‘This will probably be a mistake’
I thought to myself as a re-read the text from my ex Michael.
“Come stay with me”, it read.
‘But what the hell. This year has been trying at best, and we haven’t seen each other in over 18 months. Nothing will happen. Besides, it will be nice to see a friendly face’.
I had this dual conversation with myself with one part trying to talk myself into and the other part trying to talk myself out of meeting Michael the week after Thanksgiving.
Even if nothing happens… even if we don’t meet up, I adore the coast in the off-season, and late November/early December is usually still warm enough to be considered fall. The coast when all the tourists are gone is a different animal than the packed chaos of the summer. Restaurants close. Prices go down. It’s still warm enough that a walk on the beach barefoot seems like a good idea. Until that breeze blows in off the ocean. Then you know that it is definitely NOT SUMMER any more.
I didn’t go back home to South Carolina for Thanksgiving. I don’t regret that decision, but it certainly did not make me the popular kid. Being the new kid in town means I work all the holidays people really want off work for. Being an only child means having no siblings to celebrate or commensurate with… also no siblings means there’s no one to give me nieces or nephews to play with, and with my father dying back in May, I don’t think it would be the happiest of occasions anyway.
Anyway… and perhaps against my better judgement, just like on the day we met and just like on the day of our first kiss, I made the decision to meet him. I drove down to Myrtle Beach from Wilmington to stay with him.
Just for the day, I told myself. It’s been a hell of a three months. Loneliness + dealing with a catastrophic natural disaster; sometimes my head hurt from all the knowledge and skills being crammed in it on a seemingly daily basis. Sometimes it’s nice to be with people who really know you, people willing to hold you when you need to be held, and kiss you when you need to be kissed.
There are parts of my life in South Carolina that I miss; I miss my friends and my kitties. No doubt, I needed to leave when I did. Too many recent bad memories. I needed a fresh start, but by God, it’s hard.
Should I stay or should I go
Moving to a new city as a 20-something year old introvert who would rather hibernate than go out and meet people is hard. It’s extra hard to meet people working the night shift. Michael is by far my favorite ex-boyfriend, and I really don’t want to date him again, especially since we now live in different states, but my God, it was so good to be with him again.
We did beach-y things like hold walk hands while walking on the beach with me stopping every 5 minutes to snap artsy photos. We had dinner at a local Italian restaurant… once again our hands lingering on top of the table. While he attended conferences, I visited Myrtle Beach State Park. It’s so much more peaceful here than in the busy season.
And we had long, meaningful talks where I implored the universe to ‘show me a sign’. Give me some sort of direction of what I should be doing. In with the new, and out with the old, or keep the old and make new? Please universe, show me a sign.
Clearly it was the universe talking… Now if I only knew what the hell it means…
Shout out to Sam Smith’s Stay With Me for providing the inspiration for this post’s title