Leither in London – Issue 55


Posted by in August's Magazine

Rejection – it’s a nasty word, and it can do a lot of damage but other than the humiliation, the blow to your selfconfidence, and the likelihood for much resulting drunken embarrassing behaviour, the worst thing I think it does is breed cynicism.

I mean I’ve been there myself, but I still have hope. I don’t think that because one arsehole boy (okay two…surely not three?) has walked all over me, love is shit, and I’ll die sad and alone. No, I think ‘yeah so it didn’t work out, get the sulking over and move on.’ And after a while we all do get over it – if in very different ways. My thing was to stop trusting people. When I was younger I floated through life in rose-tinted spectacles (well actually they were huge Deirdre style things in a very questionable strawberry angel delight shade but you know what I mean). For me, there was a new crush round every corner and every one could have potential if I just gave them a chance.

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Several break ups down the line; it’s very rarely that I’ll let anyone in like that. More often than not, the fear kicks in and I start doubting, screwing things up, and backing off before there’s a chance I get hurt. But at least I’m aware that I’m doing it…which hopefully means that when someone who isn‘t an arsehole comes along, I’ll check myself and behave like a normal person again. (Yes, I said normal). Which is exactly what I’m trying to do right now, but god it’s tough behaving normally when I’m on a sickening roller coaster ride of buzzing highs, crippling doubts, butterflies in tummy daydreams, and intense frustration. I’ve got it bad and it ain’t going anywhere fast. How the heck did I let that happen?

I think it all started when I first saw his picture. My friend Abs was talking us through her snaps from a friend’s wedding, when I spotted a brooding, dark haired, intense looking chap in the background. “Don’t Carrie, he’s trouble,” Abs warned when I attempted to innocently enquire who he was. “He split with his girlfriend a while ago and ever since he’s gone a bit mad. I really wouldn’t go there.” Fair enough.

Only when we finally met a few months later, it was still there. And to make matters worse, one of my best friends seemed to have taken a shine to him herself. In fact, that particular night ended with them kissing. I was fuming that Liz would go there when she knew I liked him, but I also knew how ridiculously teenage that was, so after a day of sulking I did the grown-up thing – pushed it to the back of my mind and never mentioned it again. Of course when a group of us (including said troublesome boy) decided to head to Spain this summer for a music festival, I should have known there’d be consequences. Within the first afternoon spent lazing by the pool, it had started. “I thought you were leaning in for a kiss there!” he piped up, when I had bent towards him in an effort to retrieve my suntan lotion from beside his towel. I gave him a doubtful look, and was met with a sly grin and a matching comment: “If you book them, they will come.” Oh really?

Well as it turned out – yes really. A few hours and many many vodkas later, we were in a lip lock. And even the knowledge that Liz would flip when she found out couldn’t stop me. In my defence, I did try but did I mention those intense eyes? I didn’t have a hope in hell so I did what you‘d all do, I went with it. But I did draw the line, and when I emerged from his room a few hours later (fully dressed, I might add) I momentarily felt smug that for once, I’d retained a modicum of decency. Unfortunately the sight I was met with put an end to that. Liz was still up, waiting for me, with puffy red eyes, and a look that said it all – she was going to kill me. The inevitable catfight that followed could hardly be said to reflect any of that cherished decency, and when we finally called a truce and went to sleep, it was through sheer exhaustion, not an acknowledgement of regret from either one of us. As far as she was concerned: I’d broken the code. As far as I was concerned, she smashed the code to smithereens months before – all bets were off.

Truth is, I was already thinking about how to break it to her that I wasn’t chalking this one down to a drunken romp. This one had my guard down and for once, I was happy about that…I just didn’t know what to do about it.

Frankly, I still don’t.

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