Flight Of The Goldfinch

This is a post I wrote last summer, a few months before Goldfinch left to go to Australia:

planeI am in love with lovely Goldfinch. I may have mentioned it once or twice before.

I may also have mentioned that at the end of this year, Goldfinch will leave me. He will fly far far away. About as far away as it is possible to be from London. It is alright, from the moment I met him I knew that he was only in England on a temporary basis, for work. When I first met Goldfinch at the end of October 2017, I thought he would have already left England by now. I thought he would be leaving in the spring-time. I am delighted he has stayed longer. I am thrilled I have more time with him ahead. I  love him very much.

The agony of loving when you know you will lose someone.  But I am not the only one. People love and then lose frequently.  At least I have known from the moment I met him what was ahead.

snowball.jpgDuring December 2017, Goldfinch flew to the opposite side of the planet to spend the holidays with his nearest and dearest.  Not before a perfect weekend with me. It was the fourth weekend we had been together in five weeks. Two up in the Midlands, two in London. I felt so much love erupt within me during the hours I spent with him prior his flight.  It snowed that weekend.  I remember going for a walk around the village and then ending up on the green (the green was white that day) and a lot of snowball throwing.  I ran through the snow because he was trying to put ice down my…

He was gorgeous that weekend.  Goldfinch holding my hand, Goldfinch loving my cooking, Goldfinch washing the dishes after we ate, Goldfinch calling me “beautiful” and “gorgeous”.

thumb warI travelled with him to Heathrow Terminal 2.  I don’t know if I was more a help or hindrance, however, he did not seem to mind.  I just wanted to cling to every moment I had with him before his absence of five whole weeks!  I remember sharing some mince pies with him.  I remember having a “thumb-war” with him.  I remember seeing him disappear through the barriers into the departure lounges and a great shot of pain gushing up into my heart.

I left Terminal 2 with tears streaming down my face.  However…

on phoneFrom that very moment the cogs in my pea-brained head began turning.  I was clutching at every word he had dropped about the day he was due back in England.  He had told me he would be away for five weeks.  He had mentioned he would not have time to visit me on his way back, because he landed in the afternoon and had to travel back to the town where he lives and works, so that he was back at his desk the next day.  I thought he said he landed on a Monday.  As soon as I reached home, I started to use that information to try to figure out the exact flight he would be returning to England on. I started to plan with that date in mind.

Those five weeks felt like forever.  Even though I had many happy occasions with friends and family during those weeks, I had this aching gnawing fondness for my new love that was intensifying as the weeks passed.  I was quite literally pining for him.  I wanted to drop hints in my e-mails hoping he would confirm the exact flight he would be travelling on when his five weeks vacation was over.

JournalThere was so much that I wanted to share with him!  So I kept a journal for him.  I knew he would want to spend “quality time” with his family and friends back home.  I did not want to encroach on that, but I wanted to involve him in every single day.  I knew we did not really know a lot about each other at that point.  There were so many questions I wanted to ask him.  (It is sometimes easier to mine copper than find out all you want to know about the man you love!)  I recorded in the journal all sorts about what was happening in my London life.  I also told him details about my family and friends.  I gave him an idea of what had led to my current temporary situation.

OGoldfingern the day I had calculated as his return…I had booked the afternoon off work.  I was so eager to be at the airport waiting for him to arrive.  I had made a sign.  I really should explain it…please don’t jump to any conclusions.  I had been teasing him.  I had given him a nick-name.  Yes, I know!  For the first few weeks I called him Goldfinger and not Goldfinch.  I was teasing him. There was a huge attraction on my part to him and he was being a typical man and emanating a bit of a mysteriousness.  It is so annoying you know!  You want to know everything about your new love.  You know there will be layers there you don’t really like.  But you accept that a grown man will have his regrets.  So when a man is cautious in what he reveals of himself, it can be a little frustrating.

