Return to Sender

I have always been one of those people who clung to guys for the long haul. “..but the way he looked at me.” “He kissed me on the forehead.”  “He made me feel special.” were common justifications for my dumb reasoning. This everlasting challenge hit me like a season finale. I’m glad someone told me to have a cup of concrete.

We matched on a Sunday. I messaged him first after rereading his bio and seeing that he’s in town from New Zealand. “Will entertain you endlessly with my accent.” SOLD.

After some small talk, and him falling asleep in and out of the conversation, he asked to go to coffee. He was staying in the same area as me, so I suggested a place around the corner. He was adorable. He came equipped with a beautiful hipster hair cut and a perfectly trimmed beard -- the hair of dreams. The conversation was constant and stable.

He gave my dumbass numerous history lessons of New Zealand, sometimes in a jokingly condescending tone. I tried to pick up every word of his accent, but apparently from the clueless look on my face, not all of absorbed.

He was in the states, in DC, for a job conference. He figured since he was already over here, he’d make a trip of it. He took the train from DC to Chicago, stayed a couple of days here, and then road tripped through the Midwest for a total of about thirty three hundred miles. From there, we bonded over getting aroused from cholesterol based foods, making fun of hillbillies and how the Native Americans were fucked from the beginning.”MURICA.”

After two hours and three cups of coffee later, he had a conference call to make back at his place. We decided to meet up after and go see a movie or something of that nature.

I went home and immediately shaved my legs.

I knew I wanted this man from the moment he laughed at the ugly baby at the table next to us. He gave me these wide eyes and sort of glanced over quickly, as if the baby would curse him if he stared one second too long.

Two hours later, we met back up for food at a brewery. It may not have been the best of choices as he doesn’t drink anymore, but after the food we inhaled after acting like toddlers, it never felt like an issue in the first place.

It was evident that he was clearly happy with who he was. He was sure of himself; his jokes, either self loathing or directed at me, were sharp and hilarious.

We were talking about our tattoos. He was explaining to me that he has a huge eagle on his back, holding the Confederate flag, driving a pickup with a flaming cross in the background. Then, naturally, his tramp stamp was “AMERICA” in big bold letters filled with little stars. Politics were an overly discussed topic between the two of us. Slowly showing how awful America and violent Chicago are, I’d be surprised if he ever sets foot here again.

We popped over to the adult arcade next door to play some pool, just for an hour since he had plans with his friends that night. He absolutely destroyed me at pool. Out of four games, three were a massacre; the fourth was a pity win after he was literally setting me up so I would win. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was playing on the TV around us. After trying not to melt into the floor after my awful shots, he just said, “Charlie is a complete shithead. Seriously. He found his dad’s monthly salary on the ground and what does he do? Buy some chocolate. Complete twat.” I couldn’t with him. As we became more comfortable around one another, the looming fact that he was leaving the following day to go back to Wellington was hovering.

We understood what was happening; what we were and what we weren’t.

As our walk back was at its end, he looked sadly into my eyes for a goodbye. “Well, it was great to meet you and spend the day with you.” I had no words to match his so I just gave him a quick kiss and turned to leave. “Have a great life!” he yelled as I crossed the street.

As I walked home, I had to see him once last time before he left. Though that was a complete and fantastic goodbye, I wanted to make it better. I got home and saw a message from him. “Hey. You’re awesome.” That’s it. It’s happening. I’m inviting him over. I give zero fucks about how Netflix is now a way to entice someone to come over, but I was about to go there.

Our third and final date of that day, he came over around 11 p.m. I was in my pjs, drinking tea, lying on the couch rewatching Peaky Blinders for the fifteenth time. We both fell into the couch and quickly became comfy with him lying long with his head on my lap. Through three hours of Cillian Murphy, I rubbed his back as he had a constant hand on my leg.

After a sudden move to my bedroom, he was slow and steady, which I appreciated more than he knew. While I am not one to complain about a man in my bed, he kept giving me these weird looks, rolling his eyes, or closing them at very strange moments. At one part, when we slowed down before we picked up after we left off, I asked him. “What is going on with your eyes? Are you okay?”
“Yea, I’m sorry. My contacts are so dry.”
“I thought you were rolling your eyes at me.”
“Yea. Oh yea, absolutely. This is just bloody awful,” he joked as I laughed in his face.

I’ve always considered myself a master at pillow talk, this time between the areas of being the little spoon for Neville Longbottom to popping Fear Boners. My walls aren’t as high after passing that physical test; there is no need for the sass or witty comebacks. This definitely applied for both of us.

As we lay there together, we both came to realize that we saw something in the other person, a quality we understood and wanted to see more of. A silent agreement we would never come to revisit.

He woke me the next morning before he flew out the door as the sun came up. He bent down to kiss me. “It’s been an absolute pleasure meeting you. If you’re ever in New Zealand, you’ll have a place to stay.” He blew me a kiss before he closed my bedroom door. To ensure the ties were not completely severed, he sent me his home address in case I wanted to send him a postcard. Our conversation kept strong and devastatingly clever as he boarded his plane.

With a nineteen hour time difference, our ongoing back and forth is short, but always sweet. I’ve always pushed and exhausted a relationship until there was a need to an end or to move to the more romantic path, but never an option enclosed by either side. There’s an exception to every rule. James gave me the opportunity to learn this about myself; I can let someone go with nothing but fond memories. Just because things are over doesn’t necessarily mean it was bad, which is the obvious jump to conclusion when anyone says a relationship is over.

“Shortest moments are sometimes the most cherished ones because it always gives us the thought that it will never happen again.” I’ll you let know if I book a flight.

Filed under: Dating, Online Dating, Tinder

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