I remember the day quite vividly. As if it were yesterday. It was a cold day and my then boyfriend and I went to an internet cafe, as we had nothing else to do. The cafe was dark and grungy. Smelt like an old toilet mixed with old sweat and cheese balls. It didn’t help that the heater was on full blast and no windows were open, so it was super stuffy with all the cigarette smoke. It was not the most hygienic place, but my boyfriend liked it. He wanted to spend nine hours there, because that was the deal. Nine hours for six dollars. Cheap, yes, but not too sure if thats where you would take your girlfriend out to. Nevertheless, I was all out of fucks, as I was planning on breaking up with him the next day. I don’t know why I decided to go out with him that day. But I did. And thats where I met him.

Okay, not met physically, more like he suddenly appeared on my MSN chat list. Yes, I used to use that a lot. It was my form of texting back in the day, when no one had iPhones and I definitely was too young to even be able to afford one myself, even if it did exist. Although I did own a phone, that was capable of going online and taking photos.

So there I was, just being bored and looking for interesting things to do, online, when all of a sudden a chat window popped up. At first, I looked at the name, and I had no idea who it was. It was a mystery, but his display picture looked kinda cute, he had a scruffy kinda face, with facial hair and extremely short hair, he looked european. So I decided to get to know him. I know what you’re all thinking, that Im a bitch for chatting with another guy when my boyfriend was sitting right next to me, but I assure you, there was no flirting, well, not that day anyways.

At the time I was 18, and he, was 19. I had never gotten along so well with somebody as much as I did with him that day. I spoke to him for the full nine hours we were there. It wasn’t small talk, it was a surprisingly in-depth conversation. Over chat. Didn’t think that was possible. He also didn’t abbreviate words like some 19 year olds did. He actually spoke, no, typed, in full sentences and used proper grammar and punctuation. Boy, was that attractive.

So our nine hours had come to an end, and as I was saying goodbye to him, he asked me for my number. I hesitated. I don’t know why, but I did. I guess the goody goody within me was questioning whether this guy was real or not. I had to make up my mind quickly, as my boyfriend was telling me to hurry up and screaming at me from the counter. So without a second thought, I typed my number in and said my goodbye and logged out.

We walked out of the cafe, which was a refreshing burst of fresh air. I felt like my lungs had been clogged by all the dust and murky air of cigarettes from inside the cafe. I breathed in, what possible fresh air I could, considering we were in the city, and there is fumes and pollution everywhere, but so much nicer and fresher than inside that cafe. I stretched my cramp muscles out on the path. Sitting down for nine hours, is way too much sitting. My ass hurt.

My boyfriend put his arm around my shoulder, and started pulling me towards the car. It felt kind of uncomfortable knowing that I was going to end this tomorrow. So I gently pulled myself away from his hold, not obviously, just subtly so he wouldn’t catch on that something was wrong.

We got inside his car, a Mazda 3, that he adored. I normally would go in and make myself conformable, putting my feet up on the dashboard. He hated that. But he never told me off for it. Not this day though, I didn’t, even put my legs up like I used to. I kinda felt like I should be respectful one last time, while I sat in his car. I even let him choose what songs to listen to. They were horrible, but I kept that to myself. He asked me what was wrong, but I just said nothing, that I was tired, and wanted to go home. He was hungry so we went to the most romantic restaurant there is, Mcdonalds. I have nothing against Maccas, but I wanted to eat something proper, rather than fast food, but alas, we always end up there.

While my boyfriend was driving through the drive thru, I told him what I wanted and then checked my phone. There was a message from a number, I hadn’t seen before. I opened it up and it was the guy from my MSN list. I was actually really surprised that he messaged me straight away. It wasn’t one of those, here’s my number message, but a proper one. I couldn’t believe he wanted to still talk to me after we had spoken for nine hours straight. I responded simply with a, hi, in the hopes that he couldn’t read any emotions from it. He texted right back, but I decided not to open it and ignored my phone for the rest of the night.

My boyfriend and I ate our dinner, and then he drove me home. For some reason, I felt like I had to tell him then and there, so once we arrived at my place, I told him that we had to end this. He was really shocked as I had not given any indication of it previously. He was baffled and had nothing to say in return, so I looked at him and grabbed his hand. I told him he was really good to me, and I will also have a spot for him in my heart, because that was the true, and wished him well and then I left.

The next morning, I opened the text message from the guy, and he wanted to meet up. So I agreed. At first I hesitated, but something was telling me to just go for it. We decided to meet up for a movie, a movie I had no interest in, so I cannot even for the life of me, remember the movie title, but I didn’t really care as I was just intrigued to see him in reality and see where this would take us.

The date was set for the weekend which was three days after he had asked me. I was so nervous, I thought I was going to vomit. I didn’t know what to wear, or what to do with my unruly hair. I hadn’t dressed up nicely in such a long time, that I forgot how to. I eventually opted for something casual seeing as it was just the movies.

On the day of the date, I got dressed, wearing a skirt and my red favourite top. I was much thinner then so anything made my breasts look good, which I kinda liked. I, then brushed my hair, which I never did, so it was usually a birds nest, but thought I should at least make myself look presentable. I got my bag, my keys and my phone. I was about to walk out the door, when I got super nervous. I closed the door, and took a few deep breathes. I kept thinking to myself how stupid I was to be this nervous. I mean, I was going to the movies, not some weird scary place or to his house. I collected myself and headed out the door.

I got to the cinemas first, so I waited. I didn’t know what to do so I played a game called snakes on my phone. I realised I had no cash, so I walked to the ATM and tried to get cash out, but then to my horror, my bank card got stuck. I was mortified. I had no cash, or card, and I was panicking, wondering how the hell I was going to pay for the movie. I wasn’t expecting him to pay for me.

