Monday, August 20, 2007

"Someday We'll Know - Part Two"

Someday we’ll know if love can move a mountain. Someday we’ll know why the sky is blue. Someday we’ll know why I wasn’t meant for you.

“Oh great, Kiri is by herself.” I told Skye, whilst in my head debating whether I should go back – not only wanting to save Kiri but to have things out with Jaime, to find out where I stood, truthfully. “Aidan, stop the car! I'm getting out!” It was all quite dramatic.

“No Noah, you’re staying. You can’t go back by yourself.” Skye insisted.

“Kiri’s by herself. I'm not going back to see Jaime. Why would I want to? She’ll probably just hurt me more.” I lied again. Well sort of. Part of me was going back to see Jaime, even though I knew that it would probably hurt me more.

Aidan pulled over and I jumped out. I ran back to StoneLove @ Digital where we had been and went back in. I look all over for Jaime and Kiri. I couldn’t see them anywhere. I looked for Madeline but also couldn’t see her.

“Great!” I thought to myself. “No good deed truly does go unpunished.”

I left StoneLove and went into The Other Rooms, which is next door. There Kiri was, sat with the Carmientti twins.

“I'm so sorry I told you that. I just didn’t want to see you be made a fool of.” Hayley gushed.

“It’s alright. I’d rather know now than when I got into a relationship with her.” Another lie. It wasn’t all right. It was almost as if she told me, not expecting it to effect me. I just couldn’t help but feel I might have been over-exaggerating, something confirmed by Brooke, who told me to “get over it. You two go on about stuff but you never do anything about it.” To which I told her to, quite bluntly, “shut the fuck up.”

I decided that I needed to speak to Jaime. I texted her, after seeing several missed calls from her, and said: “I got out of the car. Where are you? I think we need to speak.”

After what felt like an hour of waiting for a reply, I made my way to the taxi rank with Kiri. It was good just to forget about the situation and talk about our future, especially with Kiri since our views on stuff are quite similar. And as the taxi made its way over the Tyne Bridge, with the Quayside lit up the way it was, I couldn’t help but feel a little cathartic. Talk of the future, that nights events with Jaime, and just knowing I’d been anonymous in a new city – it made me feel like I was ready to move on.

Was it this that would make it easier for me to move on? What was it that made me know that I'm ready to start again? It was an interesting thought.

The next morning, or should I say afternoon, Madeline and I went into the city and had a late, late breakfast; and over my pancakes with syrup and waffles and syrup, I told her about the events of the night before. Surrounded by Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean memorabilia, Madeline nodded, and was supportive, which is what I felt I needed more than anything. It was then that I had a thought: I was really going to miss these random trips into the city. Everytime we saw each other was like a catch-up, but it felt as though we’d never been apart. Would things change after I leave?

As I settled down for an early night, I just couldn’t help but think that someday I’ll know why these things happen - if love can move a mountain, why the sky is blue, and why I wasn’t meant for you.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

"Someday We'll Know - Part One"

Another night, and it was another celebration. I’d found out that my planned move to Leeds for university was successful and I was leaving September 22nd. So, I gathered a group of my friends, who were also celebrating, and we headed into the city to toast the future.

I had met up with Skye and her boyfriend/might as well be fiancé Aidan. Aidan was driving so Skye and I slowly got drunker and drunker, opting for cocktails. After drinking several Cosmopolitans, followed by a Mango Margarita, I had successfully persuaded Skye to leave Aidan for the night and spend a night on the town with me.

“Noah I'm scared. This is my first time out ever without Aidan.” She confessed to me as we walked to the next bar.

