Sunday, April 17, 2011

186. Fight or Flight

Instead of telling you about what happened that Saturday, my last full day in London, just read the last post again and switch out Starbucks for Cafe Nero and switch out the part about soup in bed with wanton soup in Chinatown.
But the rest of the day was the same.

Woke up feeling like shit.
Forced myself to go out.
Felt like shit.
Used as few words as possible.
Nearly passed out.
Nearly passed out again.
Shivered so hard I thought my teeth were going to chip.
Sweat so badly I thought I was going to drown.
Cuddled into the nook of Cayden's arm for warmth.
Then pushed him away for air.

Never had I ever been so happy and so miserable at the same time. I was in one of the most beautiful cities in the world with the most beautiful person I knew, and I couldn't enjoy any either one.

I didn't know when I'd get to see Cayden again, so I wanted to be all over him, kissing him until I couldn't breathe, wrapping my body around him until we both nearly suffocated. I wanted to inhale him, absorb him, take in his laugh, his smile, his scent, his touch. I wanted to make love until we couldn't physically make love anymore. I needed all of those memories to keep me company until I saw him again.

But I didn't get any of those memories.

I couldn't make him laugh or smile because I was miserable and only spoke to tell him what kind of coffee I wanted. I couldn't absorb his touch because I was too sick to be cuddled. I couldn't inhale him because my chronic sinus infection made the simple act of inhaling a struggle in its own. We couldn't make love. Didn't even try.

So when I woke up that Sunday morning, still miserable with golf-ball sized tonsils blocking my airway and a 103-degree fever, I was more emotionally and sexually frustrated than I'd ever been in my life. And what's worse: There was something wrong with Cayden.

"You OK?" I asked him through chattering teeth as we walked in the drizzle to the train station that morning.

He was looking far ahead in the distance. The look on his face told me he wasn't even there. He was thousands of miles away, lost in thought. It was almost as if he'd completely forgotten I was there. Like he couldn't feel my arm around his, or my bag across his shoulder.

"Cayden," I said, giving his arm a tug. "Are you OK?"

He looked down at me and I watched his face go from distant to present.

"Hmm? Oh, yeah. I'm fine," he said, then looked away, back into that faraway place. I wanted to see what he was looking at. What was going on in his head? Was he picturing his life without me? Without the nagging, always sick girlfriend who he'd spent thousands and thousands of his hard earned money to visit? Was he wondering if he'd made a mistake back when he said we should do this? Was he looking at the two of us, sharing that kiss the night we met, telling Past Cayden to just walk away? It's not worth it?

Cayden and I never kept anything from each other. Especially after my first trip to London when I left without telling him how I felt.

The tears started on the train to Heathrow. I'd asked Cayden again if he was OK, and he'd come back with the same bland response. I leaned my head against his shoulder and let the tears run down my face. Other people on the train saw the tears. Cayden didn't.

Crying caused my throat to tighten, causing severe pain and lack of a proper airway. But I did my best to keep my tears to myself. Cayden had seen enough of them. He'd put up with enough of my miserable-ness for the week. I tried to cheer myself up by picturing how perfect things had been at the beginning of the trip, kissing at the Colosseum, sharing that breathtaking view of Rome from Janiculum Hill.

But by the time we got to the airport, all I could think about was the past few days and how I could have been a better girlfriend.

I could have complained less.
Much less.
I could have plastered a smile on my face and worn it day and night.
I could have told him how much he meant to me every morning and every night.
I could have made my own soup.
I could have.
I should have.
I didn't.

When it came time to say our airport goodbyes, I didn't bother trying to hide my tears. They were pouring down my face in a steady stream. Cayden did his best to wipe them away, but at some point he gave up and held me to his chest. I knew I was going to leave a big snot stain, but I didn't care.

Talk! Please talk! I urged him, mentally. Tell me what's going through your head. Just tell me so I can get on that plane and not sit there for 10 hours wondering if I'll ever get to see you again.

"I'm sorry you got so sick," he said somewhere above my head. "I bet you can't wait to get to the doctor."

I nodded into his chest.

"Sorry I'm miserable," I cried harder into his shirt.

"That's OK," he said, stroking my hair. "I hope you're able to sleep on the plane."

I pulled myself away from him chest to look up at him.

"I hate that I don't know when I'll see you again," I said between hiccups.

"I know, me too. But we'll work it out."

That's what he always said when he didn't want to deal with something right then.

"I love you so much," I said, breaking down into even more of an emotional wreck than I already was. The rims of his eyes turned red like he was on the verge of tears. Cayden pulled me back in against him and said, "I love you, too."

Then he sent me on my way.

I stepped on the plane knowing there was something very, very wrong.



  1. ahh!! i need to read the next post now!! so much suspense it's killing me xxx

  2. I'll write another one tonight! I'm battling some seriously puffy eyelids right now after writing that freakin post last night.

  3. ahhh ! no ! what ... you cant leave us like that! i hope you are feeling better and everything is ok!!!