Published in May 2019 / Updated in Aug 2021
I am currently sitting with a glass of wine listening to “It Must Have Been Love – Roxette” and this song is the complete essence of what I am feeling as I recall what happened next.
While I continued to fight the feelings I had for Hugh I also knew that it was only a matter of time until I was consumed by them….the question was…..was it too late, had I lost my chance?
Later that night as I sat in my bedroom I was struggling with myself as I played with my phone. I wanted to send him a message but at the same time….I really did not want to. I couldn’t bear it if he responded and never wanted to see me again but at the same time, I had to know!
It took me 2 hours before I finally wrote a message and had the courage to send it. Once I hit send I almost threw my phone…I didn’t want it anywhere near me. I was so scared of what was going to come of it.
“I really want to be able to keep this professional but you are making it so hard for me”
The whole night I tortured myself wanting to hear back from him so badly but also so scared of what he would say.
That fear turned into anger, He was constantly messaging me and I started to get pis*ed off that he wasn’t messaging me back.
I fell asleep in tears KNOWING for sure that I had lost my chance…
Two days passed and I decided to put Hugh out of my mind…it was extremely hard but it was something that I had to do.
I had previously met a guy that I was sort of dating before I met Hugh and decided that I would catch up with him. We will call him Chris.
I text Chris to see if he was able to catch up and we decided to meet up. He came over to my house and we started watching the movie “Philadelphia”. Now at this point in time, I was so down that I just didn’t want to be alone. Chris is a lovely person however he is seriously uneducated and quite frustratingly…I actually began to loathe the fact that he was not intellectually stimulating nor did he have the charisma or the confidence that Hugh carried with him in his stride.
I leaned closer to Chris and he kissed me. I wasn’t uncomfortable but I just didn’t feel a thing. I felt empty…I felt like I was in the wrong place and really wanted him to leave.
He began touching my neck and running his hands all over me….I jumped up and made an excuse that I needed a drink. The moment that he had begun touching me I started feeling violently ill. I couldn’t bear his hands on me, I couldn’t bear the thought of what could have happened and the feeling of disgust riddled me as the memories began flooding back and my eyes filled with tears.
When I returned I sat on the opposite end of the couch. By the time the movie ended, I was almost begging him to leave but I did not want to be alone…He left 20 minutes later and I immediately ran in for a shower….I almost jumped in clothes and all, I just couldn’t get the feeling of dread and disgust off me. I just wanted to wash it all away and stop feeling like I was dirty.
While I was in the shower washing my hair I started crying. I couldn’t believe what I had done all because I allowed the demons of my past to consume me when I was with Hugh and now it had happened again. The moment anything intimate began I ran a mile….sometimes literally!….I can’t say that I don’t do it to this day….but I don’t do that with Hugh anymore…In his arms, I feel safe from everything.
When I got out I changed and put the clothes in the wash immediately…I hadn’t been wearing them long….3 hours maybe but I couldn’t have them near me…and to be honest I don’t think I have worn them since.
When I picked up my phone I had 2 missed calls from Hugh and a message. My heart jumped into my throat…I almost choked on the air I was breathing…My palms began to sweat and I almost dropped my phone as I was trying to unlock it.
“I’m sorry, I dropped my phone in a bucket of water the other night and have only just got everyone’s numbers back. Tried to call you, call you in a while x”
I immediately tried to call him back out of instinct. I needed to hear his voice and see if he was still angry with me….but he didn’t answer.
For the next few hours, my phone was glued to my hand.
At 7:30 pm he called me.
Now To understand how I was feeling you have to listen to Bryan Adams “Please Forgive Me”. I was literally on the verge of begging to apologise and yet I still couldn’t tell him why I reacted that way…..I couldn’t figure out how to tell anyone why I couldn’t do it. I thought they would blame me or make me feel as though it was my fault somehow….I guess because at times I had thought that.
“Ava, I don’t know what is going on with you but I am sorry. I promise you from the bottom of my soul….I will never push your boundaries…I will never hurt you”. Was the first thing he said to me when I answered the phone.
In the instant that I heard his voice, I instantly had flashbacks of the feeling I got when he was standing behind me in that hotel room, when he whipped me around to face him, he was strong, forceful, and yet gentle and kind. He was strong enough to handle me at my worst….and he still wanted to know me.
I couldn’t say anything to that and the next few words slipped out before I got the chance to stop them. “When are you going to be in town next?”.
“I will be back in 2 weeks, can we please see each other, no work, no interruptions, I want to see you and have a drink. Just us!”.
I immediately accepted and didn’t regret it at all.
Over the next 2 weeks, we messaged back and forth and spoke at least twice a day. My feelings grew and yet I couldn’t read him. He gave me insight into his lifestyle, He was funny, charismatic, down to earth, and yet I couldn’t figure out how he really felt about me.
The Friday I was to meet him at the hotel those horrible feelings of sickness came back and by 4:30 pm I almost canceled. I had my phone in my hand and I texted him asking him where he was.
I got a message back immediately and he advised he was getting on the flight and would meet me at the hotel.