“Don’t worry. You’re in safe hands. I'm a veteran.” I reassured her. To her credit, it must have been nerve wracking, especially since Aidan was almost like her security blanket. After arriving at the next bar and meeting and introducing more friends to Skye, I texted Madeline. “We have a breakthrough! Skye is out without Aidan!! See you later! XX”

As more drinks flowed, so did my emotions. It was then I saw Jaime. Since our night at her house where things got hot and heavy, we’d barely spoken, with the exception of a text here and there. We’d both been busy and we both have lives. Sometimes that just happens, I told myself. My friend Lauren had visited from London so Ashley and I had spent from Friday to Tuesday entertaining her and showing her the sights and sounds of the North East of England. We’d played football in the park, rented movies, been the beach. It was a good weekend. So when I saw her, it felt good. I asked her where she was heading after the current bar, Huxters.

“I'm not sure, probably just see where everyone else heads too.”

“Well, I’ll be at StoneLove at Digital, so yeah, look for me if you go there.”

We kissed goodbye and my friends and I moved onto StoneLove. There we met up Madeline, her boyfriend Adam, and their friends Curry and Lucy. Lucy was a fashion designer/photographer, whose style was reminiscent of the ‘bohemian chic’ Mary-Kate Olsen, and Curry was her roommate who worked with Adam. Both nice, warm and friendly…but that could have been the poppers.

It is said that the truth is sometimes only told when you’re under the influence, but what excuse do the sober people have? It was after the Jack Daniels, but before the Absolut, that Hayley Carmientti told me the truth about Jaime.

Standing at the bar, having just ordered an Absolut & Coke, Hayley walked over to me.

“Oh yeah, Jaime was going to sleep with Miguel on Tuesday. The only thing that stopped her was that they didn’t have any condoms.”

How was I meant to process this information? Was I thankful for Hayley telling me? She later said that she only told me because she didn’t want me to be made a fool of. But thanks to her telling me, I had all sorts of questions running through my head.

I later asked Ashley whether I was over-reacting, to which she replied: “No, fair enough you aren’t technically together, but you just don’t do that if you’re, you know, in the process.” Good answer.

“You know what Hayley, I don’t need this.” I grabbed my drink, Skye and Madeline and headed to the dance floor. I joined Madeline for a cigarette outside, choosing to passively smoke, knowing she wouldn’t encourage my social smoking.

“Noah, please cheer up. I know this has happened, but don’t let it ruin your night.” She told me. It was true, this summer had been one of the best of my lives – I was successful in everything I tried. I had been so lucky! And I know Madeline, probably more than anyone, was the most proud of me.

“It’s not that. I won’t,” I lied. “I'm just so fucking hungry.”

The clock struck one and I walked Skye to Aidan’s car. “Fuck this. I'm going home. I'm not going to enjoy myself.” I climbed into Aidan’s car, and while doing so, I finally got service on my phone, and a flood of text messages came in.

Jaime – “Where are you? I'm coming now. XX” She obviously hadn’t received my obligatory ‘thanks for ruining my night!’ text. I replied telling her I was in the car, going home after a shit night out.

Kiri – “Please don’t leave me. Samantha and her boyfriend have left me by myself. Where are you?”

I thought to myself ‘oh great, not only is Jaime on her way, but I’ve abandoned Kiri and she’s on her own’. What a great night this was shaping up to be…

Thursday, August 09, 2007

"The Ball Game"

Some have said that summer simply isn’t summer without a visit to the beach. Lucky for my friends and I, the beach was a ten-minute drive away. So, after a ten-minute drive, in which my air conditioning wasn’t sufficient, we arrived at the beach – we being me, the Carmientti twins, Brooke’s boyfriend Brady, and Saycon. We met Jaime in the fairground and our trip to the beach soon turned in a trip to the fairground followed by the beach.

“Well, looks like we’re in a cart together. I really don’t fancy driving.” I told Jaime, as the others conveniently paired with each other leaving Jaime and I alone. Several fairground rides later we found ourselves on the beach, the very place I’d come to when contemplating my relationships with Lyndsey and Jaime.

“Make. Your. Move.” Brooke whispered to me, as Brady, her and I wandered ahead.

“Tell her to butt out,” Brady added, before kissing her, apologetically.

