We were walking around Pasadena. Perfect weather, a smile on my face (I was finally there!), holding hands with him. A guy that was promoting something looked at us and said: “she’s beautiful, treat her well”. Not even a pinch of flirting on the tone. I smiled and asked “are you going to treat me well?”, “of course” he said. But he didn’t keep his promise.
A couple weeks later I was at Portland’s airport, around 6:30 am, 25th of December. The weather was the worst, I had lost my flight, the Uber that took me there almost crashed and it cost a fortune, and after a terrible dawn, I was finally waiting for boarding. While talking on the phone with him, I noticed a woman, around 50, that suddenly was just in front of me. She took a Kleenex, cleaned my cheeks, and with a gesture of both disapproval and sorrow, she put the bag of Kleenex in my pocket and got on the plane with his husband. (He seemed to be her partner anyway).
I was so tired that I almost didn’t realize that I was crying. A lot. I was so confused and grateful to this stranger that appeared out of nowhere. And then I felt just sadness, realizing that the person that was supposed to treat me well was behaving the worst. I had to board too and fell asleep almost immediately.
And there I was trying to get the best from the situation. Trying to focus on work, making breakfast, searching for another place to stay than changing my mind, crying through the phone to my mom, arguing, loving, making amends and agreements with him. The best and the worst. So intense that one time I lost my temper and thrown a bowl on the floor, I didn’t quite know why.
One day I had Sushi for lunch and lied about it because I felt guilty every time I spent money on me. Another time I hid some food in my backpack because I really didn’t want to eat that and I had to or there would be a fight. I just sneak it out and gave it to a man on the street. Even when I was doing something special for him it turned out to be something bad, when he tried to do something special it was both cute and painful.
I remember looking at him and immediately smile and laugh. I was so happy just being next to him, having his eyes on me, paying attention to my eyelashes and the shadows they created. Then there he was, on the subway home, looking at me in the most horrible way he could, not even standing next to me. We took the Metro from Hollywood Boulevard because I never checked the bus schedule.
Everything was an adventure for me. Until it wasn’t.
I remember the way he talked to me when we started. I remember him waking me up with a kiss and staying in bed hugging almost till midday whenever I could catch him. I remember him stopping what he was doing to give me a soft bite on a finger. And then I remember him kicking or throwing things. I remember a phone call, his voice telling me I was slow because he needed things NOW, that I was a crappy worker, that I was selfish and that all I really wanted was for him to fail and return.
I remember that first day on the beach that was just perfect. I remember walking to the top of the Hollywood sign feeling grateful to be there, wanting to hug him and start all over again. Then, I remember being really sick in a bar, feeling bad just waiting for him to call it a night. And that when I finally got back to my country and slept in my own bed I felt so relieved…
Sometimes I just have fragments of moments, like pop-ups that you can either discard or check. And then, if I decide to go down memory lane, I pay close attention to the pop-ups, and they feel like a trailer. Some movie with a really entertaining plot but an obvious ending.
He broke me a little, just enough to make me question everything, just enough to make me change what I needed. I realized what’s really meaningful in life, and how important is to really trust someone else.
Of the most vivid memories I have, I still feel the shock of all the contradictory situations. It was the trip of a lifetime, I can assure you that. I’ve learned so much about myself that I’m almost surprised. The story is so crazy and it happened in such a short span of time that you can find it hard to believe.
I still can’t.
The soundtrack for this post: Nos sobran los motivos_ Joaquin Sabina
P.d: sorry about all the grammar errors ._.