I looked at the route that Google Maps gave me to drive my RV back to Austin. The route went right past Mandeville, Louisiana. That's where Katya lives.
I hadn't seen her in years. We broke up four years ago, and I only saw her once since then, three years ago. She randomly showed up with her fiancee and took all of the big stuff she'd left at my house. Her fiancee apologized as we carried her bed frame that I'd been sleeping on for a year to his car.
The last time I talked to her was over a year ago. She called while I was recovering from lasering my eyes, so I was basically disabled and sort of groaned and mumbled while she told me about her sentence in jail. I hung up with the distinct idea that I'd probably never talk to her again.
Not intentionally, just a "I probably won't call her, and these calls can't be very satisfying to her" sort of thing.
Anyway, seeing her city was a fleeting thought. One of many little things that make me think about her for a second and move on.
Later in the day I straightened out my US cell phone service. Most people don't leave me messages on my old phone number because it says not to, but a few slip though. I check them once a month.
"Three new messages. First new message. From 504..."
That's Katya's area code. It seems like every time she calls it's from a different number, but I always know it's her because it begins with 504.
The first message is blank. So is the second. The third one comes on and I'm expecting it to be blank too.
It's her, and she just happened to call the day before I was going to be driving right by where she lives. It's the only time I've driven by there since breaking up four years ago.
The next day as I'm driving the RV I call her back. We chat for a while and catch up. She says she's got her life together. She's going to school, working at her mom's salon, and trying to transfer to Loyola.
"I'm going to come visit you."
"Tonight. I can't make it there until 2am, though. Will you be awake?"
"I don't care what time you come. You can sleep over here."
And so I continued driving with six hours to think about the visit before it actually took place. What would it be like to see her? I had no idea if I'd be happy to see her, angry, or something in between.
Just before 2am I pulled into her neighborhood. I'd only been there a few times, but it still looked familiar. I was nervous, not because of what she'd think of me, but because of what I'd think of her.
I called her and told her I was outside.
She answered the door in a baggy t shirt and pajama pants. She looked beautiful and was smiling at me in that adoring way that made me go crazy for her in the first place. I was glad I came to see her.
She was always the right size for me. When we hugged her head nestled under my neck like it always had. Even though it had been so long, it still felt familiar.
We walked upstairs to her room and sat on her bed. I told her about my trip and she told me about her life. I told her that I was proud and happy for her, and she told me that I had the most interesting life and was weird.
Past memories were recounted in conspiring tones with wide grins across our faces. Past offenses against each other were brought up with understated apologies and were dismissed with smiles.
After talking for a couple hours I was exhausted and laid down. She turned off the light.
She slid over and laid her head on my chest just as she used to back when we were together.
Suddenly it was as if we had never broken up. It was as if the last four years were just 30 minutes as I ran to the store to pick something up. The intimate familiarity of being with someone I'd loved and lived with overpowered the four years without contact.
I pulled her face towards me and kissed her. It's impossible to describe what a kiss feels like, but it's something you never forget and can always recognize, even years later.
The next morning we woke up early after getting not nearly enough sleep. Even though I got in late, I had to leave early to keep my schedule.
I was sad to say goodbye. This is a girl that drove me absolutely crazy in both the good way and the bad way. I loved her and hated her in equal parts while we dated, sometimes at the same time. She's not right for me and I wouldn't ever date her again.
But at the same time I'm glad we don't live closer, because I would keep seeing her and slide into that "we're not officially dating, but we actually are" grey area. No one who knows us both would ever see us as a reasonable couple, yet there's this unbreakable attraction that survives four years of almost no contact.
She called the next day and we talked about nothing. It was one of those conversations where neither of us are saying anything, but neither one wants to hang up either. With some people you get to the point where phone conversations are no longer acceptable substitutes for actually talking in person.
Maybe I'll see her soon. My life is unpredictable and you just never know. Maybe our paths won't cross for another year. Maybe we'll never see each other again. Each possibility is roughly equally likely, but I'll be happy if the opportunity to see her again comes sooner rather than later.
