When the weekend arrived, Matt asked me to meet him at Leicester Square. It turned out he had booked a fancy pants hotel and theatre night, the first real couple thing we had done (unless Pizza Express counts? No? I didn’t think so). We stayed in the W Hotel, one of my favourite drinking spots in London so I was looking forward to the cocktail filled weekend ahead.
We checked into the room and it was everything you expect a W to be. White linen sheets, quirky throw pillows, a centre bank with a fancy sink (for all the washing up I would be doing?). The only issue I had (and I am sure wasn’t one for Matt); every wall was a mirror. Following the packed tube journey I had endured over to London, I wasn’t keen at the multi-lense vibe the room had. No one needs to look at humidity induced hair from every angle there ever was. Nest-head aside, the room was lovely and a change from my tiny apartment.
After dropping our luggage, we headed out and enjoyed a night at the theatre. The night was great, we laughed a lot and the show was great. When the final performance came to a close, I glanced over to Matt to say thank you. His eyes glued to his phone, he didn’t even look up. I suppose that was just the one niggle that came from the evening. He was constantly on his phone- even mid show? I brushed it off, he was a busy guy, it was nothing.
On the way back to the hotel we decided to pit stop for a final cocktail. Although I had tried to brush off Matt’s phone addiction, the girl in me (probably due to the wine consumed that evening) started to become a little worried. Matt and I had been seeing one another for a while now and had never really had the conversation as to whether we were seeing other people. After the french feeding disaster, I certainly hadn’t been dating other people, but I realised I had never asked Matt. We had reached the awkward stage where we weren’t casually dating anymore but not quite ready for the “what are we?” question. Seeing as Matt had never brought the subject up, I had never really wanted to and I didn’t want to come across as the “needy girl”, you know as I was just so relaxed and super breezy (PAH!)
After a cocktail in the bar I finally managed to ask Matt the question. I casually managed to slip this in mid-food chat (please don’t applaud, I am aware I am quite the conversationalist). After asking the question about dating other people, Matt didn’t really react the way I thought he would. He shuffled awkwardly in his seat and then blurted out. “B, you’re just so pushy sometimes – it just puts pressure on the evening.” I sat back a little bit surprised and not sure how to take what he had just said. I didn’t think my question was pushy and in comparison to how bossy I certainly can be, I was being sensitive around Matt’s feelings. I felt tears prick my eyes but held back, that was pretty mean.
Just going to break here as I have always wanted to ensure this blog talks about and advocates being open around mental health. I suffer with anxiety (less so now than back then) and sometimes people don’t realise how sensitive throw away comments can bother anyone with self esteem, confidence issues, anxiety, depression. I remember at the time Matt’s comment really upsetting me and I thought about it for days afterwards. I also vividly remember an occasion in primary school in which one of the “popular” girls ridiculed my super cool poppers (that I wore un-popped to the stop I might add, I know, hot stuff!). I still think about it it to this day (as I also think how great it would be if poppers made a comeback). So on a serious note, you never know what people are going through or how they feel. Some people are hyper sensitive, some people are going through tough times and struggle to communicate it, your comment may be the one to make or break someones day, so try and be kind – always.
Anyway, following Matts comment the evening for me felt pretty slumped. I had finished my cocktail sharpish after the pushy pun. We left and when the cold air hit me I actually felt a little more wobbly than I initially anticipated. We walked back to the hotel, I had to focus an immense amount to make it back in a straight line.
I opened the door to the hotel room, the mirrors and glitz no longer seemed glamorous and pretty, it was bright and actually making me feel a little nauseous. I also had another problem, even though my evening felt slumped, Matt clearly wasn’t on the same page.
While Matt tried to kiss me, I closed my eyes and tried to not focus on the room feeling like a merry go round. Matt’s persistence was pretty annoying. I just wanted to sleep. Shamefully ladies, the desire to sleep overcame any urge to have a conversation with Matt about how much I would rather sleep than have sex with him (I imagine this is what marriage feels like). So I took one for the team (the team being two; one =me two= Matt’s ego). I sound pretty mean here, it wasn’t that the sex was awful or anything (I mean it wasn’t great either). But I put to use the acting skills I had acquired over the last 5 months with Matt in the name of sleep.
