“Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it” now, that certainly seems to ring true for me. It had been about a month since I had gone back to Portsmouth. I was just starting my design course and actually going to lectures and tutorials. I was enjoying my new role as the LGBT Society co-President. Katy hadn’t remembered what drove us apart the year before, her behaviour would drive us apart again.
There were a few things that would lead up to this, I’ll try to consider it from both sides of the relationship which is only something I’m able to do now with the 9 years perspective that I have.
Katy was worried, as much as she loved me and the fact that we were back together it wasn’t enough to stop her worrying about whether I’d break her heart all over again. I honestly didn’t plan on doing so, I hoped that this time around Katy would be a bit more comfortable with me being away and having a life of my own, she certainly had a life of her own back home. I don’t like double standards.
I had gotten a job at the Student Union bar with Chris, I lasted just a couple of shifts during freshers week. I could cope perfectly well with serving in a ridiculously busy bar, loud obnoxious people, being on my feet all night but what I didn’t like was the clean up effort afterwards. After spending a long shift on your feet the last thing I wanted to do was clean up spillages, sick and god knows what. I couldn’t hack it so I didn’t go back.
The only job I ever had at University and enjoyed was the only one that had no money in it. Chris and I had dutifully taken over the running of the LGBT society and it was shaping up to be a fun start to the year. We were hanging out all day at the freshers fair manning the stall, making friends with people from local businesses, I even got a free hair cut. The free haircut experience was bizarre, a local salon were giving free haircuts to students, you had no mirror in front of you and the rules were you couldn’t give instruction, the stylist would do what they wanted. I ended up with a hairstyle which was the shortest I had ever had.
While manning the stand and getting peoples details I got to meet a variety of people. As always more guys would sign up than girls, there were familiar faces from the year before as well as a lot of new ones. Some guys that we’d even met while we were hunting for our new housemate. I was looking forward to our first social. I didn’t realise that I had inadvertently scared one of our prospective signee’s off, her name was Megan, and apparently I didn’t look impressed when she came to our table to sign up, I remember being a bit confused as I thought she was straight and just signing up with her gay guy friends. Which isn’t a problem at all, so I found it hard to believe I’d scared her off, yet I learned this a few weeks later when I ran into her at a gay bar with Trisha (I was a bit shocked by that). After we cleared up the confusion we were friends pretty quickly.
I was enjoying the initial few weeks of my new course, it was certainly a lot more creative, I would get to cover a lot of things I had no previous experience of like photography and CGI. I wasn’t too keen on the history of art lectures, that was a bit too pretentious for me, I couldn’t wait to get started.
During this first month I’d excitedly tell Katy on our many phone calls what was going on and how I was enjoying this year much more than the one before. To begin with Katy was supportive, especially when I talked about my course, not so supportive when it came to my involvement with the LGBT.
She wanted to know everything about the people that had signed up, names, sexual orientation, did I find them attractive and whether they were single or not. When we’re signing people up we don’t ask if they’re single, it’s a society not a dating service! It didn’t seem to matter to Katy that I was happy with our relationship, that I was happy to tell anyone I met that I had a girlfriend.
The old suffocating feeling creeped back into our relationship. Any time that I was more than 5 miles away from her Katy just didn’t seem to be able to trust me. What I didn’t realise is that the date we had broken up the year before had been branded in her memory, she was treating it as some kind of milestone. That if would could just get past that date, then we’d be OK. I wasn’t aware of the date at all, all I knew was that things seemed to be exactly the same as the year before, I couldn’t deal with the hourly interrogations so I ended our relationship for the second time. I’d done it 366 days after the last time we had broken up. I think that just added salt to Katy’s wounds.
So history had repeated itself, I found myself back in Portsmouth in both familiar and unfamiliar situations. I was paying more attention to my studies than I had before, trying to organise social events with Chris and the LGBT society, I would still meet up with Debbie regularly and I would try to get Chloe to come out with the LGBT.
In the aftermath of the break up it was my time to be the fool that hadn’t remembered the past and would end up repeating history. I didn’t want to cut Katy out of my life, we had so many mutual friends it didn’t seem right, we would try to maintain a friendship after our break up. Katy had already made arrangements to come and visit me before we broke up, she’d taken holiday from her job at the shop and her older brother would be driving her down for the week. All these arrangements had been made before the break up, Katy still wanted to visit and I felt that I owed it to her, breaking up over the phone is never ideal and there were things that needed to be said in person.