Hmmm... So Mystery is History,Nick I love u but u r a Dick, Ty-I am Going to take it upon myself to bring Condoms Next TIME!!! Dude, We Needed More...
P.S. So, What are you gonna be 4 Halloween?(Little Waine?)LOL @ Ya ha ha ha }:->
Wait, was this girl married? You had mentioned she came with her fiance three years ago, but I'm assuming (hoping) she wasn't married?
You guys definitely seemed very happy together, and I still don't know if I feel guilty or not for getting involved when you guys broke up.
On one hand, you're a dear friend of mine and I hate to see anyone, even someone as close to you as she was do the things that she did to abuse your trust, so I felt justified in telling you what I saw.
On the other hand, it was your relationship and your life and what you guys had between you was yours. I hung out with you almost as much as she did (at times) and I was able to share in some of the great times (like all those games of laser tag), but it gave me no real right to be such a "nanny" about it all. At the very least, the right thing to do would've been to let her know my intentions before running to you.
It's great that you guys still get along. She did make some poor choices with herself during the time you were dating, but at her core, I never thought Katya was anything but a great person. I think you made her feel valued and special in a way that beautiful women rarely have a chance to experience, and I think that's wonderful.
Thanks for sharing such a personal story here. With each of us going our own ways, I don't think there would've been another way for me to see that I didn't break what you guys had had.
In other news, I've gotten engaged. More details will come, but it looks like the date is set for May next year with an official celebration in June or July. You're welcome to come when we get everything figured out, and Katya's welcome too.
Yeah I know what you mean, how the 4 year time span just felt like a 30 minute glitch.
By your writing, it sounds like she didn't marry her old fiancee?
I woke up on Friday in an incredible amount of pain. My ankle, which I injured the night before during a particularly vigorous game of trampoline-dodgeball, had swollen the point that it looked like a bruised potato with toes dangling off.
Even the slight pressure of my blankets sent rushes of pain through my foot. I tried to get out of bed, failed amid a cloud of expletives, and got back in bed where I tried to fight off the pain by gritting my teeth and growling.
This was the day I was supposed to go to Tokyo by way of Beijing, where I had a twenty-four hour layover. As much as I had been looking forward to this trip, it occurred to me that I might not be physically capable of making it to the airport.
I broke my ankle the week before my second fall semester of university. Couldn't walk from August to November, a horrible time in my life. Her calls continued, more normal than before but less like talking to a human; they had medicated and rehabbed whatever sanity was left in her out. That December, she visited for Christmas. I had been walking without crutches for seven days when I met her at her brother's house.
She didn't know. I had never told her. She had called maybe four times since my ankle had been broken. There was no point in telling her. If she couldn't remember my birthdate or information I had told her just five minutes earlier (in that same conversation), the ATV accident was a detail she simply didn't need to be bothered with.
The first time I saw her, I almost cried. It wasn't for joy, because the worst was over, or from shock. I fought bitter tears those first several minutes with her. All I had wanted was a chance to recoup and rest from the most stressful semester of my life (18 credit hours of being a music major/ only being in class from late October to final exams/ the whole not being able to walk thing/ Angel). But there she was, hugging and holding on to me as if we hadn't seen eachother in a few weeks, smiling like a kid posing for Christmas pictures.
It was fake. All of it. She didn't want her family to know that we had grown so far apart. I didn't want her family to think that she and I were close. I bit my tongue that whole week, driving her around to see what all had changed since she lived there (about fifteen years ago). Every once and a while she would make an unnerving comment about how nice it was to be together again- talking as if we were best friends that had been separated by trivial forces. Her hourly hugs were creepy and looked more like a cat pouncing on a toy than affection. The always odd sense of humor was at a whole new level of weird- shock therapy, I kept reminding myself.
Angel reminisced about the pretty clothes she used to buy me, puffy dresses and tight clothes I hated. She laughed about playing Barbies with me; I was surprised she remembered, I had only managed to talk her into playing a handful of times (after hours of begging). Just as back then, she tried to buy my love- not knowing how to gain the effortless connection daddy and I had always shared. I didn't want meaningless trinkets as a child and I sure as hell didn't want them as an adult.