I teased him…about the James Bondness of his behaviour.  He is not the only man I know who does that.  I kind of understand.  It is wise to be a bit coy and cautious when you meet someone totally new.  So for weeks I had called him Goldfinger in texts and e-mails and when I had seen him.

Goldfinger Image(Just a quick note:  I have never watched a James Bond film…he is exactly the type of man I would prefer to avoid like the plague!  I do not approve.  My Dad would be mortified to think of any of his girls being seduced by a James Bond type of sleezoid.  But I do know some of the songs from Karaoke including the huge Shirley Bassey number.  It is rather annoying that such great numbers are associated with a womanising skunky pimple of a character – I know I will be offending all James Bond fans here – but you do see why I have a problem with men who flit from woman to woman more frequently than they change their socks???  This being the year of the woman and all, surely I am allowed to express my revulsion of this. )

So I stood there at Terminal 2 Arrivals with my sign.  I received quite a lot of attention.  People took photos of me holding it and asked who I was waiting for.  One group came over to me and said my sign was “way cool!”  I stood there holding the sign for two whole hours.

couples reunitingTwo hours waiting for him to appear were harder to endure than his five weeks absence!  I certainly did start to wonder if I had got it very wrong.  Perhaps he was not going to be coming back at that time at all.  He could have changed his flight.  Anything could have happened.  Before my eyes, other families and lovers were re-united and I ached to see my Goldfinch again.  But he did not appear.  I started to feel like a bit of a wally in all honesty!  Slowly, discouragement and disappointment crept up into my heart.  I had obviously got it wrong.

But I was rooted to the spot…with my snazzy sign.  Suddenly, I felt a wave of determination wash over me.  I decided I would wait for the rest of the day.  If he had not walked through those doors by 8pm, then I would head back to my little abode and admit defeat.

love heartThen, almost as if it was a miracle…he was there…it was him…it was really truly him!!!  Almost immediately he saw me…and then he saw my sign!  Oh boy did I receive a gigantic bear hug from my lovely Goldfinch.  All the agony of waiting melted away….and now I felt as proud as Punch walking through the terminal hand in hand with the man I was in love with.  The reward of enormous satisfaction and celebration rippled through me and walked with an ecstatic spring in my step.

He was genuinely surprised!  That was not the only surprise I had in store for him that evening.  However, this post is already a bit too long isn’t it.  I don’t want to annoy you.

couple dancing.pngI will just share one more scene from later that evening.  Shortly before I let go of him so he could go back to his accommodation…he and I were dancing, you know slow-dancing, at a bus station in the middle of the city where he lives.  A man, a complete stranger walked past and remarked how wonderful it was to see a couple so in love.  I can’t speak for Goldfinch, because men despite being wonderful, always give the slight impression they are going to vanish in a James Bond style.  But as for me, I was so glad, so deeply grateful that those agonizing five weeks were over…I wanted to cling to my Goldfinch with all my might.

I ask you…if this was me back then when I had known Goldfinch for just a few weeks before he went on vacation for five weeks…how will it be when I have been in love with him for over a year and he is leaving permanently?

 

Peanut-Butter Cookies (That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbled)

cookiesSo…I was on my way out to meet some friends. I had just baked some huge peanut butter cookies. A batch of twenty. Jack would be in for the evening as he had brought some work home. He came into the kitchen before I left. He was very enthusiastic about the aroma of the cookies I had just pulled out of the oven. I said “help yourself”. He gave me a huge grin.

