Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda…

Sometimes there comes a moment in a relationship which is pivotal, potentially with all future success of the relationship hanging in the balance. You might recognise it for what it is when the moment arrives, or you might look back years later and think of all the things you could have done to prevent that moment, should have said yet when you were hurt you blurted out the first incoherent thoughts in your head or what life would have been like if this moment never passed.

I’m at a point in my life now where I’ve long come to establish that everything happens for a reason. However I do feel like I turned a blind eye to a lot of things going on in and around my life at a time when I should have been paying more attention.

Firstly we’ve established that Lara and I would often hang out with Megan and Rose. Despite my early dislike of Rose we continued to spend a lot of our free time as a foursome. I remember going all soppy over the cutest little puppy Megan’s parents had bought for her, spending many evenings just hanging out watching Family Guy box sets (if I ever see another one of those again it will be too soon!) and just generally being outdoors.

The outdoorsy stuff wasn’t really my thing, Megan, Rose and Lara once went mountain boarding at the top of a hill that’s a bit of a local landmark, it’s typically quite blustery and to me the adventure had ‘broken neck’ written all over it. Oddly now however, I’d probably give it a go now. Especially if my feet are attached to a mountain board and I have a power kite in my hands…

Lara, Megan and I all worked odd shifts. Megan was still working at the Supermarket but was looking at her career options, she’d decided on catering or becoming a chef or something. So she took an additional job exploring that option. I would often work until midnight as part of my typical shift pattern.

The sports centre that Lara worked at was not usually open so late and she only ever had one week of late finishes. So I naively encouraged her to spend time with friends so that she wouldn’t get bored without me around. This resulted in Lara and Rose spending quite a lot of time together, I didn’t think anything of it.

I did often notice that they would text each other a lot, and I asked Lara about what they could possibly have to chat about. Lara said that Rose spoke to her about having problems in their relationship, that she felt she’d settled down too young and was starting to experience cold feet about being in a committed relationship. I started to worry for the pair of them and found myself talking with Megan more, just in case she wanted to talk to me about what was going on.

It didn’t take long before I realised that Megan didn’t have a clue about how Rose was feeling. She was completely unaware of these ‘problems’ that Rose had been confiding in Lara. It made me less trusting of her, and I guess that’s when the resemblance to Katy really kicked in. It was almost like she wanted to have her cake and eat it too. She wanted the safety of a relationship and always feeling loved but the freedom to explore what it would be like to be with other women too. It was selfish.

Over the course of a few months we were all spending quite a lot of time together. Too much time really. I was growing to like Rose less and less. She would constantly put Rose down when we were around, would hint at not being able to trust her since she kissed a guy once a year or two ago when they first started dating. It bugged me that she liked to air their dirty laundry when we were around.

It was getting to a point when I felt uncomfortable around them. I tried talking to Lara about it once or twice and she didn’t like the idea of spending less time with our friends. I didn’t push it. As time went by I planned on spending more time with my friends. Michael and I were still busy with our concerts every so often, we’d been lucky enough to go see Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, Beyonce and lesser known Lemar and Simon Webbe. We’d travelled near and far and enjoyed it all.

I’d also planned times for Lara and I to enjoy together, we went to see Paramour in concert, I almost forgot the tickets for that one, we ended up at the motorway when I’d realised I’d left the tickets on my bedside table. After doubling back to get them we only just made it up to the venue on time.

I was loving life during this time, I felt like I had a good balance in my life, a devoted girlfriend that I loved and who loved me back, good friends and work was ticking along Ok. When we started planning our holidays that year I didn’t think too much of it. We planned a repeat of the holidays from the year before. A week in Cornwall, this time we’d be camping and Megan and Rose would be joining us. Then perhaps later in the year another holiday abroad.

Summer was getting nearer and the days were getting longer, one evening I decided I wanted to take a trip to the coast. Lara was up for it and we invited Megan and Rose with us. Megan had work at the supermarket but would like to join us so we’d leave late and make the most of the evening sun. Before we arrived to pick the pair of them up we’d learned from Rose that they’d actually broken up, no one would tell me why or what had happened.

Needless to say the hour car journey to the coast was a little awkward and I didn’t really know what to say. When we arrived at the beach Megan and I sat down on the sand and settled there for the evening while Rose and Lara went for a walk up the beach. I tried to encourage Megan to talk to me about what was going on and how she felt.

Megan told me that Rose had ended it, that she had done so because she had feelings for someone else and she wanted to see what would come of it. Rose actually earned a little respect from me for this, at least she was being honest with Megan. I knew that other than us, they didn’t know too many gay people in the area so I casually asked ‘Anyone I know?’ to which Megan assured me I didn’t.

I already started to wonder what we were all going to do about the camping trip we had booked. I couldn’t see that in a few short weeks the two of them would be happy enough in each others company to spend a week in a confined space of a tent, especially if Rose started seeing someone else. However only a few days later they were back together, it turned out that the person Rose had feelings for didn’t want to be with her, they were going to give it another go.

However just the day before we were all due to be setting off Megan and Rose said they wouldn’t be coming and demanded their money back. I was offered no explanation and got this information second hand from Lara. I was a little angry, I told them both they wouldn’t be getting their money back since we wouldn’t get a refund if we cancelled the trip at such short notice, we’d all be out of pocket.