I smiled. The truth was: I wanted to make a move. But it just felt so forced and awkward knowing that I had an audience. I didn’t want to declare my feelings for Jaime as if I were on stage, delivering lines from some Shakespeare play, whilst having my performance and stage technique being critiqued by the audience (Saycon, Hayley, Brooke and Brady). But before I knew it, the trip to the fairground followed by the beach had come and gone, as had mine and Jaime’s awkward goodbyes. I was in my car driving home

“It just didn’t feel right, you know, having everyone watching. It was like being under the microscope, and I didn’t like the feeling that maybe someone was judging me.” I told Saycon before taking her back to her house.

“Yeah, Noah. You just have to do what you think is right. Don’t let anyone else influence you.”

Although I’d always tried not to let people influence me, was this a prime example of what I had learned was social influence? Social influence: having an action or decision influenced by society. It was an interesting thought.

On my arrival at home, my SidekickII told me, “New Message.” It was Jaime.

“Hey there. Do you fancy coming to mine tonight for some food? Jaime xxx”

“Sure! I love the food! How is 7.30? Noah xxx”

“7.30’s good. See you then. Jaime xxx”

I immediately dialled Kayla. “Kayla. Guess where I'm going tonight?” I didn’t give her the chance to answer. “Jaime’s house. I'm kind of nervous.”

“You are? I'm so excited for you. So is it like a date?” She asked.

“Oh wow, I don’t know. I guess so, I mean, what else could it be?”

“So why are you going round? What are you gonna do round there?”

“She invited me for ‘food’ but since she has the house to herself I'm guessing it’s more of a ‘food and…’ situation.”

“Well, have fun. Let me know how it goes!”

So at 7.25pm I took the five minute drive from mine to hers and I arrived, baring no gifts. And there our ‘is-it-a-date’ date ensued. We said our hellos and small, but pleasant, talk followed.

“So what’s on the menu for tonight?” I asked.

“Well, I haven’t made anything yet but I'm thinking maybe just pasta and a sauce?”

“Oh yeah, sounds good. I’ll get to help too.”

More conversation followed, and as did a bottle of red wine, which I drank over half of, telling myself it would take the edge off…off of what I do not know. Jaime, however, stuck to the water, trying to detox herself after a wild week.

It was the morning after the night before that I had spent at Jaime’s and my good friend Ashley came by my house and I drove us to the park. There, amongst families and lovers, two good friends talked about the night before.

“So, come on, spill,” Ashley teased.

“Well, we kissed and,” Ashley cut me off.

“You kissed? What base did you get too?”

“What base did I get to?” What was I? A fourteen year old all-American boy? “I don’t even understand how that works.”

“Well, first base is kissing, second base is hands, third base is mouth, and forth base is all the way.”

“Ok, well second base. There was a lot of groping. Like, one second we were watching ‘What About Brian’ on TV, and the next we were kissing. We kissed sitting up. We kissed standing up. We kissed lying down, me on top of her, her on top of me. And we kissed spooning on her sofa, before nearly falling asleep. Let’s just say that it was hard to control myself.” I later told Aspen that my balls were practically blue by the time I got home. I was sure this was something that Ashley, or Kayla, or even Madeline would have appreciated.

Driving home though, I thought to myself why hadn’t things gone further? Why hadn’t I hit my blue balls out of the park and ran like my life depended on it to forth base? There was just a sexual chemistry I felt that night, but what I did know was that this ball game definitely wasn’t over.

Monday, August 06, 2007

"Confusion in Clarity"

Back in January Aspen, Jayden and I had booked a holiday to Magaluf on the Spanish island of Mallorca. It was sort of a celebration of finishing the academic year and an excuse to have no-strings sex with no repercussions. I’d been told to expect tacky beyond belief, with the usual violent riots at 5am…and that I expected. But once there, it was a lot less tacky and a lot less violent than my expectations had led me to believe. Magaluf consisted of foam parties, raves, popcorn parties, raves, foam parties, vodka, raves, stripclubs, and even more raves. Getting home, the inevitable question was asked by all of my friends.

