Perhaps I should have done just the one post and called it the marmite holiday? But I think there was a lot going on in these ten days that it warrants a post all of it’s own. Imagine being at the beach, you might be around the age of 5, you and you’re older brother have spent all day making a magnificent sandcastle, just when you step back to admire you’re handiwork, that annoying brat from the family sat next to you stomps all over it and you’re left crying your eyes out and/or throwing a tantrum. Well take that feeling and multiply it by a hundred and that’s how my holiday ended.
Throughout the holiday I couldn’t fault Heidi and Daryl, we were having a great time together. Lara’s behaviour on the other hand was a bit of a mystery to me to begin with. We were back to the frostiness and just when we were all supposed to be letting loose and having a good time I couldn’t figure it out. To be fair for the first few days I was too busy having a good time myself to pay much attention to anything else.
Yet, in the first three days of the holiday we had gotten friendly with our holiday rep, her name was Bryony. We quickly established that she was gay, living locally and seemed to be up for joining us for a drink when she could. We’re a friendly bunch, so the more the merrier. After all this attitude made us fast friends with a lot of the staff at the hotel too.
However there was something familiar and irritating about Lara’s behaviour around Bryony. It bugged me that I could tell that Bryony was attempting to figure out the dynamic of our foursome, there were three lesbians and in a somewhat predatory way she was attempting to figure out who was with whom. Bryony picked up on mine and Heidi’s close friendship and the easy banter between us and I think, misread the situation and believed that we were the couple. She never said as much but she started paying close attention to Lara.
Lara didn’t protest, after the first night Bryony joined us for drinks I spoke with Lara, saying that it wouldn’t hurt for Bryony to know that she wasn’t single. By the next time we met up with her Lara had either forgotten our chat or didn’t care enough about my feelings to do the right thing. I didn’t feel like it was my place to say anything to Bryony, I simply wanted Lara to treat me with the respect I deserved as her girlfriend.
I don’t think it’s too much to ask that if you’re receiving attention from someone when you’re already in a relationship that you should make it clear that you’re not available. That given the first opportunity you should casually work a ‘my girlfriend’ statement into general conversation. Lara played dumb, acted like I was imagining Bryony’s interest in her, she made me think I was overreacting. Well I thought that through, it might be true, given our history I might be making more out of it than it deserved. So I let it go so that we could continue to enjoy the holiday.
Then things got worse, there were more drinks with Bryony in the evenings, on her day off she joined us at the beach, she even swapped duties with a colleague so that she could accompany us all back to the airport on our departing transfer. It was all too much, by this point everyone had noticed the attention Lara was receiving and it wasn’t just me that was uncomfortable with it.
The penultimate day we all went to the beach, Bryony included. I’m not fond of the sea, or sand for that matter so I preferred to paddle in the shallow water or perch on the jetty and soak up the sun. Without a sun bed, parasol and a good book I’m not going to be able to relax at the beach. Every so often I’d stop long enough to attempt to sun bathe with the guys, but I got bored easily.
Every time I returned to the group I was getting more and more annoyed by how cosy Lara and Bryony were getting. Eventually Daryl picked up on my mood change and ran interference, he tempted Heidi and Bryony for a paddle or swim in the sea. I stayed and talked to Lara, told her that how she was behaving made me feel awful, like I didn’t matter to her at all. I wasn’t even asking her to tell Bryony that we were together, just that she wasn’t available and to stop the flirting. She pretty much told me to stop being stupid and to just enjoy the rest of the holiday since there was only one day left. In that moment I don’t think she cared one bit just how much she was hurting me.
Lara walked away and joined the rest of the guys in the sea, I stayed put with all our towels and things. Not long after Heidi returned and I got up to walk away for a solitary amble up and down the beach to try and compose myself. It was in that moment I was reminded of Heidi and Lara’s history which is so easily forgotten with how natural the friendship between us all felt.
