I’m in the airport. I’ve had a morning of tears, anxiety induced stomach ache and near panic attacks. I’ve frightened the life out of Wildcard and his family.
But first, a recount of yesterday.
After laughing over breakfast, because he saw how well his mother looks after me in comparison to him, we had a lazy morning.
In the afternoon though, with a picnic packed, we travelled to a local reservoir beauty spot. Finding a parasol shading table, Wildcard negotiated with the owner and went off to get fresh fish with his mum.
I sat with his dad and admired the views, the sun beating down and the wind blowing a warm breeze beneath the canopy. The reservoir stretched out, surrounding my mountains so dry and arid they looked like sand dunes. I could picture myself living there in the lakeside villa – horses and chickens, olive trees and herbs, my handsome husband and little children running around in the sun.
Wildcard returned and handed over the fish to the man who prepared and cooked it over fire. His mum had brought bread, salad, noodle salad and chicken. The fish came on a platter, covered in onions and tomatoes and spices. As before, Wildcard delicately de-boned my fish for me in a gallant gesture.
After eating, Wildcard decided to swim. He was nervous about me joining him but felt this was safer than the beach last week. His Dad however panicked as I stepped into the water and his mum ended up wading in with me until I reached Wildcard. Please be assured that despite being treated like a princess, I am sturdy and capable of swimming. The level of care they gave me the whole trip was astounding. They are a wonderful family.
We laughed and splashed and enjoyed the bath like water. I loved every second and wished only that I could have wrapped myself around him like the fountain scene in Cocktail.
We dried off in the sun then made our way over to his city. A mix of ancient and new, I absolutely loved it, although the driving and traffic scares the life out of me. His parents bought me a gift from the market, despite my protestations not to, and then we went to the local scenic spot to take in the panorama of the city. I was happy, so happy.
We had a very late tea, showers then retired to bed. Without a doubt we had the best love-making we had ever had. It is amazing how two people learn about each other’s bodies over even such a short time. I didn’t want him to leave but of course he had to. And even the epic sex couldn’t turn off my brain.
I wrote him four letters over the course of the night and morning. I wasn’t satisfied with any of them and they actually got more succinct each time. I thanked him for the holiday, told him that I loved him and his family. And then I told him that I felt that we wanted different things. I was sorry that I wasn’t what he wanted but I would always love him and wished a happy life for him.
Dramatic – possibly. Honest – definitely.
I didn’t give him any of them. This morning he came to my room as always and we had amazing love-making round 2. I swear he was trying to make my heart explode with love.
We had breakfast with his parents, and whilst I listened to the rhythmic sounds of their talking, my brain battled on in its determination to self sabotage or self preserve – I don’t know which.
The line comes from the fact that there has still been no conversation. I tried to instigate one a couple of times, and whilst he always reassured me of his love and want to be with me, there was nothing concrete. No plan, no conditions to be met. I don’t expect plain-sailing but I am a control freak who has absolutely no control at the moment.
I started to weep, a lump in my throat and my breakfast churning in my stomach. I excused myself as subtly as I could and dried my eyes, breathing in deeply in an attempt to gain control.
When I returned I fought to maintain that control. But I was questioned and as soon as his mum asked, concerned they had done something wrong, I burst into tears and hugged her. She told me again and again, in broken English and her own language, how I was always welcome and that she loved me being there which made me cry more.
Soon it was time to leave. My stomach ached with anxiety and grief. I felt sick and exhausted fighting the tears.
Putting on my shoes, Wildcard sat next to me and asked what was wrong. He said that I was acting like it was the last time and had he done something wrong? He told me again that I can come whenever I want.
The journey to the airport was torture. My stomach had spiraled into anxiety induced knots. I tried so hard to be calm but I just couldn’t. My brain surged with thoughts and emotions. I hated that they were so worried and kept trying to reassure them, telling them it was just nerves, which was true.
Just outside the city and airport, we took a detour to a local urban forest. It smelled of jasmine and the short walk gave me some repose from my feelings. I could feel his concern, never mind see it, and he kept telling me that if I was ill I should cancel my flight and rebook. I couldn’t tell him that would make no difference. I suspect I would feel that way no matter when I left.
I took some anxiety meds and something for my stomach and we drove the last ten minutes to the airport.
The whole family walked me to the doors of the airport but only Wildcard walked me through at first. He found us a place to sit, surreptitiously held my hand and asked me to talk.
He kept saying that I was making him nervous, that I was making him feel like I didn’t want to come back. His parents then walked in and took a seat a distance from us. He told me he loved me, those gorgeous dark brown eyes looking into mine, and that he had told me how serious he was about me the very first day I had arrived, over a year ago. He told me to stay if I wanted to stay, come back whenever I wanted.
At this point, I was well past my 2.5 hour entry point to the airport. I told him I would have to go. “So you want to leave me now?” I told him I never wanted to leave him and that was the problem. He said he needed to find a way to ‘kill those donkeys’ in my head, his term for my stupid thoughts.
I’m now sat on the plane. I am calmer than I was. I’m angry at myself for getting in such a state but knowing me, even if he had committed to me in blood I would still have wished not to leave.
Are you wondering if I am missing my children?
I am, but perhaps not as I have in the past. Let me explain.
My children have lived between houses for over three years now. At first, when they started to stay over at their dad’s, I hated it. But over time, my mind has accepted this new way of life. I know my children love me. I know they are safe. And I know I will see them soon.
I’ve called them every day that I was away. I’ve missed kissing my youngest’s cheeks, missed my elder son’s cheeky face when he is wrapping me round his little finger and my daughter’s passionate tirades about one thing or another. But I know they will be there when I return.
I can’t help feel that there is no certainty with Wildcard. Expectation is the fuel of broken dreams. I’ve convinced myself that if he was serious we would have had a conversation. That if he loved me as I loved him, he would be certain and secure.
And so, I fly on the first part of my journey home, heart heavy and soul sore, hoping that this is simply a lost battle with anxiety rather than the beginning of the end.