Just as I got my phone out to cancel on him, he called my name. I turned around and was happily surprised at how cute he actually was in person. I smiled and stood there like an idiot. Just smiling. Then I quickly remembered my idiotic situation with my bank card. So I blurted that out saying I have no money because my bank card is stuck in the ATM machine. He was ever so sweet. He offered to pay, not that he had any choice, and told me to immediately call my bank, so I did. They were sending me a new card in a few weeks, which obviously didn’t help me at the time. But he looked like a hero to me then, in my moment of panic. I mean, I really didn’t need to panic that much, but I was horrified that I was going to have to get him to pay.

We got our tickets, he got some popcorn, I went to the bathroom. I always need to urinate before I go into the movies. Then we walked together to the allocated room and found our seats. We sat down and he got to talking. He was super funny and had the most cutest voice. It was deep and husky, and his laugh was so sexy. It made me smile so hard because I didn’t think someone that looked like that would want to even talk to a person like me. Then, out of nowhere, he kissed me as the cinema lights were dimming. I was so glad the room got dark because I was definitely blushing. Bright red. I asked him what that was for, and he said I like you. You’re cute and you have nice lips. I was like OH MY GOD. I was definitely screaming inside but tried to keep it cool on the outside. He then kissed me again. But the kiss was sweet. Not rushed, not overly passionate, seeing as we were in the cinemas, but it was urgent enough to know that he actually genuinely liked me. I don’t remember the movie at all. The only thing I remember is how my lips felt after touching his and how he held my hand all through the movie and even after we left.

The rest of the afternoon was a haze. I don’t remember much, nor do I remember what we did. I have a vague memory of eating, but I know I didn’t eat, cause I couldn’t stomach anything, with all the butterflies. He walked me to the station and we bid farewell. It was bittersweet. But he assured me we’d hang out again, then he gave me one long kiss and then I went home in utter bliss.

This is where shit got real. It had been a few weeks since that date, and I had not heard from him. I knew it was too good to be real. I didn’t bother texting or calling him either. Back then, I thought that was the guys job.

The odd thing is, just as I was about to forget him, he calls me. He was so casual and was apologetic, as he felt like a dick for not texting or calling earlier. I don’t know what it is about him, but I forgave him on the spot. I was all casual and saying don’t worry about it, but in reality, at the back of my head, I was analysing every single detail. We talked for a whole week and we decided to meet up again. This time, he wanted to take me for a drive.

So this continued for about 10 years. We would meet up, he’d say he’d call, but he never did, then out of the blue, when I had just started to forget about him, he’d call and give me the same excuse. But every single time, I accepted his fucked up excuses.

Then the older we got, we kept missing opportunities to see each other. Every time I had a boyfriend, he would be single and every time I was single, he would have a girlfriend. There was no jealousy or animosity between us, but I got to the point, where I had enough of being fucked around by him, so I stopped talking to him for a year. During that year, I had a child. But without a doubt, he was back in my life. He was super nice about my having a child and he seemed to have matured dramatically. Seemed being the keyword.

He decided to ask me out again, and I accepted. We were planning to meet up, and he was going to come pick me up. He then calls me ten mins before we were supposed to meet and tells me he can’t make it. Just as well, I didn’t even bother getting ready as I had an inkling that this would happen. I told him it was fine and that I would speak to him some other time.

Then a few weeks down the track, he asked me to meet him where we had first met for the movies. So I, stupidly, agreed. I went to the location and waited. And waited. And waited. For I would say a good 2 hours. During that time, I tried calling and texting and calling. He didn’t pick up nor did he text me back. I was furious. I felt so stupid and idiotic, that I would trust this guy who kept ditching me at the last minute. I went home, in such a bad mood.

The next day, he calls me at 6:30am. I was already pissed off so this phone call was not helping my mood at all. I answered by saying what, as rudely as I could and he was surprised I was so pissed off, so I proceeded to hang up.

As usual, months went by. I was busy with my life and I didn’t even think of him once. He then calls me and tells me he is moving states. I felt my heart beat twice, but I wasn’t sure why. There was nothing exciting nor anything sad happening. He then asked me that he wanted me to move with him, because he thought we were meant to be. I was so shocked and surprised that, thats what he thought. I laughed and told him that we weren’t and he was adamant to make me change my mind. I was nice about it and flattered but I told him we weren’t and that I’m not interested anymore. I felt so liberated and so relieved that this little part of my life was over.

I really liked that dude. He was nice, and sweet and sexy. But there was never any stability with him. His other girlfriends may have enjoyed that, but I wasn’t that kind of girl. Yes, there was undoubtedly, a really massive attraction between us, but thinking back on it now, I would say it was more sexual than it was romantic. I didn’t love him nor did I like him to the point, where I wanted to see how things panned out. It was a little fling or a crush but it was nothing more nor nothing less.

It’s funny how you remember details about somebody, like the color shirt he was wearing on your first date, which was blue by the way, or the color of his car, which was also blue, I think his favourite color was blue. Things that were so minor then, is what reminds you of them now. I did see him once at a show, and he looked back at me and smiled, and I thought he looked familiar but I couldn’t pick out from where until later. He looked older, obviously, but he still looked really good. And sometimes thats where it ends. Because I couldn’t be happier now with the person I’m with right now, and if it weren’t for that guy on my MSN list, I wouldn’t have learnt so much about myself and so much about how the world of dating worked, in the short span of knowing him, oh, but I guess ten years is pretty long!

by m