When I arrived out in front of the hotel, I looked straight up and stared at the Maroon sign ahead of me thinking….don’t be stupid…no turning around now.
I went straight up to the bar. I sat there for 5 minutes before my nerves took over and I found myself in the elevator again and headed towards the door. I walked out onto the balcony and lit up a cigarette with my hands shaking uncontrollably. I called him. He answered straight away and apologised saying he was going to be late and he was still sitting on the tarmac. He would be there in 20 minutes.
I knew that wasn’t going to be possible in Friday traffic and was already counting the minutes it would take for me to leave and get home….but I stayed.
I walked back to the elevator and checked my appearance. I ordered myself a drink (Vodka and Orange) and a Chivas on the rocks for him (His favourite drink…yes I already knew that).
I was just sipping it and chose to sit where we could watch the football match. I wasn’t a big fan but I knew he was so I chose it to please him. I guess secretly hoping he would appreciate that and I could take that as an apology for my guilt….He noticed it immediately as he walked in…and our FIRST argument began less than five minutes later.
I stood up and the familiar tingle of his touch cursed me as I felt his hand on my arm and a kiss on my cheek.
He sat opposite me facing away from the Television. I was wearing a dress so I crossed my legs and he leaned over the coffee table to grab his drink. When he finished he said he had to go and put his bags in his room. I asked him if he wanted another drink and he said yes before handing me his credit card. I told him not to be stupid and that I would pay for it.
He asked me if I had charged the drinks to his room and I told him, of course, I didn’t. He almost threw the card at me. I told him I wouldn’t take his money and he started getting pis*ed off.
I lowered my voice as I said to him “I’m not going to take your fu*king money, I have my own and I can certainly pay for a drink. Stop trying to control everything!”
He placed his hand on my leg and rubbed his thumb across my knee cap smiling at me with such a beautiful smile and yet my knee flicked violently to the left hitting the coffee table.
“WHAT am I not allowed to touch you?. Seriously Ava you are so fu*king wound up, you need a good fu*k to loosen you up, I have never met someone so uptight and jumpy before. I was just trying to tell you that everything was ok between us!”. He said with a tone that was soothing yet so ferocious and filled with anger, but all the while I found his words were like music to my soul yet confusing…..We were ok…whatever that meant.
He left me to unpack and I ordered a drink….my heart pounding when I sat back down facing away from the elevators. I could sense him and smell his cologne before he returned in front of me.
He sat back on the long couch opposite me and I refused to look him in the eyes. I clasped the drink in my hand harder while I felt his gaze burning into me. Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw His legs were apart a little and he had one arm stretched out to the right of him on the back of the couch and the other he had his drink sipping it slowly while he watched me.
I was so self-conscious…He was trying to read me…I didn’t want him seeing right through me so I drank up faster and started to feel the effects of the alcohol hit me and my mind became fuzzy….my inhibitions were lowering and I knew I had to escape or there would be no turning back.
We barely spoke and I tried to distract him with the football game behind him. He barely glanced at it before he began staring at me again.
I couldn’t stop grabbing looks at his wedding finger and noticed no ring…I knew he had been married once but I was confused as to why he hadn’t been again….so I asked.
“So why is it that you never got married again?”.
“Ava, I’m not divorced”…I literally almost choked…what the hell did that mean????
The room filled with silence again until I looked around the room and saw the men at the bar cleaning glasses. I kept my eyes on that as my mind ran a mile but my mouth couldn’t catch up to ask more questions…I was struggling to process that little piece of information…..
He broke the silence and said “Well?”.
I shot him a look of death and said “Well….I have to go, It was lovely seeing you again Hugh” and I rose.
His jaw dropped and his eyes popped out of his head before he downed his drink and walked me to the elevator. He didn’t need to touch me to feel the heat blazing from his skin….He was so close.
We entered the elevator the song “Un-Break My Heart by Tony Braxton was playing” and he cornered me…I had nowhere I could escape to. I looked for the emergency elevator button and realised it was behind me and I was trapped in the corner. I couldn’t reach it.
He took me by force with his fingers digging into my skin and his hands pressed holding on for dear life to my arms. He pushed me against the silver rail and kissed me. The force of passion in his kiss hit me like a tsunami. I was frozen to the spot and he wouldn’t let me go. He pushed himself closer to me and I felt every piece of his body melting into mine. We fit perfectly. I couldn’t kiss him back, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t do anything….I was frozen to the spot.
The doors opened and I opened my eyes. He stepped away from me and just looked at me.
I was so close to pushing every button in that elevator but I couldn’t. I knew if I did that, I would regret it in the morning…I would hate myself more than I ever have in my life, I didn’t know what he had meant and It went against everything that I had ever believed in…even if he wasn’t with her…they were still married, I was not about to be the other woman…so I picked up my bag and looked away from him while I walked out. My eyes were filled with tears and I heard him say “Fu*k” as I walked away. When I reached the glass doors I turned around to take one last look at the man I knew I had to say goodbye to….I was not about to get involved with a married man…whatever that meant.