I began to feel trapped again, the pattern of my life had become rather predictable. I was in the friend zone with Katy, I had no idea how we’d gotten there. We were still together but things had gotten stale. We were plodding along sometimes nicely, but deep down neither of us were happy with each other.

We just didn’t want each other anymore. Not physically, there was no sex anymore and that alerted me to look a bit closer at what Katy was getting up to. It wasn’t long before I discovered more lies, more betrayals. I don’t think I was even surprised anymore. It didn’t mean it didn’t still hurt. I couldn’t figure out how she could fight tooth and nail for our relationship, always wanting to stay together through all our problems but just couldn’t commit to us and be faithful.

I was fed up, I’d meet up with Lara quite often and would talk about our failing relationship, that I truly didn’t know what to do. Every time I tried to discuss our problems with Katy she’d fight for us, I’d give in. This is why I kept saying it was her turn.

This pattern continued until we brought in 2007. The highlights up to that point were all moments that I remember with my friends. The day came when Ryan was due back from his travels. I had a phone call from him asking me to pick him up from the airport in his car. I was super thrilled about that, his car was so much more powerful than mine and it would make the drive a bit more fun.

Another highlight was the Pantomime in Bath, the gay bar that we spent most of our time in (Mandalyn’s) organised a night out at the theatre. We had filled the first two rows of the stalls with regulars from the pub, only Ryan and I could make it. We got the bus into Bath and Katy would be picking us up later when she’d finished work. There was a lot of banter between us and the actors when it came to audience participation and a number of the cast even joined us at the pub afterwards.

Not that I noticed. It was two for one cocktail night and Ryan and I got ridiculously drunk. I think we managed to drink our way through the entire cocktail menu. I remember that it was just me and my brother at home since my parents were away on holiday. Even still Katy didn’t stay the night.

My parents were away for their 25th wedding anniversary and my Dad had arranged a surprised of renewing their wedding vows. There were taking a trip through Italy visiting all the main tourist attractions. My Mum had wanted to do it for years. My Dad managed to keep it a surprise until the last minute. I often wonder if my parents marriage and their happiness is why I’m still a hopeless romantic. I often think that if I could find someone who makes me as happy as they make each other then I’ll have nothing to complain about.

When I got home and finally managed to put the key in the door I stumbled through the hallway and into our small living room. The whole room was spinning, I was lying on the sofa doing that thing where you put one foot on the floor to stop from feeling so dizzy. It wasn’t working. All of a sudden I could feel that I was going to be sick.

I reached the hallway and had to make a quick decision, the bathroom upstairs or the kitchen sink. Uh oh, too late, the floor of the hallway. Worse still was that due to the awful mix of drinks I’d had that night the smell was overwhelming, like some kind of solvent that could strip paint from walls. I had to clean it up immediately in my drunken state (thank god for laminate floors!) and then I headed for bed.

It wasn’t until the morning that I realised that in my drunken state I had sent a somewhat risqué picture message to Lara. I felt awful, I knew I there had been a bit of a crush coming on for Lara but I hadn’t let myself think too much about it. I hastily apologised for the inappropriate message and asked if we could forget about it since I wasn’t available.

Between the Pantomime evening and New Years things just plodded along. Katy and I would be taking a trip with Ryan and Peter to Manchester, we would all enjoy going out on Canal Street, but for Katy and I we would be going to see Pink again. In my mind I thought of the trip as a bit of a make or break for us, we couldn’t carry on like we were, if we managed to have a really good time while we were away then great, if not I’d keep putting distance between us until she’d eventually end it.

There are things I remember about our trip to Manchester that would constitute ‘Too Much Information’ but I’ll say this much. Katy and I just weren’t working anymore, neither of us had any interest in each other sexually, the only way we’d ever engage in anything like that is if we were trying something new… after nearly four years together there wasn’t much ‘new’ to explore… I wasn’t always comfortable with the suggestions. It just felt like we were trying far too hard for something that should come a lot more easily if we really wanted each other.

When we’d gotten back the distancing began. We’d had a good time but it was clear that there was just no spark between us anymore, the four of us had a laugh when out shopping and drinking. Yet it was awkward when Katy and I were alone together and it shouldn’t have been like that. I was looking for a way out since I felt trapped, I knew I couldn’t end it, I’d tried and failed so many times.

I wanted to break free but I didn’t know how, I looked closely at our relationship looking for a way out that just wouldn’t materialise. This was a cruel way to end things, there would be no way that we’d be ending on a high, I put our relationship under the microscope and every time Katy put a toe our to line, lied, hurt my feelings, no matter how insignificantly I’d make a big deal out of it.

This approach wasn’t ideal for so many reasons, I wasn’t in control and I was letting Katy determine how much longer we’d both have to suffer through our relationship. If I looked closely at my own behaviour I knew why I chose this cowardly exit, I wasn’t ready to be single. The idea of being alone scared me, Katy was familiar, she was my friend, we had so many mutual friends and still could have a good time together, so what would I do if I didn’t have that anymore?

We had one last Christmas and one last new year together. Then it would all be over.


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