When I returned to the apartment, I felt I had to sneak into my room and wait for a while before I went into the kitchen to make a drink. Once I entered the kitchen, I made more noise clattering than necessary, so that Jack knew I was home – just in case he wanted to come and see me. I realized I could hear his television so maybe he had not heard me.  Did that mean he had finished all his work?  Would he want to come and see me?

white jarIt took a few minutes before I noticed that the cooling rack was empty. I paused for a moment and it occurred to me that maybe he had put the cooled cookies into the jar I had left out on one of the counters. A minute or so later I opened the spring lid to check – empty. I carried on with a little tidying in the hope that he would be thirsty or hungry and would come into the kitchen. Then the thought popped into my mind that asking him about the cookies was a perfectly valid reason for me to disturb his peace while he was trying to work (because I was longing to see him and have contact with him.) I was hesitant though. I didn’t want to be annoying to him at all. I just wanted him to come and play – in a very affectionate way because that is how I had felt for him for some time.  I loved it when we threw teasing and banter at each other.

washing upI was overjoyed when Jack came into the kitchen while I was washing up dishes (a glass of mine and several items that he had left in the sink). He rushed in and stopped himself suddenly. I turned to greet him while still washing up. He surprised me by placing himself within an inch of me, whilst he reached to the cupboard above my head for a glass. My reaction was to immediately jump back and apologize for being in his way (but a moment later I wished I stayed there to allow our bodies to have been against each other.)

I wanted so much for us to speak with each other (ideally curled up on the sofa together but we were still so nervous and awkward with each other.) I remembered the cookies.

I asked him if he had tried one. (If only I had not said “one”.)

Jack enthusiastically said that they were the best cookies he had ever tasted. (If only I hadn’t picked up on the word (they”).

I smiled and asked where he had put the rest of the cookies. (If only I hadn’t asked that question).

He seemed uneasy. His response with a slightly strained voice was to say he thought they were for him. (If only I had not let the realization he had eaten twenty giant cookies show on my face).

Yes, I am going to admit, every time he walked into the flat, I had been working on something just for him (and his guests of course, who all loved the sweet treats I had been churning out).

 

I was hesitant to reply because I knew that since I discovered Jack’s sweet tooth I had dramatically increased the frequency of my baking anything I thought he would enjoy, so in a way yes I baked every cookie thinking of him – but to eat all twenty in one evening? giant cookies!  Was I allowed to say to him “yes, of course they were all for you”? I was concerned he would freak out if he had any idea how strong my feelings for him were.

I smiled and said “don’t worry, it’s fine.”

He snapped and repeated I had said they were for him.

I looked at Jack and slowly but mildly replied that I thought I had said he could help himself.

His smile had disappeared but now he began to look annoyed. He rolled his eyes and then turned away. Then he turned back sharply and snapped “what am I supposed to do about it now?”

I was anxious (the cookies had all been for him – yes, and all because of the way I felt about him).

“Please don’t worry. It doesn’t matter.” I almost whispered.

“It obviously does matter or you wouldn’t be making such a big deal about it!”

love heartI was paralysed for a moment. I didn’t realize I was making such a big deal. But Jack seemed so upset, his face had crimsoned and his voice was raised. How could this conversation be going so badly when I just adored him? And I had been baking cookies thinking of him. And while I was out with my friends, he kept coming back into my mind. But here we were within a meter of each other and I seemed to have hurt him and that struck hurt into my heart.

I just had no idea what to say. I was shaking slightly. I asked if we could just forget it and said they were only cookies and I really really was not bothered.

Jack shook his head and sighed.

I wanted to reach out my hand to touch his arm and say “please”. (If only I had.)

I moved away to return to the sink. He stood there. I had no idea why. I didn’t know what to say. I asked him how his evening had been.

He emphatically pronounced the word “fine”. And returned the question to me with the same tone of voice.

I was pained. I tried to maintain a casual voice so he couldn’t see my pain and said “yeah, it was fine, we had a really good catch up.” (I had been too scared to tell my friends that I was actually in love with Jack but had no idea how he felt for me. My friends had been teasing me about the situation with Jack for months and they would have been shocked if the really knew how I felt.)

clean dishes stacked neatlyWe didn’t say a single word to each other for the next few minutes. I finished washing and then drying the dishes aware that he still stood a couple of metres behind me. I stacked his dishes up neatly so that he could decide where to put them next. As I finished, Jack said to me “you don’t have to wash my dishes you know”.

