Fool Me Twice

Is it desperation when we go back a second time? We’ve all done it. (Okay, all those singles out there, or newly divorced, admit it!) You know, break up and then weeks later, loneliness sets in and somehow we end up texting, emailing or dialing his/her cell. Just to hear their voice? Reconsidering the decision to end it? It’s all those things I think. My ex and I went back and forth for years until a woman got her hooks into him and took him out of the loop. To this day I will have the odd dream of being or trying to get back with him. Last night for instance:

We were living in this hostel kind of living arrangement… maybe a hotel of some kind. It felt very familiar to me.  The hallways were hallways I’d walked many times before and in one of the open rooms he was there, my ex, and suddenly this really young woman was sitting on the bed next to him and was snuggling her head into his chest. I was angry! Hey, he’s mine! She reluctantly pulled away and left the room and he said to me… I don’t think we have this uh… connection anymore. Really? I asked… You’ve got to be joking! And then I feel this panic and sense of loss and know I have to pack up all my stuff, leave and start all over again.

For me, re-connecting with Marcel, Ape-Man, Mr. Erection_That_Just_Won’t_Quit_In_The_Morning, was a moment of weakness. After my dismal meeting with Island_Boy and especially upon reading his scathing email, calling me lazy and so frugal I sent him back to his primal state (slight exaggeration) I saw Marcel’s happy face online and he suddenly seemed like such a nice guy, worthy of a possible recycling.

I emailed him and wrote that I appreciated his generous nature. Wham! His reply was immediate. He thanked me and stated that coming from me, that meant a lot to him. We decided to have another tryst in the mountains, at the Hostel in Squamish.

I should have known better.

I picked him up at the ferry and he was full of smiles. And promises.

‘If we were together, Adrienne, and you got cancer, I would look after you, and love you right to the end!’

Really? To the end?

‘If you lost your job, I would get another and work two so you wouldn’t have to worry!’

I nodded as I steered my car into a parking spot at the hostel.

What woman in moments of vulnerability, like in the middle of the night with a wretched cold and no cold medicine, doesn’t worry just a tiny bit that she hasn’t anyone to count on to even go for a drug store run? Or finds herself in a situation at work that might leave her with a separation slip? What then? Who pays the mortgage? He hit on two issues that the more I thought about it that day, the more I looked at him as a possible permanent man in my life.

That night I cuddled and stayed with him in his bed by the window. His strong arms held me and I let myself feel comforted, protected.

The next day we cooked up a Great Canadian Breakfast together and chatted amicably with other travelers. There was a young woman from New Zealand taking a sabbatical from her legal profession. She discovered the hostel in Squamish quite by accident as I did ~ surfing the net. A man and a woman in their 30’s joined us. They originated from Northern California. They were there to make their virgin climb up the Stawamus Chief. They had practiced on baby bluffs in California and felt ready to tackle the more expert granite rock of the Chief. From time to time during that morning they stood suddenly and pointed up to the rock in the near distance.

“See that! There’s a climber up there dressed in red! Look at him! That’s where we’re going to be!!”

Excitement abounded.

The weather was hot that day; Marcel and I packed our lunch to head up to the back of the mountain for our climb. Such a gentleman. He would climb upward ahead of me, stop, put his hand down for me to grasp. Not really needing it, I grasped his calloused mitt and smiled gratefully. It felt lovely to be looked after. Little by little, I let the drawbridge down from that high castle wall I have built around my heart.

He spoke in the third person only once:

“Marcel likes to be out in the wilderness and away from the day-to-day grind!”

I smiled indulgently.

After our dinner, which he prepared on the barbecue, we set out on a trail alongside the ocean fed river that ran along the hostel and then meandered in and out of a forest. I exclaimed many times how gorgeous it all was. The flowers, growing wild sometimes blocked the path. The ‘S’ curves blocked any view of what was ahead, leaving us surprised at little wooden bridges suddenly appeared ahead of us. We passed numerous signs warning us of recent sightings and stalking by cougars in the area.

“Cougar bait!” I laughed back at him as I was in the front the we both knew cougars often take the hiker trailing behind. “I’m not really afraid of cougars, Marcel. Bears are another matter.”

We walked six miles that early evening. We stopped in the village where I bought a lemon cake for him to celebrate his birthday. Back at the hostel we sliced it up and shared it with our new friends who had arrived back from their own adventurous day. I left the group sitting outside chatting and went into the common area where a computer was set up for the lodgers use. I logged in to check my email and writing site. Suddenly, I heard a commotion outside and rose to investigate. I was shocked to see an enormous black bear 50 feet away on the very same trail that we had just taken a walk on.

We all stood outside on the patio, most of us holding cameras. We watched, fascinated as this fearsome creature squatted and did his business on the lawn. Ignoring us, he stood suddenly and took a swipe at a branch of a tree. He galloped off. It was an exciting finish to the incredibly beautiful day. Exciting, but it did dampen my enthusiasm about safety walking anywhere around the hostel. I knew there was wildlife around us, but stupidly, wasn’t thinking bears were as close as they obviously were. I could not get the image out of my mind of us rounding a corner and stumbling upon Yogi.

We both went to bed that night exhausted and pleased to be with each other. We laid together, the moonlight shining in from the open window. He promised me that he would definitely leave the Island to re-establish himself on the Mainland. He could get a job anywhere and already had a lengthy contract not far from where I lived.

“Do you see us living together, Adrienne?” he asked.

“If… we continue on like this, Marcel, then I do. Yeah, I do.”

And we sealed this with a kiss.

