While we were having the best time together every day, cementing the friendship and love that we shared, I also had to battle a demon or two on my own.
Jetlag gave me sleepless nights. Sleepless nights make me over-think everything and I start calling into question things that need not be scrutinised. In those dark, silent hours in a strange bed in a faraway place, I guess I finally confronted the changes in my life, and more particularly, why it had taken me so long to make those changes. So this wasn’t a bad thing, just a hard thing.
I’d lie next to this Beautiful Boy and wonder at his peace, his self-assurance and complete lack of doubt. I was still unsure whether it had been the best thing to come flying into his arms. I still felt like all I deserved was to be miserable for a lot longer before I’d be allowed to move on and find such happiness. I felt guilty for being so happy and cynical about the long-term probability of this love remaining as it was: sweet, selfless and true.
Compounding the issue and also proving that no one is perfect, my Beautiful Boy snored like a beast. I’m a light sleeper at the best of times, but there I was in a foreign country, a foreign situation and working through mountains of issues, with the added sleep-depriving effect of his nightly cacophony.*
But my biggest challenge at the time was that we were in Boy’s territory now. Here was his home, his life and his recent past. His single, player, boy with a cute accent past! There were girls, memories of girls and stories of girls. In our first month together back home we had told each other everything about our romantic careers and I thought I was okay with everything, but being in the town where these stories had played out made it all the more real.
Boy wasn’t shoving it in my face but little things were bound to happen. I’d suggest a cosy looking restaurant for lunch and a look on his face would quickly explain that it was one of ‘their’ places. I’d be introduced to a nice girl, spend an evening talking to her and find out afterwards that she’s an ex’s best friend. I would download our photos onto his laptop and find old pictures of other girls. Now I’m usually not a jealous girl, but in this instance, with this Boy, it was driving me crazy.
The stories of girlfriends past also made me doubt the sincerity of our sweeping romance, as he had been as spontaneous and quick to fall in love before. There was the girl he had met in Madison and two weeks later he flew her out to SA with him for Christmas holidays. Stories like this made me wonder whether our whirlwind experience was all that different or special to him in any way. I’d been in one long steady relationship for all the years of my romantic life, while he’d been wooing, wining, dining and charming the pants off girls all over the world.
*Sweetheart that he is, he bought me industrial strength earplugs(!) which I luckily got used to soon enough.