(I loved washing his dishes for him.) I said “don’t worry, I needed to wash my own and thought I may as well wash yours at the same time.” I wondered if he was annoyed with me or was just acknowledging his thanks although still stinging about the cookies.

I looked at him before I left the room and gave him the kind of quick smile, which was in essence a shrug of my shoulders, because I didn’t know how to fix what had just happened. I walked out of the kitchen. As I reached my door I turned around and I could see him standing outside the kitchen door looking at me.  I paused as I wondered if I should say something, or if he wanted to say something.  Feeling like a fool, I disappeared into my room.  I heard him open the door to his room a few seconds later.  I thought I could detect the volume of his television increase.

woman cryingOn entering my own room and closing the door, I sat down at my desk and put my hands to my face and let myself shed a few tears.

We didn’t seem to understand each other. We didn’t seem to know how to communicate. I had no idea how Jack felt about me any more.  It was not that long before that he had told me he loved me. I found that hard to believe. He was so horrid at times. Sometimes I thought he was trying to flirt with me but he was just really really bad at flirting.  I couldn’t tell.  Jack had been so so wonderful right up until the night someone asked me in front of him if I was seeing another friend who had taken me out a few times?  I had made light of it because that friend and I had not shown any physical affection for each other – we were just so well-matched when we wanted to laugh so it was great fun to go out for a drink with him.  But hearing that question – had he changed his view?  Was there a little jealousy or sense of feeling humiliated on his part?  I wish I wish I knew. Was it jealousy that prompted his behaviour towards me? I was always with single men. I was one of ten single women between the age of 25 and 35 living and working in the same proximity as almost 400 single men. I suspect he was not aware of his own feelings because his moods and his manners were so unreliable and tumultuous.

I just knew my feelings for him had taken me from elation to misery within a few minutes’ conversation.Hug.jpg

All we needed to do was this:

But that did not happen.

That was just one isolated incident but time and again there were occasions when it seemed we were both frustrated. It was as if we were speaking entirely different languages.

I think the lesson learned was that I had let my feelings race way ahead. That night he had told me he loved me…my feelings started to race out of control. And I fell for a man who seemed to know very little about his own feelings or how to control them.  And it hurt – a lot!  I believe that until my last breath I will remember him with regret.  He torments me everyday though I have been too afraid to go near him for these past three years.

I still can’t get over him eating twenty giant peanut butter cookies within hour hours…I would be sick.  Still….they were for Jack really.

Screenshot_2018-04-30-22-29-26-1

If you are wondering who Jack is… these long posts will explain more:

Everyone Kept Saying That I Had To Let You Go… I Love You, You’re The Love Of My Life

I am so so sad that Goldfinch is leaving. Oh I can’t tell you!

But what I am finding very very hard, and annoying too…is that this impending departure is stirring up everything in my heart to do with Jack. I keep on thinking about Jack, when more than ever I want to think of Goldfinch, and only Goldfinch.

That’s what happens when your heart has never really healed. It interferes with other relationships, other goodbyes.

It’s amazing that despite all the joy that Goldfinch has brought me, and the fact that it is very sad and very hard having to say goodbye … it’s the deep grief about the rift between Jack and I that is dominant still. Feelings of sadness over anything trigger memories of Jack and the deep sadness he stirred within me. That’s a brain malfunction isn’t it!

martini.jpgAll week I have been battling memories of Jack and everything that happened between us. I keep on thinking about the cocktail party I walked into only to find that there was only one other woman beside myself and three men including Jack. I was alarmed, why were there so few people there? Both of the other two men (Benny and Tom) had asked me out in recent months. I mentioned them in another post actually:

 I had been to the Royal Albert Hall with both of them on separate occasions.  I had been out for dinner many times with one of them. We were good friends, and we had worked together on many projects. The other I had worked with on a fraud case – we both worked in accounts for many years. He liked classical music, he took to me to a few recitals. I had known both of them long before I ever met Jack. They were both flirting with me. I think the vermouth was making them both giddy. I was so uncomfortable. I kept on looking at Jack, trying to make it clear how unwanted the attention was. I wanted to be sitting next to him. I wanted attention from him.