Following my Oscar worthy acting class I was still feeling pretty sick and not tired (always the sign of a good acting lesson). I stood up, butt naked, nest hair firmly in tact. I realised Matt was staring at me, so in my drunk mind swaggered across the hotel room, evidently thinking I looked like some post-sex dream
As I reached the bathroom thinking I had nailed sexy. I pushed the door (still sexy) and it didn’t budge (not so sexy). I confusedly eyed up the door and quickly realised it was a mirror. I looked round the room and my brain checked in to remind me that was every pane (wardrobe, shower, toilet) was a mirror. Not wanting to drop the sexy post-sex aura I was so blatantly oozing, I decided to slowly slide (yes slide) gracefully across the mirrored walls. As I edged around the walls, I realised I was doing it, I was keeping up the sexy facade, whilst in the dark and drunk. I was such a winner. I turned my head to check if Matt was looking and my eyes met the mirror;
Okay maybe not so sexy. The reflection of a naked what looked looked homeless, climbing the walls mental patient stared back at me. I turned back to the bed and realised Matt was asleep. Thank god. I not so gracefully manoeuvred my way around the room and found the bathroom door, finally. Once I made it to the bathroom it turned out I was past the point of being sick. I lay down on the cold floor, grateful of the soothing cold tiles on my face. That was all I had needed face tile therapy, of course. Finally, the room had stopped spinning and my eyes slowly started to close.
“Thud, thud, thud” my eyes opened groggily to the sound of some heavy house music playing in the W bar below us. I lifted my head, confused by the rude awakening. I must have drifted off on the lovely cool tiles. … Better get myself to bed. I dragged myself from the floor and walked back to bed. Matt was asleep and rather than wake him, I clumsily climbed over him to get into bed. My head hit the pillow, finally …rest.
Urgh, was that my phone? I turned and the noise stopped. I started to drift away…
I sat up and set off on the hunt to stop the vibrating noise so I could rest my wine filled head. As I hunted round in the dark I realised the noise was coming from under the bed?! I lay on the floor and reached out – my finger tips stretched and grasped the culprit… I pulled back and looked at the guilty object. It was Matts phone with the name KERRY flashing up on the screen. I was still feeling a bit dazed, maybe I was dreaming
A quick break for context; so Kerry was Matt’s ex fiancé, they had broken up a year back so I was feeling slightly confused as to why she was calling at 3am. Matt and I had spoken about our exes at length, in fact the reason we had initially starting talking was we had shared frustrations around our break ups. Matt had always complained about Kerry and had said they hadn’t spoken for a few months now. I got back into bed and tried to rationalise the call in my brain. It was probably just a drunk call, yes, a drunk early AM I miss you call (we’ve all been there). My brain and I confirmed this was definitely the case and I got back into bed, so why wouldn’t my gut let me sleep…
The next morning when we woke up; Matt didn’t mention the drunk Kerry call. We left the hotel for a long brunch and laughed a lot. (Matt had once said we would have a laugh in the middle of a field and it was true – we always had fun and his charm seemed to make me forget the cancellations and late night ex calls). After Matt left, I headed home and the next week was very standard; work, eat, breathe etc. When Friday finally came round I was grateful for the weekend but also pretty nervous as I had a mate date booked. For anyone who has moved to a city on their own in their 20-somethings, it can be a pretty daunting and not-so-comfortable experience if you don’t know many people. Making friends in school is not quite the same and truth be told, that had been the last time I had had to do that.
My mate date was with a girl called Mini who I had met through work. We were heading to Golden Bee for roof top cinema and cocktails and I was actually pretty nervous. We arrived at the bar and walked up to the roof terrace. We stepped out to the cosiest set up. There is a huge fire pit surrounded by out door lamp heaters, seats with blankets, a bar pouring colourful cocktails and a hot dog stand. I was in my version of heaven AND Mean Girls was about to show.
Mini and I had the best evening. We chatted about work, nights out, quoted a lot of Mean Girls (I want my pink shirt back) and of course the inevitable subject of boys. It seemed Mini (like most girls) had her own boy problems so we discussed at length “what was wrong with boys in London” (thesis style stuff there). We then moved onto the subject of Matt; after giving Mini the down-low; she automatically took an instant dislike to the the story “Are you sure he’s a good guy?” she asked. I reassured Mini that he was and that he had upped his game recently; but the 3am call from Kerry still niggled in the back of my mind. “You should try dating more than one guy – don’t put all your eggs in one basket” she said “Have you tried Tinder?”
I had never tried online dating, then again, I had never really dated. We downloaded in the bar and spent the rest of the evening giggling at matches and awkward conversation starters. Just to make you smile, here are some of my personal faves (believe me, I have questioned the world as well);
Just the kind of man I want to take home to Mother ^^^
Dental Hygiene is what I look for in a man ^^^
“Pat in a hat” – you couldn’t write it… could you?