“Look, the closest I came to having sex was a European kiss on each cheek from a Spanish lady I spoke to in Spanish for a couple of minutes.”

The truth was, Aspen began speaking to her in English, before I realised that she was Spanish and chipped in with what little Spanish I knew. Before bidding her farewell with “Adios Bonita!”

However, how I’d planned Magaluf was a lot different to how it actually turned out. Lyndsey was going to be there on our last night, so; clearly we were both thinking something would happen. But it didn’t.

“I only saw her for five minutes and I felt like she blanked me.” I told my good friend Charlotte. We’d known each other since birth, our mothers being childhood best friends.

“Really. That’s shit.”

“Yeah. Tell me about it. So, I’ve made a conscious decision. It’s time to get over Lyndsey…and get under Jaime.” It’s true, Jaime and I shared a history, and I do prefer the blondes.

A couple of nights after my return from Magaluf, a not-so-tanned Danny and a newly tanned me shared a few beers whilst watching a late night game of baseball. “Do you not think part of your appeal to Lyndsey was the gimmick of it being Danny and Sandy?”

“No…she was hot.” I replied, shrugging off Danny’s very interesting point. But I had a thought: could Danny actually be right? What did I actually know about Lyndsey? I knew that she owned a dildo. I knew that she couldn’t pass her driving test. But was this enough information for me to validate my attraction to her?

The next morning I got into my car and drove. I just drove…and carried on driving until I ended up at the beach. So, there I sat on a sand dune, watching this great, vast ocean, crashing onto the shore. It was there I thought. I thought about my whole relationship with Jaime. What we’d gone through. How I’d really never stopped thinking about her. How she was the most passionate kisser I’d ever kissed. And how she was honest and kind and genuine and open. And my mind was made up. It was time to stop messing around, trying to win both Lyndsey and Jaime, and I set my sights on the prize, Jaime.

I knew that it had been something that I’d been working towards for two years, even if it had been subconsciously. Even after she broke up with me, and I stopped talking to her, it didn’t mean that I had stopped thinking about her. All I wanted now was to kiss someone, be passionate with someone, walk hand-in-hand with someone…and just enjoy someone’s company. It was almost like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders, a sort of moment of clarity, and in that moment my decision had been made.

As I drove home though, I was forced to ask the question: if we got into a relationship, how would it be shaped by the big changes about to take place in both of our lives? We were both moving away in September to different places, and I’d never been a fan of long-distance relationships. Plus, I’d heard rumblings she still had another guy in her life…Miguel. Since I’d chosen to get over Lyndsey, would I have to ask Jaime to choose too?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

"...I Can Do Better!"

The morning after the night before. “Wow. Am I still drunk?” I stumbled as I tried to get out of bed. “Take that as a yes.”

The next thing I know is I'm standing with Aspen while he questions me over my antics with Lyndsey the night before.

“So, you and Lyndsey eh? What’s going on there?”

“Um. Nothing? I'm so embarrassed. Seriously man, I just can’t believe I walked up to her and was like, ‘you fancy a date?’ It’s such dick head behaviour. I bet I see her today and it’s all awkward.”

“It’ll be alright. Just try and get her into bed and all awkwardness will be gone.”

“Yeah. If only it were that easy.”

Sure enough, who comes walking past but Lyndsey. “I can’t ignore her. But it’s gonna be awkward.” We locked eyes, each taking what seemed like that split second before we met to consider our plans of action on what to do.

“Just say ‘Hey’.” Aspen advised – he must have noticed the intensity in my eyes.

“Hey.” I said, with a slight smile, and all bleary-eyed.

“Hey.” She carried on walking, not that I expected her to stop. Her awkward smile said it all.

“It wasn’t that hard, was it?”


A few weeks later, after constant texting to her, we found ourselves on a double date, with my friend Simon, and her friend Ashleigh. The movies.