It quickly turned into quite an aggressive argument, they even got their parents involved and had them shouting at me down the phone. I managed to keep my cool, but I went to visit Lara at work while she was on her break to discuss what we were going to do.

She was working on the climbing wall at the sports centre and didn’t have any customers for the time-being. We sat on the floor in the hall and she tried to text Rose and Megan herself to sort things out. For a time as she texted them back and forth she’d show me every message and complain about how unreasonable they were being along with me… then there was one message that got deleted before I could see it. Unfortunately for Lara she was wearing rather reflective glasses. I had seen it was quite a lengthy message from what I had seen in the reflection.

Naturally I asked what it said. She lied. I knew it was a lie straight away, I had been quick enough to read a portion of the text message and what she attempted to tell me didn’t add up. I called her bluff and told her what I had seen. She confessed all she was willing to confess and it would be up to me whether I chose to believe her.

She confessed that when Megan and Rose had split up it was because Rose had feelings for her. Lara told me that Rose had been interested for quite some time, that she never acted on it, that it was all unwanted attention. I wanted to know why she’d never told me, why she didn’t trust me enough to approach this as a couple, I didn’t believe her. None of it added up.

Lara said that as they walked on the beach that day and she told her she’d never leave me for her. I asked if anything had ever happened between them, I was quite clear in my questions. I wanted to know if she’d encouraged the affection, hugged, kissed, slept together. All questions I felt justified in asking since she’d been keeping information from me for months. Lara knew what trust meant for me and how much I value honesty, this was not a good way to gain my trust.

Lara told me that she didn’t mean to encourage the affection, that she was clear and said she loved me and didn’t want to lose me over something so stupid. She said that they had only ever hugged each other once, when Rose had told her how she felt. Even just believing this to be true I felt awful. I felt let down by all three of them.

Three people who I thought had meant something to me had all been lying to me. Lara the worst of them all for betraying my trust and making me feel insecure, like the so many times I had felt before when I was with Katy. The one thing I had promised myself when I moved on was that I wouldn’t let anyone else make me feel that way again. Then there was Rose, so two-faced on the surface appearing to be my friend but all the while trying to make a play for my girlfriend. Lastly there was Megan, someone who I considered my friend, actually coming to think of her as quite a close friend and then learning that she’d lied too. She had the perfect opportunity to tell me everything, I would have preferred to know the truth.

I walked out on Lara, I left to clear my head, I didn’t want to lose my temper and I was hurting and needed some space. In an uncharacteristic turn of events I confided in my Mum, told her everything that had happened and everything that Lara had said. I couldn’t explain well enough just how much I couldn’t believe Lara’s story, that in my gut I felt like I knew she was still lying to me.

By talking things over I eventually calmed down. I tried to get some perspective. It was pointed out to me that Lara could have been telling the truth and that she might have kept everything from me since she feared how I might react, that I maybe I wouldn’t have been able to address the situation with our friends tactfully. After thinking things over from this angle I decided I wanted to hear Lara out again, see that if she had a chance to explain again, whether her story would be consistent, whether I could trust and believe her.

I went to Lara’s after she had finished work, we talked again and her story was inconsistent. It frustrated me and I got difficult, I was asking the same questions over and over again, testing her. Lara was getting confused and angry with me, then I got angry with her. I shouted at her, telling her that she owed me the truth and that if she didn’t think I deserved that at the very least then I’d walk away and never see her again.

I remember walking out the door and we were still arguing, even as I was leaving I was torn. I didn’t want to give up on what we had. It had seemed so perfect at times, too much to give up on. It was when I was making that point, when I was telling her everything that she was about to throw away with the lies she had told that she said it ‘Hit me, go on, I deserve it.’

I have never been so disappointed in anyone as I was with her in that moment. I walked away and as far as I was concerned I never wanted to see her again. She had used the exact same phrase that Katy used to use with me to goad me into hitting her, I think she saw what she had done the moment the words had slipped from her mouth. I told her that if she had any sense she’d never say that to me.

Even after the big fall out we couldn’t leave alone. She was pleading me to give things another go. I was torn, my heart was telling me how much I loved her and that I couldn’t give up on her so easily, that I had more fight in me than that. My head was telling me I’d been here before and that it wasn’t healthily, my head questioned whether I’d ever be able to trust her again.

I couldn’t make my mind up and we were due to be going away the following day. We both already had the time booked off work, we were packed up and ready to go, we’d even bought a tent for the occasion. I decided that I would rather not make my mind up right away, I explained how I was feeling and that I wanted to use our time away to decide, it would be make or brake for us during this trip.

I wasn’t particularly looking forward to camping anyway, I prefer somewhere to plug in my hair dryer and straighteners and somewhere to shower in private. I prefer to sleep in a bed and not on the floor and I quite like knowing that there’s a lock on the door when I’m somewhere unfamiliar. Camping was going to be challenge enough without our relationship hanging in the balance. It would be a tense few days.

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One thought on “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda…

  1. Pingback: Love is a verb | musiqfreak

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