I woke up the next morning feeling great; I jumped out of bed and got ready for work. Though our office was very small, it was rare when I didn’t get ‘dressed’ for work. I put on a dress, pair of heels, my face and headed out the door. We were at the start of our busy season, and I knew the long days, and nights were just around the corner.
When I got to work I had an email from United Airlines reminding me about my flight to Portugal that I had put on hold. Andrew had still not confirmed with me if those dates worked so I would need to follow up with him again, which was not something I wanted to do. Red Flag warning!
I put together a sweet yet direct email:
“Hi, I hope you are having a great day. I got a reminder from United about my ticket that is on hold. Any update on your end if those dates work? Can’t wait to see you again! Xoxo, Keylee”
An hour later I had no response. Two hours later I had no response. Three hours later I had no response. I had my one cigarette for the day and after lunch still had no response. I decided to shoot him a text, maybe the internet ate my email and it never made it all the way to Portugal…. That totally happens all the time, right?
“How is your day? Did you get my email?”
No response. Finally, about an hour after I sent the text message I got a response; “Sorry it has been a crazy day, let’s talk about your ticket tomorrow.” Well, it wasn’t exactly the warm fuzzy response that I was looking for but at least I knew that by tomorrow, I would have a plan. I started to get a bit excited at the thought of seeing Andrew again and couldn’t wait to visit Portugal in the fall. I started to imagine the rolling hills covered with fall leaves and crisp air. Who knows, maybe I would even start baking pies with all the fresh fall fruit that would be growing on the farm.
The next day I was so swamped with production plans, program books, planning our orientations and coordinating my next New York trip that I wasn’t even thinking about boys; it was so refreshing! Of course, once I discovered that I wasn’t thinking about boys, then all I thought about was boys. As I sat at my desk eating lunch, most likely catching up with everyone on Facebook, my phone rang, it was Sam.
“Hey Sam,” I answered. He made small talk for a moment and then he finally asked. “So, I was thinking, we should have dinner next week.”
“You were? Is this your way of asking me out on a date?” I teased him.
“Yes, I am asking you on a date to have dinner with me,” he said. “How about next Thursday are you available?”
Of course, I was available; I rarely made plans more than 5 minutes in advance. “Sure, I think that will work,” I answered.
“Great, I will be traveling for work, is that okay?” He said.
Huh? “Why would you ask me to have dinner with you if you are not in town and you are traveling?” I said getting slightly defensive, was this a joke to him?
“I was thinking,” he continued “you could fly and meet me, and we could have dinner there.”
“Where is there?” I asked.
He continued talking without even acknowledging my question. “Well, if you could clear your schedule for the whole weekend we could just stay and have some fun.”
“WHERE?” I asked again.
“Don’t worry about where text me your birthday and full name and I will take care of it all. I need to run into a meeting I will call you later! Glad you said yes!” He said as he hung up the phone.
I was so utterly confused and excited at the same time. It was so mysterious; but I knew he was going to give me more details when he called back. He couldn’t expect me to go on a trip and have no idea where I was going. Either way, it would be an adventure so I was game!
Suddenly my stomach sank, Andrew. Agreeing to have dinner with an old friend was one thing but agreeing to go away with a guy for a whole weekend was something entirely different. I decided to wait a bit; I didn’t need to tell him anything right away, in all honesty, I didn’t even know if this trip would happen.
Andrew called me later that day and left me a message saying that we needed to talk. When I heard his message, I knew what he wanted to talk about and from the tone of his voice, I knew what his heart was saying. We were done.
I called Andrew back, and I was right. He finally admitted what I had known, and tried to deny, for weeks; he didn’t want me to come visit. Well, according to him he did want me to come but he just wasn’t really ready for it. Whatever that means. He needed some time alone and some space is what he told me. Space? That was the word he was going to use, really? I lived over 5000 miles away, how much fucking space did he need? This was such a bullshit coward excuse and I knew it!
I was hurt, shocked, and pissed off. Our awkward conversation was basically over and just growing more awkward by the second and I just needed to get off the phone! I abruptly told him I was busy and hung up the phone, he followed up with a text saying that he felt bad about the way our call ended and later that day I followed up with an email. An email was how we had met, and it was still one of our best ways of communication.