And more.

It all felt right, like the path we had taken earlier, turning this way then that, bridges spring up to cross, this relationship hopefully wasn’t going to end like the walk did, with a menacing bear spoiling everything.

The following day, he made breakfast again. He leaned in to kiss me as I was talking to our friend from New Zealand. I kissed him back. He handed me a plate and I whispered to him, “I’m fine with what happened last night, by the way.” I sensed his discomfort.

“Are you? I was worried about that,” was his reply.

I drove him to the ferry.

I felt chatty and happy.

He promised to come back a week later on my birthday to take me out for dinner. He said we should plan four days together after that while the weather was still warm. I agreed with a broad smile. I kissed him goodbye and drove home playing romantic love songs on my stereo. I imagined life with Marcel. Perhaps I would even be able to cut my hours and let him do what he seemed motivated to do: support me. His ex never worked. He was used to bringing home the bacon and frying it up too. He did it all. When I mentioned to him that I have a great job with benefits that would include him too, he looked at me in a disagreeable way. It puzzled me. I stored it in my mental file under, ‘Hmmm.’

He had promised to call that night.

But he didn’t.

I excused him. He plays hockey with the boys on Thursdays. He doesn’t get home till quite late. He didn’t want to disturb me.

I sent him an email telling him how much I enjoyed his company. I mentioned how I was so glad we tried again, that maybe we were both a little scared the first time, gun shy so to speak.

He didn’t reply.

Not even with his usual one sentence, no punctuation: hi i am so happy talk to you soon.

Nothing.

The next day I was talking to my friend seeking her counsel.

“I’m on the dating site and he’s there. He’s online.”

“Don’t do it, Adrienne,” she warned, knowing my impulsive penchant to send the evil email.

“I’m trying not to.”

“Email him again. Make it sweet. Love kisses, Adrienne. I miss you. Look forward to seeing you.

“Okay. I’m doing it right now.”

Pause

“Okay, it’s sent.”

Minutes passed.

He responded with his typical one sentence, no punctuation. He ended it with: I will call you real soon.

Real soon? Well, I wish I could say that I was patient and gave him time to consider what he wanted to do next. But, frankly, I felt insulted. I managed to hold off until later that evening. No phone call and no email arrived. Around midnight I logged back onto the dating site. He was on again.

And so I sent the evil email.

I believed him. I believed all his promises. For a guy who seems a little dense, he certainly played his cards right. The jackpot was getting me into bed and he played each card so well. I felt hurt and betrayed.

I called my friends one by one and lamented. They comforted and supported.

I felt that drawbridge rise once again.

What was so obvious to most of my friends whizzed over my head.

“Adrienne, a man who is sincere would never make those kinds of claims to a woman so soon in the relationship!”

Really?

“What you should do is carefully consider why you would lower your expectations of a man? Check your vulnerabilities, A. He found your weakness and exploited it”

Yes, you are right. But isn’t Leonard Cohen right too ~ There is a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.

She’s right. His promises hit me where it hurt.

Two weeks of vacation spread out ahead of me, a luxurious span of time waiting to be filled with days of sunshine and adventure. I had planned for Marcel to be included and now deleted him. I allowed myself to mope for two days and then I dragged my mountain bike into my car and decided to head out to the dike for my 40 km ride. But, first I stopped at the bike shop to purchase a mirror for it.

The owner is someone I have seen around town, but rarely speak to. I purchased my bike from him three years ago. He showed me the mirror I would need and when he saw my face as he was explaining how to attach it, he said, ‘Why don’t you just bring the bike in and my boys will do it for you?’  I agreed.

I brought the bike in and he shook his head at the state it was in.

“It looks like it needs a little TLC!”

I smiled weakly, thinking it wasn’t the only thing that needed that.

His ‘boys’ smiled at me and wheeled the bike into the back.

“Fill up her tires and lube the chain for her guys.”

While I waited the proprietor and I chatted. He questioned me on where I was going and why I was off in the middle of the week.

“I’m on vacation.”

“Oh! It’s kind of fun staying in town isn’t it? We live in such a beautiful place.”

“We do.”

He motioned to a large black and white framed photo on the wall. It showed a good looking young man, muscular, racing a road bike.

“That’s me,” he said.

“Really? Wow!”

“Yeah. I can’t believe that’s twenty years ago. I raced professionally. Made a living at it and traveled the world.”

“How old were you there?”

“25 years old,” he shook his head almost sadly.

“Ha! I just found out your age.”

He smiled back at me.

“You’re going to the dike right now?” he asked when my bike was finished and waiting for me at the door.

“Yes. It’s the most beautiful day of the year.”

He held the door open.

“And I have to stay here,” he nodded his head towards the store.

And we parted ways.

As I drove out towards the flat lands, my mood lightened.

I thought how I have forgotten how to meet men outside of the cyber-world. I had no idea if this guy was interested. He came without a profile stating his intentions, likes and dislikes and I have no idea if he can write a decent sentence. All I know is I find him attractive. I can’t add him as a favorite to let him know I am interested, nor can I send him a smile. I have to resort to ancient tactics and bring my bike back for a tune-up.

Two weeks passed that I filled with cycling, hiking and swimming in the ocean. I began to feel like my old self again. And then Marcel emailed me with:

you’re wrong about me good luck

Oh, no… round three?

This is Adrienne reporting from the trenches. I’ll write soon and give you the blow by blow account of this never ending saga.

:-)
Fool Me Twice © 2011 Adrienne S Moody. Read the latest Adrienne exploit on Now.readthisplease.

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