I was tired of teetering on the edge of a single air bed, worrying about where my hands were and where his body was in comparison to mine ..
I want to tell you that I had the strength to push him away and say no.
I didn’t. Well, not exactly.
Not that anything physical happened of course – apart from holding my hand and frequent hugs, there was nothing romantic.
Like old times, it was clear other people thought that something was happening.
He got really drunk. Again, nothing new.
When drunk, the same old self-critical bs comes out his mouth. (This perhaps a little unfair, but please remember that this is the day after the night before and I’m cold and tired.) I don’t call him Lost Soul for nothing.
Despite being a really attractive man, he has low self esteem. He puts on a front of charming arrogance at times, only showing his true self to a chosen few. I call him out on it regularly – it is one of the things he loves about me apparently.
And then it happened. Finally.
I’m not sure how the conversation moved around to this. But things needed to be said and I needed to say them, once and for all. He agreed.
I told him that last time, I ended up broken hearted. That his actions and words had confused me so many times. That I was attracted to him and that I had felt a connection with him that I had never felt with anyone else.
But, for whatever reason, we’d pulled away from each other and that I had missed him over the years.
Therwas an awkward moment where I went in for a hug and he thought I was going in for a romantic kiss.
He commented here that I had been the one who pulled away from the friendship. Although I knew this to be true, I’d always thought he’d consider himself to be the one that pulled away and this surprised me. He also said that he had sensed that I had been unsure of what I had wanted. This flummoxed me a little.
I then went on to say that I had got over this (I’m not entirely lying, I had for a while) but that our intimacy a few weeks ago had highlighted a few things.
He held his head down at this point.
I told him that I did not regret it. I told him that it was as far as I wanted to go because I was unsure of his feelings. What it had given me was some clarity – I hadn’t imagined our connection.
He agreed. He felt the connection and attraction too. He said that he could be himself around me – he trusted me. But..
I cut in here.
I said that I recognised that he needed a young single woman whom he could start a life with. And that I needed someone dependable and strong to share my life with. Despite our chemistry, we were not right for each other.
He agreed and commented that he recognised that he was not dependable and that he had let me down. He said he had had no idea that I had felt that way in the past and was sorry that he had “led” me on and upset me. He said that he still wanted me.
Moments later, he pulled me close so that our foreheads rested on each other as we spoke. I couldn’t stand it; the intensity of feelings. I weighed it up and went for it. He pulled away.
I said, quite calmly in fact, that I wasn’t going to kiss him like that (not strictly true, but I was going to see what happened). He said that it was not that he didn’t want to but that he had feelings for someone else.
I once again called him out on this and rather frustratedly. I pointed out that this was identical to what happened initially all those years ago – he admits he has feelings for me then starts talking about someone else. I also said that this pattern also occurred when he was at a low point – he fixates on someone he can’t have. At this moment, it is some girl in Leeds (miles and miles away!).
He wasn’t happy about this. I won’t dignify his comments by putting them on here but he said that he thought she was the one and that it could get serious. Bs.
I went on to say that I was independent and was in no rush to get in to any relationship. He called me out on this, recognising my own need for intimacy. He asked me what I was looking for in a man.
It also turns out that he had told my sister and brother-in-law about our intimacy. I was surprised.
Despite all this, a tension had lifted. I felt better – at the time anyway – and we rejoined the party at the stage.
A little while later we were all back at the tent. He sat next to me as I cooked some food for everyone. The flirty banter was much the same, even though I felt we had had some clarity. At one point, he commented that he was cold. I touched his hand – mine were warm. He asked me to leave my hand there.
After food, he realised that his taxi was not going to arrive any time soon and so asked if he could sleep with me in my ‘bedroom’.
There was a ridiculous situation where he lay on the cold floor for a while because he would not be happy if she did the same with another man. I commented that we were just friends, I had three layers on and he was freezing. I was toasty with my single duvet – it was up to him. He eventually got on to the single air bed with me and I cuddled him warm. Genuinely, there was no other option but I realise that it was far from ideal.
It is difficult to lie together on a single mattress, holding each other close without touching each other in an intimate way. We just about managed it amongst some laughing. At times he would hold my hand or stroke my arm. Other times he would pull away.
As I sit here typing, I can hear him move on my airbed. Part of me is annoyed because I want to go to sleep on my airbed.
Things in some ways are still not as clear as I thought they were. I did a lot of the talking last night and some of it was said in self preservation. His actions and his words are still conflicting.
What was clear is that nothing has changed. And I mean that in both senses of the phrase. We are still drawn to each other and people still think there is more going on than there is.
He is still playing games though. This elasticated friendship is still very much in play and he wants to be in control. I believe this the one area of his life where he has felt in control.
In the cold light of the morning, I’m not sure how much I influenced the steer of the conversation with my words and actions. From things he said, he is confused that I keep turning him down for sexual intimacy.
He still has a power over me that I can’t resist. But I know him so well that I preempt his games with blocks. I no doubt confuse him as much as he does me.
I can’t do this though. I want to think that despite my blocks, he would have told me truly how he had felt if he had wanted more. I can’t be sure though.
But I know from my own reflections recently that I can’t go through this again but that I am as much the game player as him.
True love shouldn’t feel like this.