Jack was being an oaf at the time! For weeks, he kept on making sly comments about me being all the boy’s favourite. I had not been involved with anyone since I had met Jack. I had been out for a drink or a meal or to the cinema or theatre with some men who had asked me out. However, I had made it clear to them that I was not interested in them.

The morning of that horrid cocktail party, I had made another attempt to settle the situation with Jack. Around half five that morning that I had pushed a note under his door asking him if he was being unkind about me because he was jealous. I told him in that note that I cared about him more than any other man. I told him that although I had lots of male friends I was not encouraging any of them. I stated I was not interested in any other man.

Jack was not inviting me to do anything with him, not a concert, not dinner, not a coffee. Jack was giving me sly glances and making sly remarks about me. I just looked at Jack with pleading expressions. I wanted to talk, but he made it so difficult for me. Many times he was downright rude to me in public.

I turned up at the party, which was far smaller than I was expecting (have you ever been to a party for only five people?), wearing a stunning cocktail dress (if I do say so myself) and Jack was sat at the far end of the room. I was terribly cautious of him, because he was so unpredictable. I did not want him to be rude to me, plus on that very morning I had pushed that note under his door and I did not know how he felt at that point. He sat at the oppoosite end of the three-seater sofa from the only other female in the room (who was named Selina), not looking at her once. He perched there glaring at me all evening, while the other two men sat either side of me merrily sharing memories of strange things that had happened on projects we had worked together on. They both were paying compliments to me and topping up my martini glass. Selina was obviously fed up with the situation. She left after an hour. She lived in the same apartment block as Tom, who was our host for the evening. I was not going to leave before Jack did.

I made sure I left with Jack. I was absolutely determined to. I tried to talk to him about it while we were standing at the bus-stop. He would not hear what I had to say. The bus arrived and I realized some of the passengers recognized Jack and they were taking photos of us together. Jack was silent and broody with me, but when his fans started to speak to him he responded by being lively and making them laugh.

Isn’t it ridiculous that after spending a wonderful year with gorgeous Goldfinch, all I can think of is Jack? I think I should come with a warning / caution label for any future man who sets his sights on me. I have never had the chance to heal from what happened to Jack. I can love. Boy can I love. I can love another man, just as I have truly loved Goldfinch. But the damage is still there, and until I have chance to square things with Jack, I do think he will keep popping up at unwanted times. He will always be a cloud on future joys. A Jack shaped cloud.

I am going to try to keep Jack in the box and high up on the shelf. I don’t like him jumping out of the box at unwanted times. This should be Goldfinch’s week.

I Could Never Put Myself Through That Again

I found a journal from a few years ago.  Scary!  What would it contain?  I found a passage that caused my mind to flood with memories.  I WAS STOOD UP ONCE.  It has only every happened to me once.  But it was a bit of a shocker to me.  I wrote a passage in my journal.  I also found some paper napkins with my hand-writing all over them.  I recalled that after I had been stood up I took myself to the other side of London and went to a restaurant and then after it had closed, I went to see a movie, and then I went to a 24-hour fast food restaurant nearby.  I then travelled into the centre of London and as it was by then 5.30am I breakfasted on espresso and a croissant before I went back to my accommodation and checked my inbox.  There was an e-mail from him.  He told me how much he loved me and how much he was longing to meet me, but he needed to cancel our meeting.  I sent a quick reply saying it was a shame because I had not seen his e-mail before I had left the house so I had waited for three hours at the railway station we had decided to meet at.  After that I slept all of Sunday right through to Monday morning. When I checked there was still no answer from him.  Anyway, if you are up to reading a weepy, here is the entry from my journal after that weekend.

