This post is not what you think. For the past year Lara and I had been fighting for our individuality. We were exploring our own interests, making our own friends and pursuing our own ambitions. We didn’t dress alike, since I had been losing weight I had been enjoying dressing up a little more feminine than I had done before. That wasn’t something that Lara every felt comfortable with, even when we were going out for a special occasion it was a case for a smart shirt and pair of trousers. It was fair to say that after 5 years we had been through the ‘merge’ phase and come out the other side wanting our own sense of identity and not being coupled together anymore as Lara and Elena.
My second weekend back from working in London was a bit of an eye opener. I spent the majority of it, as usual, with our recently extended gay family. My rugby teammate Emma had become a permanent fixture within our little family, I didn’t think anything of it to begin with. Emma had her own style, I think it’s fair to say she was a bit of a tomboy, preferring to dress in mens clothes. Typically chinos and a geeky printed tee and Converse style trainers, you know the type. A bit of a comic book geek, but in a good way and a definitively lesbian Beiber hairstyle.
I started to notice a bond forming between Lara and Emma that seemed to develop quite quickly in my short absence. What struck me as the most odd was how Lara seemed to start wanting to dress like Emma, never once in the six years I had known Lara had she ever wavered from dressing in her own style. So it was a bit surprising for me that she all of a sudden seemed to be cultivating the same style and interests as Emma. An interest in the comic hero themed movies, the way that a pair of Converse trainers made it onto her Christmas wish list that year and the sudden acquisition of a pair of tan chinos, the two of them were merging. Lara’s taste in music had always been erratic to me and it was changing again but it was clear to see where the influence came from.
This alone was enough to make me ask a few questions of Lara about whether I should be worried about their friendship. Lara assured me that it wasn’t necessary to worry, that she didn’t see Emma that way at all. Lara actually was adamant that I couldn’t me more wrong if I tried. Assuring me that Emma was the last person she would get with, that she was too butch, young and immature. I was suitably mollified by her response and slipped back into the role of dutiful trusting girlfriend. Every instinct I had however was screaming at me to be wary and that perhaps I shouldn’t be so trusting given Lara’s track record. Ultimately I decided that I wanted her, I wanted our relationship, so I’d have to trust her.
While I was home that weekend I had a Christmas night out with all my teammates and they asked about how I was getting on in London. I asked about how training was going and we were all having a good time with lots of banter. Heidi and I were out from beginning to end and Lara would join us when she finished work. We hit a few of the pubs around town and had a good time. It was on this night out that one of my teammates seconded my suspicions and said that I should be careful where Lara and Emma were concerned.
After I heard that I was worried, I can handle my own paranoia and keep that in check when I think I could be overreacting, however time and experience has taught me that I’m rarely paranoid and rarely overreacting, in fact 9 times out of 10 I’m completely right. Since I had already talked to Lara and let her know that I was aware that they seemed closer than I was really comfortable with I didn’t push it any further at that point. I hoped that the discussion we had would be enough to remind Lara that she had a girlfriend, that if anything was developing between them she’d do the right thing and either put a stop to whatever was happening or be honest with me about how she was feeling and whether it would in fact be best for us to end things.
Lara would never make that decision, she always claimed that she didn’t really know what she wanted when pushed to the ‘make or break’ point of affairs she would leave it up to me. I was always the one fighting for our relationship so we had always stayed together, because she was too much of a coward to admit she wasn’t happy, probably because she couldn’t give me any valid reason for it to be over and she knew I would ask for one. She knew I would always ask whether we could work things out, whether there was any future for us.
Before I moved to London I had already promised myself that the next time we had one of those arguments I wouldn’t put up with a non-answer from her. Lara knew what I wanted, she knew how I felt and when I was unhappy it was solely because I was reflecting her behaviour and how she was treating me. I think that much can’t be disputed. Even when in the same room with Lara I could feel shunned and ignored by her, always being lost in group company and left to socialise with our mutual friends rather than spend time together just the two of us.
I had hoped that while I was away in the week and we were only able to talk once or twice a day that by the time the weekend would come around she would be a bit more excited about spending time with me. It had seemed that way while I was in London before for the month in July. I was disappointed that we seemed to still be stuck in a rut when things had seemed to be getting better for a while. I was beginning to contemplate having ‘that’ conversation again as the weekend came to an end. I would wait until I was next back for the weekend, this time it really would be make or break and a conversation like that needs to take place in person.
When I got back to London I thought about nothing but the week ahead, our department Christmas party was coming up and I was looking forward to that. It would be the perfect opportunity for me to get to know my colleagues and start having some fun in London, I hadn’t met anyone or made any friends yet and my housemates weren’t exactly sociable, they pretty much kept to themselves.
As the week powered by I started planning what needed to be said to Lara when I was home the next weekend, we needed to discuss her total lack of enthusiasm for our relationship, the lack of quality time, the same old discussion about the lack of intimacy and now the added intrusions of her urge to merge with another girl and the suspicions raised by not just me, but a couple of my teammates too. It would take a lot of thought and I didn’t want to be overbearing and accusing, I just wanted to fix things and find a way forwards. I just wanted to be firm enough this time though to push Lara to make a commitment, we wouldn’t continue like this.