Heidi took one look at me and said, ‘I know exactly how you feel’ and as I looked back at her I knew that truly she did. Lara had done this to her several times while they were dating. If anyone else had said that to me I would have told them where to go. We had a short conversation which in summary amounted to Heidi informing me that Lara needs attention, it’s not enough if it comes from just one person. I didn’t want that to be true, but as the truth of her statement sank in I just felt empty and I was left standing on the beach with tears rolling down my cheeks as I watched Daryl, Bryony and Lara all enjoying themselves in the sea.
I have a feeling that as this day out at the beach came to a close Lara knew that she’d crossed a line. Heidi isn’t one to hold back when she thinks someone has done something wrong and she was direct with Lara in her opinion of what was going on. Daryl just stayed out of it and kept Bryony entertained, though she couldn’t have been unaware of the tensions that day. Lara sobered up a bit, perhaps realising that I was close to losing it, perhaps seeing how much she’d hurt me? I don’t know for sure, but she made a concerted effort to put some distance between herself and Bryony.
It was too little too late. We still ended the holiday with Bryony completely unaware that Lara even had a girlfriend, still thinking she had a chance. That’s why she accompanied us on the airport transfer, she wanted one last crack at Lara. I was furious, and I was frosty to the point where I was almost rude to Bryony over it all. I wouldn’t spoil the holiday for everyone, it had been such a good time, the only person I had an issue with was Lara and she had some questions to answer about the way she had treated me this holiday.
By this point even Daryl and Heidi were sick of the sight of Bryony, when she sat with us on the coach back to the airport no one had anything to say to her. I put my headphones on and attempted to ignore the situation, I wasn’t the only one. The whole journey home, the flight, getting back to our homes, I stayed quiet as I didn’t know what to say to any of them, I was too busy thinking about what came next.
I had so many thoughts buzzing around my head. The type of thoughts that sting like wasps over and over again. In 10 short days Lara’s behaviour, her omission of our relationship and flagrant flirtation had made me feel just as worthless as when she’d cheated with Rose. All of a sudden this wasn’t just about her behaviour on this holiday, but how her behaviour had changed and she’d been using me, that she was getting everything she wanted out of the relationship from me and how my needs didn’t seem to matter.
As these thoughts accumulated on the journey home so I got pretty worked up and angry, and sad. I wondered if it was the end, I certainly wouldn’t go on with things like this. Sure we’d probably never see Bryony again, but a pattern was forming, a very unwelcome one. I didn’t want to leave anything unsaid so almost as soon as we got through the door and thought that we were at Lara’s place alone I brought it up.
To begin with I kept my cool, I had an idea of the questions I wanted to ask. I wanted to tell Lara how she had made me feel and hear what she had to say for herself. However I talked into silence, Lara had no answers for my questions, no reaction to hearing how much she had managed to hurt me. I thought at the very least I was owed an explanation, or at least an attempt at one. I got sick of repeating myself, I changed tactics and brought up a can of worms, I mentioned what had happened when we were friends with Megan and Rose and compared the situation.
Lara didn’t even appear to be sorry, I don’t think she even thought she’d done anything wrong. She bristled at the comparison and it was the first reaction I had from her. Before long I was shouting at her, outraged at the lack of apology the way that she didn’t seem to have any passion, any fight or any desire to put things right. She was so nonplussed that it just fuelled my anger, my passion, my fight for our relationship. Before too long I was screaming at her, venting, really just letting out all the pain and letting her have it.
When I was done shouting I didn’t really feel like anything had been resolved, the same issues would still be there. The only choice now was whether I allowed Lara time to attempt to mend the wounds she had caused or whether I’d just leave then and now and say no more of it. The trouble with love is, it makes you do irrational things, Lara promised change and I believed her, why? It’s simple, I wanted our relationship to work because I loved her, at that moment in my life I couldn’t see a future without her.
So we swept it under the carpet, and calmly went back to my house to unpack and see my family. No one would ever know, no one except Daryl and Heidi and Lara’s younger sister who had been upstairs the whole time and heard every word.