(It is a bit long and I am sure I repeat myself over and over.  When I have time, I think I should edit it to make it a bit easier to read.  But for anyone who likes an outpouring of heart ache, here is a chance to read the raw, uncut version before I shorten it.)

—————

Journal

I am really hoping you have not had chance to check your inbox …because I am kind of disappointed not to see a word from you.  But please know….it is only because I had been looking forward to meeting you so much and I am now finding myself confused and uncertain.  Simply because I have grown to love the man I have been receiving messages from daily for eight months. What happened does not seem consistent with you.  Or the you I thought I knew.  So, either, this past weekend was a blip…a carelessness of thought and moment of inconsiderateness or for these long months you have been trying to be something that you don’t think you can be after all.

I read my napkins from Saturday night…my oh my.  I poured out all my feelings on those napkins.  A man devouring a cheeseburger in McDonalds was watching me scribbling onto napkins and he asked me if I am a writer as he saw me scribbling away.  I told him I am not, but I like writing letters to friends.  After chatting me up he invited me to go back to his place for the kind of drink McDonalds don’t offer.  Scary!  I graciously declined.  Those napkins…maybe you would find them interesting…maybe you won’t want to see how disappointed in you I was that night.  My first thoughts were worry for your safety.  Slowly my sentimentality melted and I saw the situation in the harsh light of reality.  I believe you were deliberately not supplying me with a contact number to reach you and deliberately not calling or texting me to check if I had seen your message.  Was it your actual intention to leave me there for so long?  It made me write some stuff I regret now.  Don’t worry, there is nothing too horrific.  The worst point was when I wrote that I was starting to think you were a complete utter loser.  None of my other words were as harsh as that.  They just contained expressions of confusion and pain.

I re-read your message a couple of times just now.  It kind of hurts.  You sent it one hour before we were due to meet.  You knew I had already left home and would not have any access to my e-mails.  You knew I would have my mobile phone and I had given you my number several times to make sure nothing could go wrong.  However, I respect a man who is eager to use his head not just follow his heart.  I guess your message was kindly put.  There are parts that are not making sense to me. You still claim you want to meet me…but after eight months we make an arrangement and a “miscommunication” occurs.  If only you had made your decision, a decision I respect, before I left.  I gave you opportunity earlier in the week to bail out if you wanted.  I mean, I kind of would have preferred to receive it before I bought a new dress, new shoes and new jewellery and spent money on a gift for you…I wish you had cancelled before I left here with no contact number for you.  But for you to send an e-mail cancelling after I had left here.  I had told you that I would need you to use the mobile to contact me.  I mentioned several times, I would not have any access to my e-mails.  But you either chose not to tell me before I left, so I would go through all the unwelcome sensations of being stood up….and I am still wondering why,.maybe you just didn’t notice what I had said about not having access to my e-mails.  Never-mind.  I would love to make excuses for you.

Tell me please….your message on Saturday, when you said you wanted to cancel….was that actually saying you want to end this relationship?  Could you please make that more clear if that is the case.  Because that is the way it feels.  But I don’t know if I am jumping to a conclusion you didn’t intend.  You say you love me and want to meet me after these eight months of friendship online.  Being abandoned has left me doubtful.  Maybe I am still stinging from the pain and humiliation of waiting outside a railway station in the cold and the awareness you were not coming.

I am anxious.  I am sure you have some feelings for me.  Your words, your messages are so beautiful.  But I don’t think they are entirely consistent.  I can be gullible at times…but it is eating at me that you have chosen not to use the mobile phone number I gave you to contact me.  You could have sent a text to make sure I had received your cancellation e-mail (which I hadn’t).  Even prior to this, you don’t seem to have been keen on giving me your number.  We have talked about us both feeling safe and not taking risks.  But at this stage, it doesn’t make sense to me.  You said you were sorry for being vague about the details planned for Saturday.  I am kind of wondering if you were just playing along and had no intention of meeting me…or perhaps have been playing along for months without any serious intentions.

