Grey storm clouds began to gather upon the top of the hill. I couldn’t bear the thought of such an intimate moment happening in public, so I had ventured farther up the road past the concession stands and at the popular sunset point upon the tallest hill in town.
“Where are you? I’m here”
I almost wanted to turn around and run, but I put myself in this situation this time around and besides, there was only one way down and I would have to pass him to get there.
“Up the road heading towards the castle”
It had been seven months since I had been in contact with him, and I forgot about our slight language barrier… and his low level of intelligence.
After what felt like another decade of back and forth texts, trying to find each other, it finally happened— the moment I’d dreamt of for the past year.
Sitting at the edge of road, when I least expected him to he appeared in a big red ATV at the crest of the hill. He stopped in his tracks, about 30 feet away and just stared at me as if he did not believe that I was real. “ALEX!” he screamed and jumped off to run to me. As we kissed, sitting in the dusty road, I couldn’t stop wondering if I’d made a huge mistake. There he was, in the flesh, right in front of me— the beautiful foreign man I had nearly fallen in love with a year ago. The man who I thought I’d never see again after an ever so dramatic goodbye. The man who I thought had given me faith in the male gender again after being treated so poorly by them for so long. The man who lied to me about the most important part of his life: his wife and daughter.
He stared at me with disbelief, touching my cheeks.
“I don’t understand you.”
“I don’t understand my life either.”
“Yeah but how.. just why…did you…”
I had so many things to say to him, many of which had already been discussed over messaging, but I wanted to say them with true emotions. But no matter what I said, he brushed it off pretending to (or genuinely) not understand.
I held him close, trying to feel the fire of love that I felt a year ago on this very hill. But nothing was there other than discomfort and confusion.
“Let’s go. Hold this”
He swerved down a winding, narrow path leading into the valley, as I held onto the vehicle with one hand and a beer in the other.
I’m going to die. I never even got to take my best friend to this country like I promised! I’m so sorry to my mom who is just down at the bottom of the hill right now, probably angry that I left tonight. What. Am. I. Doing?
We passed a couple hiking up the path, out of the valley. He waved to them and yelled hello. That was probably the one time in my life that I envied people on foot. If only I was on foot, I could run away from this mess. But down we went, deeper into the heart of the valley.
Finally we stop on flat ground in a small clearing on the valley floor. He turned around to kiss me and to my surprise, I still feel nothing. Where was that spark I felt last year? What’s going on? Is he drunk? Why won’t he tell me the truth?
It’s too soon. He’s still in shock that I’m here. He won’t talk. He just wants to have sex.
He kissed me again. This time it was too hard for my liking. It reminded me of all the men I’ve slept with because I felt like I had no other choice. This is the man who I thought of during those emotionally painful encounters. I thought of this man when I needed comfort because I loved my time with him and I always felt respected by him. And now suddenly, I felt anything but comfortable.
Thunder clapped high above us, as if whatever God there is was giving us one last warning.
"What we’re doing is bad and you know it."
He scoffed at me. It began to rain. Hard.
We found ourselves wedged on the ground in the mud beneath a rock and a bush, with a small bit of protection from the rain. I didn’t say no, because it was something that I knew I had to do not for him, but for myself. I had to experience intimacy with this man at least one more time before I could decide if it was time to let this fantasy romance go once in for all, or if I had to simply except it for what it was... But I mean, when is being "the other girl" ever fun...
Little did I know, that I was nowhere near the end of this toxic not-relationship.