New Years 2007 was an interesting night out. We were spending another one at our favourite bar Mandalyn’s. It was Bond themed since we were bringing in the year 007. I hadn’t made any effort this year to dress up, I don’t even think I was drinking, I would be one of the designated drivers responsible to taking our now rather large group of gays back home.
Everyone was having a good time. Lara was there, and the month preceding the NYE celebrations a friend of mine and Katy’s had started hanging out with us more since she’d moved back into the area. Her name was Emma and we’d both known her quite a while, she was closer to Katy than me. She was one of Katy’s friends who had encouraged me and Katy to get back together during Lesbian Mecca.
I liked Emma, she was fun to be around and quite a bubbly person. She was also not afraid to get up and sing karaoke, finally I had a karaoke buddy. We would often get up and sing together, songs like ‘Build me up Buttercup’ and ‘I’ve had the time of my Life’ the good old Dirty Dancing classics. It wasn’t long before she had taken a liking to Lara.
I wasn’t jealous, which surprised me since I knew I had a bit of a crush on her. I didn’t think they were right for each other, but I wasn’t jealous and that surprised me. Of course, I had no right to be jealous, I was still with Katy.
By this point I was friendly with a lot of the regulars at the bar, in particular an older woman called Paula. We would often flirt innocently of an evening and throw a bit of banter back and forth. I only mention Paula on this occasion since I had a New Years that was rather memorable.
My detachment with Katy had never been stronger, when the clock struck twelve and you kiss you’re loved one to bring in the year (where on Earth did that tradition come from?) it was out of duty alone that Katy and I kissed. I think for the first time it reminded everyone that we were actually a couple, people were so used to seeing us so detached from each other that they never really noticed. Lara certainly said to me that it was the first time since she’d known us that she’d ever seen us kiss (and she’d known us months by this point) and it made our relationship seem more real to her.
Meanwhile somewhere in the bar Paula was bringing in the New Year with a drink in hand, I happened to bump into her in the queue for the ladies, there were lots of drunken lesbians all crammed into one tiny bar with only one toilet, it might take a while. I was just waiting patiently with my back against the wall and Paula spotted me on her way out and stopped to wish me Happy New Year. That’s when I had my second New Year’s kiss of the night, I have to admit it was good and completely took me by surprise, what was it with me and older women lately?
I never told anyone about Paula not even Lara who I told everything those days, and I don’t think I ever bumped into her again while we were out, she was a very busy woman and worked as a prison warden, I only rarely saw her out. Nothing would ever have come of it anyway, the age gap was far too big. She’s was only a couple of years younger than my parents.
Well the next day I was speaking with Lara about the night before and she’d told me how her and Emma were getting together. I wasn’t exactly surprised but I did wonder what she was going to do about the girl she’d been seeing/leading on. About a week later we were all out in Bath again and Emma and Lara kissed while standing at the bar, well that did the job, I think the poor girl got the hint.
I did question Lara’s motives, about whether she truly felt the same for Emma, since Emma seemed to be falling hard and fast. I had the distinct feeling that Lara might have been using her to cut things short with the girl she’d been seeing since she didn’t want to pursue that any further. Lara admitted that she thought Emma was coming on too strong and that it did scare her a little, but she genuinely liked her, so I said no more on the matter. For now anyway.
At this time of year I would work two jobs, my day job with the communications provider that I still work for to this day and casual work at my Dad’s office doing data entry. The extra money was always useful over Christmas and topped up my drinking funds quite nicely. I remember quite often being sat in the dusty office of an evening texting my friends planning what to do with the evening.
Katy and I were still plodding along. I was finding it hard to let go of all the things she had lied to me about, maybe I was just picking silly little fights in the hope that she’d end it. Maybe too much had passed to be able to forgive this time, I could count up all the people she had betrayed me with by this point: Hayley, Geri, Beth and then probably even more that I didn’t know about.
Yet all that time she thought I was the unfaithful one, she’d make out that I had cheated too with Michelle (who she’d set me up with during our ‘Open’ relationship) which was absurd. Sure I wasn’t a saint, but she didn’t know about Rachel and we weren’t even together when that happened, and I kept the one kiss with Rosie to myself, since it was just a New Year thing anyway. Katy was convinced that Lara and I had been carrying on behind her back, nothing I could say would make her think otherwise. She was over the moon about Emma and Lara getting together, she thought that I would react to the situation somehow, show that I was jealous and she’d be able to goad me into some admission. She couldn’t have been more wrong.
About two weeks into 2007 it was all over, the break up was an epic disaster. I will save that story for tomorrow, I want to do it justice and there are parts of it that are horrid and parts of it that are hilarious. I think only I alone know what I went through that night and it’s not an evening I’m proud of.