“The clichĂ© first date or what?” I texted Danny…his reply? “LOL!” I had told him that I’d sworn off movie-dates, they were awkward, and didn’t allow conversation They also didn’t allow the ever so helpful SOS texts/phone calls, that can be made, say in a bar, or restaurant, or anywhere else where mobile telephone devices can actually be used. Not that it needed to be used. But there I was, in Row H, Seat 23, with Lyndsey, Simon and Ashleigh, watching Pirates of the Caribbean 3, regardless to the fact I hadn’t seen the first two.

There were the usual awkward glances at each other, occasional whisperings of “Erm…I really don’t understand what’s going on” to which she would reply “Yeah, me neither.” Followed by a giggle.

“All night I was thinking ‘should I reach for her hand? Should I use the ‘yawn-and-arm-stretch’ that worked oh-so-well in Grease?’ but yeah, it wasn’t that bad. It went alright. You could sense the awkwardness of it all though. I was just glad to get home. I'm sure Ashleigh and Simon were expecting me to land one on her or something, the way they kept leaving us alone, and then slyly watching us.” There was a pause as the waiter arrived. “Can I just get the Caesar salad with chicken please? Oh, and a coke? Thanks.”

“And I’ll have the same thanks. So, you think it’ll go much further?” Danny asked.

“Um, I don’t see why not. I mean, she’s still talking to me, so that’s a good sign. Plus we’re both going to be in Spain at the same time, so better opportunity than ever to see what happens.”

The next week was possibly the biggest date in the school’s social calendar – Prom. It would be the final time the Class of 2007 would all be together, with the exception of the miscreants who had decided Prom ‘wasn’t for them’, mainly because they’d been too lazy to meet the deadline, or, simply enough, they were happy enough to exclude themselves and had no real friends anyway.

So, after a drunken limo ride, reminiscent of Prom two years ago, I stumbled out of the limo drunk, to have several formal photos taken and personal photos with friends too. The champagne had hit me hard, as per usual. As the night went on, I seemed to get drunker, and rowdier. And as awards were presented, the more pissed-off I became, noticing I hadn’t won, or even been nominated.

“Didn’t they see my performance in Grease? And he, he who played Kenickie, a minor character, was nominated for the West End award? Do they know who I am?”

I don’t even think I knew who I was, let alone expecting anyone else to. But after my outburst, I began to sober with the onset of food. This is when the Carmientti twins began telling me about Jaime. She wanted to kiss me, apparently. So, Jaime and I danced, and danced, while she drunkenly told a newly sober me, “I really like you, Noah. I do. And you probably don’t like me. But I really like you. Like, really like you.”

“I know, I know,” I replied, grinning as I tried to support her. I had Hayley and Brooke in the background making actions to me, signing for me to kiss her. But the messages I got, it just didn’t feel right.

“She doesn’t want to kiss me!” I told Brooke after the dancing had finished. Haley and I returned to Prom, decided to get a photo with a dear friend of ours, who I affectionately call my ‘bro’, Lucas. After getting the photo, Haley and I left to catch a taxi into the city to carry on the celebrations. I opened the door and there was Jaime.

“I do want to kiss you Noah!” And she did. And I didn’t stop her.

“It was like something from the movies,” I explained to Kayla whilst dropping her off at home after dinner one night. “It was just, one of the moments you’ll never forget. I expected the background music, probably something by Mandy Moore, to start, and for the credits to start rolling.”

“Noah, that’s so romantic. But you know I'm ‘TEAM LYNDSEY’.” Kayla responded. She’d had a thing against Jaime ever since she broke up with me during that Christmas period two years ago. She saw how hurt I was, and I guess it’s to be expected that she’d protective of me, we have known each other for nearly fifteen years.

After dropping Kayla at her house, I sat for a second. I had a thought: were my feelings for Lyndsey and Jaime only spurred on because I was still conscience of Elle? Although I had been the one to end things with her, I still couldn’t help but think that she was playing a role in the future relationships in my life, and I couldn’t get her out of my mind. Was the fact she moved on so quickly spurring me to move on, and like I said before, show her that I, in fact, can do better than her. And hey, I guess two conquests after the end of our relationship trumps her one.