A pleasant surprise

We broke up in July, yet by the August bank holiday weekend I had been chatting away to new people and putting myself out there. I was probably more cautious than I had ever been about the prospect of dating and it was certainly too soon to be jumping into another relationship. So I didn’t go looking for anything other than to make a few new friends.

That’s when I met H. We had been talking for a short while online before we swapped numbers. She’d be leaving London the next month to go back to South Africa. H had been living in London for a while after relocating with work, it had been a very empowering time for her and it was fun to talk about the experiences we had both had since moving to the city.

We tentatively made plans to meet up one week, we were struggling to agree a particular date. We were both busy at the weekend. I was expected back home to visit family and H had planned a get-away for the bank holiday weekend. As fate would have it, her weekend away was a trip to Bath. So, with that being just a short way from my parents we arranged to meet up for lunch.

We chose a Mexican restaurant near the theatre, it was very quiet and the conversation flowed just as easily as it had before we met. We traded stories and anecdotes the whole time we were there, one or two of the stories that unfolded I must have told with sufficient humour. H asked whether I had ever considered writing about my experiences. We talked briefly about my attempts at writing a blog before and she encouraged me still to give it a try. That’s how this blog started.

We arranged to meet up again when we were both back in London. We spent another lunch together in the city this time. A cool burger place that I can’t find again for love nor money but it was one of the best burgers I have had in the city. Once again the chatter was easy and the time seemed to pass in a blur. I think I had plans for the evening so our day was cut short.

The third time we met up it was to be H’s last night in the UK before flying home. It was a shame as we had been getting along great. I had been hoping to have the welcome distraction from my recent heartaches and catastrophes and here she was. I hadn’t for a minute thought that we were dating, I mean we’d only spent two lunches together, not to mention she was leaving the country in less than a month from the moment we met.

Yet, that last night was slightly different. We had dinner at a bar on her door-step in Vauxhall, after eating we ambled along the riverbank and looked paused to look up the river towards Battersea Power Station, it was a nice view and a mild evening. Before I’d really even realised what was happening H had kissed me. I was a little bit taken back, but pleased nonetheless.

We were both smiling from ear to ear after that, H was rather pleased with herself. She’d confessed that at the time she moved to London she probably never would have been confident enough to make a move like that. I was surprised enough by the kiss, that I truly wasn’t prepared for the next moment.

H asked if I wanted to stay the night with her. I panicked. Mostly because I genuinely hadn’t realised the past few weeks that we had been dating, since this escapade it’s turned into a running joke for me that I never know if I’m dating someone or friend-zoning them unintentionally. And, I say mostly because I would have still said yes despite the shock, if only I had shaved my legs.

It seems like such a stupid thought now, when H was leaving for South Africa the next day and the chances of us seeing each other again would be slim. Why should I care? Like I said, I panicked. It went from bad to worse, soon after this internal thought process played out, I started to babble.

I was making half formed excuses for not going back to hers even though we were on her doorstep. I remember stating my shock at the proposition because I hadn’t realised we were dating, she lightly teased me about that. Then I blamed having to be up early for work the next day and I wouldn’t be able to stay. H didn’t push the matter and offered to walk me to the train station.

As we were waiting on the platform I felt like a bit of an idiot. I know I should have at least kissed her again when we said goodbye. Instead we hugged. Unwittingly I had forced her into the friend-zone. Something that would become a habit of mine over the coming months, whether that’s a good or bad thing I’m still not sure.

H and I kept up our correspondence for a while, even when I started the blog and I think she reads the posts from time to time. I really enjoyed that month as we got to know each other.

This is the last post in my memoirs, we’ve now gone full circle. I started writing after my last serious relationship fell apart. It started off attempting to be a cautionary tale, all my anecdotes funny, sad and brutally honest. What I hadn’t expected it to become was a sort of therapy, I guess I have a lot to thank H for since she inspired me to write.

I will only write one more post after this on my site here, then I’m moving full time to my website at http://www.musiqfreak.com feel free to join me there, I won’t stop telling stories. However I can promise you now, this is the end of all the heartache.


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