Email to Andrew, September 2012
“I agree our call today did not go great and not at all the way I thought it would. I was honest when I said I am disappointed but more than that I think it was just hard to hear that you don’t want me to come visit- it defiantly hurts. I thought we were more on the same page and both wanted to explore what we have further- this obviously can not happen if we have a relationship built on text and a weekly skype call. I know you are busy and stressed and need time to yourself, but I think you and I operate in very different ways. I am not really in any position to take time off work and charge another plane ticket on my credit card, but I wanted nothing more than just that if it meant I got to spend time with you and I already had worked it all out to make it happen. I guess I am just a hopeless romantic and after what I have been through I would do anything for love, which even as I type I realize it sounds like a silly 16 year-old.
You are correct that I have a lot going on in my personal life and it doesn’t look like it is going to be over anytime soon but that is life, there will always be something going on that is not ideal- that is called life. I refuse to let my past take up one more second of my future and it in no way has anything to do with how I feel about you or how I will lead my life. I am not sure if you are even aware of it but I felt you begin to pull away when I was in Portugal and had no idea what to do about it. I have said from the beginning that I would never make you a promise I couldn’t keep but what I also can not do is set myself up for disappointment and hurt, I truly do not think my heart could take it right now and I feel you not wanting me to come visit is a pretty clear message whether you realize it or not. I feel like you saying you need space is bullshit and not the real reason but if that is all you are going to tell me that is fine.
One thing I have learned in life and through all the relationships I have had is that you should never ignore the signs, no matter how much it hurts. You said in your text tonight that you feel you have taken something away from me, the only thing you have taken away was my excitement about the trip and spending more time with you exploring our intense connection but, you were just being honest and you took it away from both of us. I will be fine, I always am. It is really pathetic to say but I have learned to expect disappointment in these situations, something I am trying to change for my future but it looks as if it is serving me well right now. kss”
I didn’t get an immediate reply and I wasn’t surprised, I said what I needed to say and felt good about it.
The day of my mysterious dinner date with Sam was growing closer, and I still had no idea where I was going. Sam loved surprises, and he was keeping his mouth shut on this one. My instructions from him were this; A driver will pick you up on Wednesday at noon and take you to LAX, pack only a few things for warm weather, whatever you don’t have that you need I will take care of it!
Was he for real? I was immediately panicked, as a stylist, packing for an unknown destination made me sweat! So, of course, I packed something for every situation I could think of and tried my best to make it all fit! That morning I got an email back from Andrew. We had exchanged several, but they had all been shallow and meaningless, this was when the truth finally came out.
“…There’s something we haven’t discussed since you were here, and that I need to talk about. It’s been wearing on me to the point that I just don’t think its fair of me to keep it in any longer. When you were here I told you how I was sometimes looking for you and right when I was about to call out your name, that the name of my ex would come to mind instead. Over the last few weeks, it’s become clear to me that I am still very hurt by her and our split, and ultimately, that I have unresolved feelings for her. It’s not fair.”
This hit home for me, I couldn’t believe he almost called me another woman’s name! I had so many things I wanted to type back. He should feel bad, he should feel awful. I didn’t believe this was a new revelation for him, he has known this for over a month (that is how long it had been since I had been in Portugal) and he is just now telling me this. Clearly, our communication wasn’t as great as I thought it was. What I wanted to reply was “FUCK YOU” and hit send- but I didn’t.
I literally had no time to think about the email, my car was picking me up in less than half an hour, and I still hadn’t shut my suitcase. The good news was I now felt zero guilt about going on the trip with Sam! I finally got my suitcase closed and was ready to go when my phone rang. I assumed it was Sam making sure I will still coming, I was half right.
“Don’t forget to grab your passport,” he said.
“Seriously? Are you kidding me?” I asked.
“Maybe I am, but wouldn’t you hate to need it and not have it?” He answered back. I could hear him smiling through the phone as we hung up- he loved the suspense.
I grabbed my passport and walked outside, and the driver was standing outside the town car, he opened the door and took my bag. As we pulled away, I asked the driver “do you know where we are going?”
“LAX ma’am, that is all I know,” he said.