I waited in the lounge at the airport doing my best to concentrate on the sentences I was scanning in my book. I tried to the absorb the content but I couldnʼt. I was too excited, and nervous, and anxious all at the same time. We had been speaking over text and phone calls for over a month now and met through a mutual friend. It was going to be our first time seeing one another – and this sort of experience was new to me. I had never gone out of my way to meet a guy before.
He lived in a remote northern town in Canada, which is not exactly a tourist destination. He would pick me up from the closest airport and then we would make the 5 hour drive to the small northern town. And I mean NORTHERN. Weeks leading up to this my friends would text me pictures of the remote area I was going to. A fisherman with missing teeth. A hunter holding his prized kill with a big grin. Or a snowy landscape with a mine or forest in the background. Usually they would add a message with the photo: “How many pairs of heels are you going to pack?” or “I wonder if they will have a welcoming parade for you.” I got it – this area wasnʼt exactly in my comfort zone, but I was excited about meeting him.
I got off the plane and dashed to the washroom to freshen up. It was an early flight and I had been awake since 4am. After spending a good ten minutes ensuring I looked like I hadnʼt just woken up I scurried through the airport and went straight to baggage claim. I didnʼt look to see if he was around – I was too nervous. After finding my black suitcase in a pile of other black suitcases I sent a quick text saying I made it and turned on my heel to see him. Leaning casually against a pillar close to the exit, he was looking straight at me and must have been watching me the whole time. I had about a hundred butterflies fluttering within my stomach and my face flushed. I immediately smiled and waved. He smirked back and waited for me.
There was a difference between us. Perhaps thatʼs why I was attracted to him in the first place. I was a city girl – used to busy train stations and quick coffee purchases. He was used to quiet small towns and picking up mail at the post office. I wore skirts and dresses with heels and he wore jeans and hoodies. We couldnʼt be more opposite. He was like climbing into a hot bath after a long day at work. There was just the calmness to the lifestyle he lived, and I wanted so badly to be a part of that. But as the week carried on, I couldnʼt seem to find a spark between us. Our kisses were quick and lacked passion. Our conversations were short and unintelligent. There was an awkwardness between us that dimmed my usual upbeat personality. I simply was not myself, and yet I still wanted it to work.
Before my visit we would spend the days texting each other or having adorable phone calls where we would discuss our days mixed with expressing how badly we wanted to see one another. Unfortunately, none of of that was transferred into our visit. When I left and came back home to my busy lifestyle, I still had this hope that we would connect again. But our communication started to thin out and messages on the hour turned into messages once and a while, and phone calls didnʼt happen anymore. There were a couple times where one of us would break down and we would have a serious conversation that we were still really interested in the other and we wanted to plan another visit and make this work. But I had a feeling it was pointless. We were both in the stage where we wanted to settle down, we were just trying to make it happen for us – when the universe was trying to tell us it wasnʼt possible.
We ended things on a sour note a few months later. We both pushed each other to the limit, frustrated over the fact that it wasnʼt working. While I was angry at myself for going out my way to meet him, I also appreciated the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and do something spontaneous. You learn so much about yourself when you leave your usual bubble. Even though the situation gave me heartbreak and set back, I ended up valuing the experience.
Over Labour Day weekend I heard from him. It was small talk, but I knew that one day he would contact me, and I knew it would kill me inside. But it didnʼt, it made me smile. And that was that.