What feels like a lifetime ago, I met a man in ‘York’ (I’ve changed the names and places for anonymity). One of my closest friends was studying in the city and so me and another friend (yes I have several) would take the motorway down to spend a few days in the city of…nope I got nothing. Since our last trip I had become proficient at Grindr and had no hesitation whipping it out and chatting to some southern beaus. One particular chest caught my eye more than the others and we started chatting, the chest had a face! And it was a nice one to, a lovely chap who, upon hearing of my approaching departure date, was as keen to meet as I was.
So I explained all to my friends and said that, for the morning, I would be ditching them but they were thrilled at how fast I’d managed to arrange a date. So I headed off to meet my new man and we had a little chat over a hot chocolate and proceeded to take a little tour around a few parks and the waterfront. We’ve already established my heart is way out on my sleeve so naturally I began planning my future with this fine gentleman as we meandered through the city. But the morning flew by and before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye and return to my friends.
But after a few texts we both agreed to make the most of our time together and after lunch with my girls, I headed back out to a new park, date number two on the same day! In hindsight, when I got home, it was a bit of a stupid idea to go on a date. Especially because it had turned out so well! I really felt like I could like this guy and yet I had to head home to waste away in the heart of Lancashire whilst he galavanted around London and …York (London was his work home).
So we carried on texting for a while but of course, given the distance, things just fizzled out. There was one occasion when he text me asking “why did we stop talking?” I was quick to remind him that he had never replied to one of my texts. So I ‘moved on’, fell for a few other men from the North and never got anywhere with any of them. And then I received an offer for university in London! My dreams were coming true, I could be a young runagay heading to the bright lights of the city. Living near the bright lights turned out to be a flat in Lewisham but it could’ve been worse.
This is relevant I promise, remember York (I’ll just call him that from now on) was in London Monday to Friday for work. This was it, I was going to go to uni, see every show on the west end and I was going to reconnect with Prince Charming. My Disney tale was finally happening. So over the summer I got back in touch, just casually, to bring up that I’d be moving down and at the end of the summer, after an open day, we decided to meet up in the park. Having not seen each other for the best part of a year and having ended our last meeting with a make out session outside my friends house, this had the potential to be somewhat awkward. But we shared a hug and spent the evening on primrose hill catching up. There was definitely something there between us I knew it.
So me and my flatmate made the move and I made sure to keep up the effort in getting to know York, we’d go for lunch or to dinner and he always paid. That was a sign right? Then there was a drunk call. Having never made one myself I had to read into this only what I had seen from my friends. If they ever drunk dialled, it was to a potential date or an ex. This was just what I needed, this was almost confirmation of our feelings for each other. So, close to my birthday I took the plunge and asked York out on a date.
“Awww Rob” – I hated it when he did that, he was so cute. But he’d started seeing someone else in ‘York’, how sweet. I was happy for him. No honestly I was! I’d given it a shot and he wasn’t available, I handled the situation very well. No tears, no drama and it meant I still had a great friend in London, which were in short supply.
Then birthday week came and he took me out to the theatre and for dinner and a few little drinks afterwards and I was thinking the whole night ‘god I just want to kiss you.’ He was too nice and that was making it very hard to move on! Then came my ‘three dates in three days’ fiasco and he was being so protective and I had a hard time believing that this was just coming from a place of friendship, we barely knew each other after all.
Then the following week he suggested we go out ‘dancing’ which in this case meant getting drunk and slut dropping in G-A-Y. Not what I would call dancing but there you go. Being fully aware of my feelings I decided to take it slow with the alcohol, as soon as I start sobering up I can get pretty emotional and I didn’t need that tonight. So we danced and had a great night and that’s the end of that.
I wish. It was a busy night at the club and as we moved around we’d hold hands so as to not lose each other, perfectly innocent stuff, I’d do that with any of my friends. Then when we decided to leave, holding hands so we made it out together, and we started to head down oxford street praying for a 24 hour McDonald’s. York was hungry. Oh but wait, why am I beaming like an idiot…oh right we’re still holding hands and McDonald’s is closed and we’re heading back to his. God help me.
I’ll spare all the gory details, mostly because there aren’t any, I’m very proud of myself that I rejected his advances that night. Of course I couldn’t turn down a cuddle and we had some really great conversation as we lay together. But dawn arrived too quickly and my perfect night had come to an end. Going out the night before a day in university is never a great idea, getting half an hours sleep and being an hour away from home is even worse. So I dragged myself out of bed as he muttered his apologies and why this could never happen again.
The first train of the day, back home, went rather smoothly. I didn’t have time to be upset, I needed to get home, get dressed and get back on the train. So I did the speediest change of my life, grabbed my uniform and headed back out. I’m not going to lie, I’m not entirely sure what I learnt that day, I was so incredibly tired I was just concentrating on keeping my eyes open. At last the day rolled to a close and I found myself on the train back home. With the pressure of university gone and a free weekend ahead of me, my brain turned to the events of the previous night. And I cried. On a train. That’s right, I was in floods of tears from London Bridge all the way to Hither Green. What a fool.
Unfortunately I spent the next week crying and feeling like a 12 year old again. But a few months down the line I am happy to say we are still great friends and I wouldn’t change anything about that night. The first few times I saw York after that brought back the tears but we’ve reached a happy place. And I am so happy he is enjoying his time with his fella whilst I sit inside writing…