I’ll take the gent on the right ^^^
I really want to say Hi ^^^
I would like anyone to look at me the way he looks at his …erm… violin?^^^
I just… I just, I just can’t… ^^^
A personal fave ^^^
Is this what London had to offer?! I continued to laugh of the profiles while swiping with Mini but on the way home hurriedly deleted the app. I couldn’t date more than one guy, I barely had time for myself let alone two other people. Plus the profiles that I had seen made me pray to baby Jesus that I would never online date.
A few months went by and through winter and in the lead up to Christmas I didn’t see Matt too much. I really felt for him as he seemed to hit a run of bad luck – he slipped a disc in his spine playing golf, he was pulled into last minute important board meetings constantly and even contracted short lived illnesses. As time had gone by, I actually felt like our relationship had morphed into a pen friendship as in the lengthy gaps in seeing one another face to face the only caught via whats app and occasional phone chats. Still, I was out every weekend with my new work colleagues and wasn’t feeling the stress of it – in fact the more time I spent in London, the thought of being single was really starting to appeal. Outside of tinder, the bars of Liverpool Street and the City are always full of a particular type of gent; suited, sexy, successful (this is normally coupled with an egotistical sense of self or a girlfriend that they cheat on constantly) but none the less amazing eye candy with a cocktail.
I found myself falling in love 3 times a day on my commute in. Ladies – It’s true what they say … suits are a killer! It appeared my distracted manner had come to Matt’s attention and following his most recent ailment of glandular fever he made a speedy recovery and arranged a date for us on the run up to Christmas.
When we met up – it was easy as always; we laughed and joked again and I always ended up forgetting how flaky he was. “B, I’m so sorry for everything that’s been going on – I just seem to be having the worst luck and I know I’m fucking this up” Matt genuinely looked like he was going to cry. Jeez! Why was I questioning everything he did so much – he obviously cared. “Look B, I really want to show you that I’m committed to you and this and us – I know I was wary at first but I really do want to be with you” – I was taken aback, after the dismissive comments I had received when I had questioned dating other people a few months earlier – I was a little shocked. “So, I was thinking, if you don’t mind, how about at Christmas, before I head off in the new year on holiday maybe we go to Manchester and I can meet some of your friends for drinks or stay and meet your parents?” At that point I almost spat my drink out. This was a bit of a turn around. I stuttered in agreement and when I left Matt; text Mini to tell her about the break through. She seemed less enthused but I brushed it off – I was excited!
The end of December came round quickly and I had my bag packed ready for the Xmas break back in Manchester. Matt was heading round at 11am and we were travelling up together. My house mate had already left so I had the place to myself and was sat on the sofa watching mindless Christmas movies. I whats apped Matt “So excited to see you! You better be a good road trip buddy”. I looked at the clock and it was 10am, lots of time – I laid back on the sofa and must have drifted off…
My phone ringing, jolted me awake. I scrambled round looking round to answer. Whoops – how long had I been asleep? Matt was probably trying to get in. I pulled up the screen “Mum” (a call was always Mum).
“Where are you sweet heart – its 1300? Haven’t you set off?” 1300?! How had I slept through Matt’s call.
“Mum – I’ve got to go I’ve overslept” she ignored updating me on Christmas dinner, turkey fat and potatoes, I managed to politely say bye and hang up. I looked at my phone…I was confused – there was no missed call from Matt, he hadn’t read my whats app and there was no response. What was going on? I dialled his number and his phone went straight to answer machine. A thought crossed my mind “Surely he wasn’t going to stand me up” – I shook it off – no one would do that surely – it was just too mean.
Unfortunately my gut (as always) had been right, I waited for another hour and I didnt receive a call or text from Matt nor did he show up. How had I been so stupid to believe that he had changed? Tears welling in my eyes, I lugged my case down to my car and started the drive home. I sat in the drivers seat and looked in the mirror to wipe tears from my cheeks- why was I letting this guy make me so upset? And why had I been so understanding? Feeling rather foolish, I put my foot down and turned the music a little louder! Suddenly my phone rang through the blue tooth and interrupted Toni Braxton “He wasn’t man enough for me” It was Matt” – I answered immediately. For anyone who knows me personally – I have a choice vocabulary at the best of times and Matt felt the brunt of it on this occasion.
“B, I’m so sorry” he tried to get in between my rant.
“There’s no sorry this time Matt – this is over”
He sighed “B there is an explanation” – I hung up – I didn’t want to know or care about his explanation.
But it turns out ladies there was an explanation .. but it didn’t come from Matt and it wasn’t one I wanted to hear…..
Thanks for reading again x