I could write about a lot of things which have been happening with my ex lately. He summoned me to court last week and it was terrible.
Instead, I want to write about my vacation and how I met a good man.
Mr. Smug came to see Hidalgo for nearly a week during his spring break. Court is in recess during the Easter period so Mr. Smug had free time from his law career and I had to suggest he come and visit Hidalgo. He agreed and I made plans. I left for an island in the Mediterranian the day after he arrived and spent four and a half glorious days alone.
With little money and not much time, I booked a cheap flight just a couple of hours south of Paris. I found an economic place to stay on a private apartment website and started researching things to do which interest me. I received a polite and professional email from Carlo, a tenant of the owner of the flat I rented, confirming my reservation. I replied, requesting some tourist information and he replied again, friendly and recommending day long walking tours he liked. I’m an avid hiker so I replied with my thanks and we exchanged a few more emails with pertinant information about my arrival.
The day I arrived, I met the owner of the flat since Carlo was travelling. I thought nothing of it and toured the medieval city until nightfall. As I was reading in bed, I heard a noise which sounded like knocking or tapping. In an old building with a large interior courtyard connecting many apartments, not expecting any visitors, I ignored the noise and went to bed. The next morning I had a text from Carlo, saying he didn’t want to bother me but found the maps of the hikes he recommended at the airport and left them at my door.
What a thoughtful gesture. We had never met, seen one another or spoken together but he had thought to bring a tourist some fliers. I was appreciative but never having seen this person, I assumed he must be a stuedent to be so friendly and helpful to a stranger. Three more days passed during which I toured the island, fulfilled a life long dream of working (volunteering) on a project of which I am passionate and enjoying some time for me.
On my last night, I returned late to the apartment, took a shower and packed my bags. I had a flight to catch before dawn and I would only have a few hours of sleep. I received another message from Carlo. He hoped I wasn’t caught in the thunderstrom which had violently rolled over earlier in the day. He also said he wanted to meet but hadn’t wanted to bother me and hoped we could meet in the morning. I was still awake, he was in the apartment just below me and I could hear noise in his kitchen through the interior courtyard.
I responded to his message, thanking him for his small kindess and letting him know I was still up if he wanted to say hello/goodbye since my flight was too early for another opportunity. He responded yes and I heard a door creak and steps on the stairwell.
I opened the door to the most handsome man I have ever seen in the flesh.
Tall, dark, thick, wavy hair with flecks of grey, muscular, tanned limbs and clear, sparkling blue eyes. He also had a lovely smile and an almost shy demeanor. I met him at the door in sweatpants, wet hair, no make-up and a shabby cardigan. Assuming this movie star looking man was out of my league and not “in the game” anyway, I was relaxed and we chatted, sitting on the steps in the doorway. Eventually, I offered that he come inside so we wouldn’t disturb the neighbors but realized I had nothing to offer to drink. He proclaimed that he did and came back with a bottle of wine, an opener and two glasses. We got to know each other a little more.
We talked for hours.
Just those little things you tell a person you’re just meeting. What we did, where we are from and why we were both on this little island in the middle of the sea. He asked me if I lived alone and I told him I didn’t, I have a son. He didn’t act awkward or insensitive. He asked about Hidalgo and I was a proud mom showing photos on my phone. We laughed some more.
Eventually, he said he wanted to kiss me. I told him I wouldn’t mind if he did.
It was passionate and sweet and not fully coordinated, as a first kiss can sometimes be. I was transported outside myself and for the first time in a long time, the only thing that mattered was the intimacy that I was sharing with someone new.
I had to catch a taxi soon and I’m not a fan of the one night stand (but no judgements, just preference) so we lingered a while longer but eventually it was time to go. He offered to walk me to the taxi stand at the top of the hill (on a point which also had an amazing scenic view) but by chance a taxi was waiting out front. I hadn’t ordered it but a B&B was just next door and it was waiting there. I panicked. I kissed him lightly and stole the cab.
I smiled all the way to the airport, fell asleep immediately on the plane and returned home to find a text from him wishing us happy Easter. We’ve emailed a few times since last Sunday and have made some tentative plans to meet again. We promised to keep in touch.
I wasn’t looking for romance and I definitely was not expecting to meet a gorgeous, sensitive and thoughtful man. I am not such a child that I will dream of him every night or pine away the hours until I see him again. It was a chance encounter in a foreign country and while “Before Sunset” is an excellent film, it takes Jesse and Celine another ten years before they meet again.
Realistically, neither of us is particularly relationship ready and a long distance romance rarely works. I’ve had a few and I know it to be true, for me at least. That isn’t the point of my story.
The point is to focus on loving yourself, enjoying your life and the moments of freedom. A light heart, an open mind, a small jesture of kindness…a little romance. It’s possible to meet someone new when you are free from the person who doesn’t want you or doesn’t treat you right. Nothing is guaranteed but having the possibility of happiness is better than the certainty of a bad marriage.