Maybe I am just being dim…was your decision to cancel and your message actually your way of saying you don’t want to develop this any further?  Or to end this….as in “sayonara”???  Please don’t be afraid of spelling it out to me…you are always kind and polite but if you want me to sling my hook – you might have to be a bit more blunt with me.  But telling me you love me and want me in your life is confusing me.

I don’t think that now.  As you might imagine, since Saturday night, my feelings have been up and down like a yo-yo.  I don’t think am not really bruised, just feeling as if everything is up in the air with regards to you….and I kind of would like some help from you to settle things down.  Please help me to understand.  I don’t know enough about you to be able to understand this.  Are you nervous?  Nervous of me, or nervous you might not be as confidant as you want to be?

I can’t think about making another plan to meet you.  It obviously has not been wise. Now I am wondering what on earth you want for us.  If you do want to end this….please tell me.  I had been in love with the thought of hanging out with you, either in town or on a sofa watching a movie and sharing a take-away.  Who knows what else might have developed?  This penpal relationship has been wonderful…but after the weekend I am resolute, until I hear some kind of explanation from you, I need to protect my heart.  My hopes have come crashing down in flames.

I do feel though, I am not willing to turn up at any other location in a beautiful dress. Maybe if we do make another plan to meet, I will put on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt and we can grab a coffee somewhere.

You can decide for yourself whether our contact is worth anything at all to you.

I don’t think I am the one to be making this decision.  You felt you had to cancel Saturday….so it is left to you to decide what next.

Perhaps the thought of losing the friend who has been sharing every day for eight months is frightening.  There is a large possibility we might be a bit wooden and awkward with each other at first.  Every man I have had a relationship with has not impressed me initially, but I grew to like and trust them more.  I am not worried about the two of us needing a while to feel at ease with each other.  There is going to be an odd transition between virtual and real.

I hoped I had made it clear I am not expecting an overly confidant and possibly pretentious, conceited or arrogant man.  I was hoping for someone caring, kind, humble, hard-working, sensible, with a friendly sense of humour and who wants to share some time with me….I don’t think I ever asked for a smooth-talking, stylish, cool as cucumber, thick-skinned extrovert.  I would be thrilled to be the friend of a man who knew I loved him for his being the salt of the earth.  I am not a snob…I just value kindness, humility, modesty and sincerity.

Right now I am doubting I ever really knew you my love…I don’t know what you really want.  Maybe you don’t want to think about a relationship.  Maybe you just want to remain devoted to work and looking after your home and your motor and a relationship with a woman is just an extra stress you don’t need.  I have tried to be myself, and to be very open with you and I have tried not to express my feelings about you until I was sure about them.  But at the moment….I kind of feel as if there is nothing I can do….to make you want a real life relationship with me.  Maybe you are tired of having a loyal penpal and my messages are taking up too much of your time and worry.  Or perhaps you do want or do like the idea of a relationship…but it seems as if it might involve too much effort and it is a bit overwhelming.

Well….I have made a decision.  I don’t want a fantasy relationship anymore.  I am not willing to invest in something that is either just a bit of fun, a joke, a trivial penpalship, a virtual relationship…whatever it is.  I don’t know what this is anymore.  I thought we were two people who had enjoyed getting to know each other and had started to have feelings and were believing we had fallen in love.  I don’t think I can do this anymore.  I am very sorry.  It’s not that I have anything to complain about.  I just can’t build my hopes up and beat my fears down and then face disappointment without feeling something has to change now.  I have lost my sense of trust and I am not sure I can be a penpal anymore.  There are so many odd things that you have said that made me believe you really wanted to meet me.  It seems really odd now my love.  I can’t bear to look at your messages at the moment.

As for me….my feelings for you are still here, live and kicking, undeterred by the disappointment over the weekend.  But if you think it wise, I am happy to throw some ice on them.

