If I’ve said it once I’ve said it about a thousand times, if you like me you have to be about as subtle as a brick. Playing hard to get won’t work, I’ll actually think you’re hard to get and not bother. It’s not about the chase for me, I’m probably one of those people that’s never really going to give any inclination of any regard until you’ve made the first move.
This isn’t about wanting to feel adored and sought after, it’s a safety thing. It’s far too scary to put yourself out there and have your advances spurned by someone you admire. So instead I’m more inclined to play the long game, make friends, test the waters… it’s a little cat and mouse and you have to be really good at reading people, always in danger of being friend-zoned… yet much preferred to being rejected.
I had made friends in London now, it wasn’t as tempting to run off home every weekend. That was until Megan and I started becoming rather close. We’d talk to each other almost every day, I’d listen to what ever problems she was having. It was pretty clear by this time that I was over Lara and moving on with my life. I used to tell Megan about the dates I had been on. It wasn’t until *that* Easter weekend that I was hoping would fade into the alcohol amnesia vaults (but didn’t) that Megan really started paying attention to what I was getting up to.
It was as I recounted the events of that night to Megan than things began to change. We talked on Facebook every day it seemed. Again, my advice was consistent. If you’re not happy make the changes you need to get out of the situation you’re in, she went back and forth with the decision over and over about what to do with her relationship with Rose.
I left it up to her, if she was happy then that was great, stay with Rose. Yet, more often than not Megan was telling me she was desperately unhappy. The only thing she loved about her life was her dog. Megan found her job tiresome, she would tell me night after night that she wasn’t allowed her own life, her own friends. How Rose would go mental at her if she took longer than fifteen minutes to get home from work, how Rose never really moved in with her properly and enjoyed all the benefits of living together but without ever really paying her way or getting a full time job. I would hear about their arguments on a regular basis. I watched from the sidelines as Megan began to distance herself from Rose. I promised that when I next planned a visit home I’d make some time for her to see how she was doing.
It would be a while before I went home again. I was enjoying spending time with my new friends in London. We would go out drinking in Soho every so often. Usually starting out on Charring Cross Road and ending the night at the Candybar. It was an amusing pattern to my life and a welcome change to spending every night in and reading my way through the Penguin classics.
It was during this time that Megan made a friend back home. A girl that she worked with and someone she could confide in apart from me. I encouraged her to keep up the friendship, it seemed like a healthy thing for her. They often went horse riding together and would let off steam. It wasn’t long after this that Megan’s confidence seemed to grow a little more. She talked about getting in touch with people that she’d been close to throughout school to reconnect. I think she even met up with some of her old friends once or twice, or planned to at least.
Around about the beginning of June/end of May I was planning on being home again for the weekend. The weather was unusually great for the UK, so I asked Megan if she’d like to meet up for a while when I was back. Things clearly still weren’t good between her and Rose, she found it hard to get permission to meet up. I wouldn’t push it, I was typically busy when I went home for the weekends regardless.
I liked Megan, I didn’t know how much at the time. I know I cared about her happiness. I hated hearing how difficult things were for her sometimes. When she would tell me how trapped she felt, how she felt used by her girlfriend. She would tell me often how she honestly didn’t think that Rose cared about her at all, that the only reason they were still together is because Rose didn’t want to see her with anyone else. That Rose often heard from her own parents that she wouldn’t be able to do better than Megan and that they couldn’t abide her being gay if she were to bring some butch girl home. It made Megan feel like she was some sort of trophy. At least, that’s what she told me.
I had my own reasons for disliking Rose, I didn’t really need anymore. In the short time that Megan and I had been friends again they had been on and off like a light-switch. It didn’t take me long to realise that I shouldn’t attempt to rejoice when Megan told me it was over, there was never any guarantee that it was permanent. At the time of my next visit home they were on, again.
I don’t even remember what we did when we managed to meet up for an hour or two. We might have gone for a walk somewhere or gone out to lunch, I really don’t remember at all. We talked for a while and she told me about her friend from work, showed me pictures of them messing around at the stables. She seemed like a different person than I’d seen before, happier in many ways. Although she said that Rose was even suspicious of her friendship with her colleague and didn’t really approve of me and her being on good terms. Rose however had resumed contact with my ex Lara, against Lara’s new girlfriends wishes, since she knew the full story of how Lara had betrayed me with Rose years ago it didn’t really sit well with her. Megan used this to her advantage.
I couldn’t really figure out how I felt when I started to learn the truth from Megan about just how badly Lara had treated me. I had always suspected the truth, yet in the four years that Lara and I spent together after their affair she never owned up to it. I had the opportunity now to hear it all from the other side… and that’s when I realised I didn’t need to hear it, I had moved on. I was so happy not to have Lara in my life that I really didn’t care whether I was right or wrong. Megan would occasionally let things slip from time to time about what happened between Lara and Rose but I just wasn’t interested so I never asked any follow up questions, I’d even stop her from saying too much when I could.
I did feel sorry for Lara’s new girlfriend. When we had broken up and I learned that Lara was leaving me for my friend and teammate I warned her that it would happen to her next. After hearing from Megan that they were carrying on behind her back I felt sad for her. I could never tell her or anyone really what was going on, who would believe me? I’d be cast as the bitter ex, it’s one of those no-win situations. I was out of all their lives and I liked it that way, I didn’t need their petty little dramas where they all meddled in each others lives.
The snippets of information in the time I had spent with Megan that weekend had given me a lot to think about. Hearing about her growing in confidence and beginning to shape her own life again was great, she was on better terms with her parents and even considering the possibility of moving in with them if her and Rose were to ever break up again. Megan hinted that she even had feelings for someone else but had no idea whether they liked her back.
I didn’t push for information to begin with. She wasn’t single, after having started a relationship like that once before I wasn’t keen on seeking to start another relationship like that. As flattering as it would have been to know that she liked me I also just wouldn’t believe it. She was young, beautiful and growing in confidence by the day… there was no way in hell I was the object of her affection. I had friend-zoned myself and I was happy enough there. I didn’t really want to get involved with anyone back home anyway, my life was in London now.
Megan’s attempts at letting me know she liked me were far too subtle. As far as I was concerned we were talking and catching up like two people that should have been the best of friends years ago if our stupid girlfriends hadn’t gotten in the way of that. So when we’d stay up late chatting about favourite music, films, colours, flowers and god knows what else I didn’t think anything of it. It wasn’t flirting to me. About a week before my birthday towards the end of June I planned on spending another weekend at home. It would be mine and my sister-in-laws birthday so the family would do a BBQ and cake for us to enjoy and I could celebrate with my Somerset friends. I made sure that I’d see Megan too.
That weekend, she was about as subtle as a brick. I was in trouble then.