Forgive me but I still don’t know what to think and how I am supposed to be feeling.  I have never had this experience before.  I don’t know how long I should have waited or not waited.  Was three hours too long?  I exaggerate, it was only two hours and forty-five minutes really.  I don’t know how long to wait to hear from you after telling you on Sunday morning what had happened.  Perhaps you are dreading seeing a message from me.  There may be a perfectly legitimate reason.

Actually, I have been thinking about what happened when I was at the station on Saturday evening.  I had a couple of blokes hanging round the station pay me a bit of attention.  Three women asked me where I bought my dress (I am not telling anyone – hee hee – I know it is gorgeous.)  One tall bloke who was wearing more jewellery than Mr T said “hey gorgeous, need a lift somewhere”.  I just laughed and said I was fine.  I noticed a man who was talking to someone on the phone and heard him say the words “just come to the station entrance and look to the right…it is the right thing to do.” A while later I saw him with another man.  For a moment I thought it might be you…I really did.  I was not sure because there were so many men who seemed to fit your description pass me I was confused with who I was looking for.  Anyway, this man went into a shop I can’t even remember the name of the shop, though I was stood outside for so long – maybe it was Whistles or something.  Anyway, I looked at him a few times and he looked a bit nervous…but then his friend seemed to be calling to him and I thought he shouted Keith….so I figured it could not have been with you…because we have had this conversation about names already.  I had already decided I was cold and I had not had anything to drink since lunch-time so I went and bought myself a cup of tea at the sandwich bar inside the station.  When I returned, the two men were both gone.

In truth I am hoping this is not the end, just a little challenge that together we can work on getting over and cement what we have been building.  This is not supposed to be stressing you out .  If you are not enjoying this relationship any longer…we can just stop. Neither of us owe anything to each other.  Neither has harmed the other.  Neither has been unkind or abusive to the other.  If we chose to end this before we meet…well, I have very fond and positive thoughts and feelings towards you.  You have built a friendship with a woman and declared your love to a woman and then accidentally left her outside a train station on a Saturday night…right I am not mentioning it anymore.  Because it’s not being stood up that I am bothered by anyway.  It’s more understanding what is going to happen next.

If we dissolve this friendship…I have plenty of things I can keep myself busy with, plenty of friends who make me thrive…but I am not in search of another romance.  In fact if you say you want to end this…I think I deserve to be a bit down. I deserve the chance to play sad songs and eat chocolateI have many friends who will help me laugh about this situation and move on.  Not that I want to.  I don’t feel like laughing now.  But I don’t know how to feel because I don’t know what is happening anymore.

Sorry lovely…I love you…but I don’t know what is happening here…and I don’t know what is happening next.

I do love you…but I am waiting to hear from you and in the meantime….

….I am going to just get on with the life I lead which you have a good idea of…work, cleaning, washing, ironing, meeting up with friends for a drink/meal (and occasional karaoke or dancing), walking, swimming, reading, shopping, my family, museums….all pretty normal stuff….it is the people in my life that make it so rich and rewarding….if you are  not going to be one of those people – that’s sad.  I would only wish you the very best and hope with all my heart that I have not caused you any hurt, regret, any unintentional offence you have been too polite to tell me about.  I would always hope you have success in all you turned your hand to.  But I would prefer, much prefer, that we met and had chance to see if our lives will over-lap and how much that will be the case.

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In case you were wondering.  He did e-mail me.  He sent a beautiful apology.  We continued our penpal friendship for a few more months.  It was never quite the same. One day he just did not reply to one of my messages.  I ached at the time.  But I think he made the right decision.  There must have been a reason that he knew but would not tell me why we would never meet.  I have looked back at his hundreds of messages.  Now I can see inconsistencies I never noticed before.  Still, I don’t want to think or speak negatively.  He brought me a lot of joy, it was nice having an exclusive penpal who shared every day with you.

But I did it once, and once is enough.  I don’t want to have an internet relationship.  I prefer to meet someone in real life, which is how I met my beloved Goldfinch.

In all honesty…it is something I could never put myself through again.