Thailand, Colombia, Peru, Greece- I’ve been to all of those locations, plus a few more. I took little pieces of those places with me. But it wasn’t until I went to Trinidad that I left a part of me there- with a man.
My girls and I decided to do a girl’s trip to Trinidad February 2016. Our second day there, Jasmine ran into one of her friends from New York, after we went to the Bikini Wrap Cooler Boat Ride party.
“Ayo Jas, hold up!” This football built guy ran up to us.
“Hey Keith!”Jasmine gave him a hug. “Keith these are my girls.” We all waved.
“What are y’all about to get into?”
“Get some food before we party tonight. You?”
“My boys and I are about to hit the beach. We’re having a pregame tonight, bring your girls.”
Later on that day after taking a bike ride to tour Trinidad and hanging with Trinidadians, we got ready for the night.
We took a cab to the guys’ Airbnb. The house was beautiful. We all started to introduce ourselves. There were already about 15 people there, some I recognized from Groupme’s Black Travel chats. Then I saw him. We locked eyes and didn’t break contact even while we were introducing ourselves to other people. I finally reached him and shook his hand.
“Jamal,” we smiled at each other. I walked away and joined my girls to take shots of Tequila. Jamal and I continued to make eye contact. Somehow we kept attracting to each other like magnets. Eventually we gave up on resisting and spent the next hour or so talking. We were in a couple of Groupme chats together but never talked. My girls and I finally left to go to Trini Posse Cooler Fete. Around 3am Jamal sent me a message on Groupme asking if I wanted to come back to his spot. And my drunk self did. But it was also perfect planning. I was the only one out of my group who didn’t buy a ticket to Sunny Side Up Jouvert Cooler Party. It was from 4am- 10am. I was going to call it a night and go to sleep but now Jamal can help me pass the time.
We sat outside, enjoying the weather and talked for hours. We talked about fears, adventures, religion, goals, college life, and sex. We exchanged soul stories. The vibe between us was electric. We watched the sun rise then made breakfast together. Eventually I left to go back to my hotel.
But just like all previous vacations, this one too came to an end. We exchanged numbers and said we would keep in contact. The first two months was smooth sailing. We texted all day and talked on the phone most nights, we got to know each other’s likes and pet peeves, and in time we knew each other’s schedules. We also watched shows together and sexted.
But then complications rose.
“Why haven’t we seen each other?” he asked me one night. He had a long day, I could tell.
“You know I’m busy.” I was always busy. My full time marketing job was a constant run around, I had two side hustles, I was studying for the GRE, trying to find time for myself, make time for the friends, spend time with family, and travel again. Making plans to see each other was a pain. And he was busy too. When one of us had a free weekend, the other didn’t. We both had hectic schedules and couldn’t afford to take time off work.
“You make time for what you want to make time for, ya know?” He said.
“I know. And I’m trying,”
“ I thought because you travel so much, you would travel to come see me,” he said.
“Flying to see you is expensive.” I finally sat still at work earlier that week and looked up tickets to Boston. It was more expensive than I thought. $300 one way! And Lord knows I’m on a budget.
“Come see me,” I said.
“You know my weekends are crazy. I can’t just leave.”
“Okay, then go half on my ticket.”
“I can’t right now. Taking care of my mom is expensive.” His mom had cancer. “And helping my brother through school is expensive along with my regular bills.”
“I understand.” And I did.
About a month later our communication sucked so badly that it resulted to sending random messages and memes to each other to stay relevant in each other’s lives. It killed me that we were doing the same exact thing- binging on Games of Thrones but were eleven hours and 731 miles away from each other and not talking about it.
Eventually it resulted to me stalking his social media. Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, you name it! It was quite unhealthy. And then too many memes started to make sense about our situation. The memes all concluded to letting it go. The most logical thing to do was to let it go though.
I was tired of having meaningless conversations. I was tired of forced conversations. I was tired of the typical “how was your day” small talk conversation. I wanted to scream at the phone.
In Trinidad I told Jamal I was a good woman. But I stopped calling. I stopped texting. I stopped initiating conversations. I stopped making plans. I stopped everything knowing he asked for effort and consistency. He probably thinks I’m not much of a good woman anymore- for giving up. But I consider myself a logical woman.
One Friday night I hit up Jasmine to have movie and wine night. She brought up Jamal and I wanted to dismiss the conversation but she wasn’t taking no for an answer.
“You know Jas I didn’t even have expectations or hope for what this was in the beginning. It was just whatever to me.”
“Then why are you hurt?”
“I’m not hurt.”
“You are. If you weren’t we wouldn’t be talking about it.”
“You wanted to talk about it!” I threw a pillow at her and we laughed.
“He was consistent, so I gave in…and then everything went to shit. I should’ve kept my no expectation and no hope attitude” I sipped my wine. “I’m taking a step back though. I finally looked at the situation for what it is and decided to stop texting and calling and just leave it at that.”
“You can’t just stop talking to him. You have to communicate.”
“Jas, we’re not even in a relationship.”
“I know but you still have to be grown and pick up the phone and talk about it.”
“It’s a situationship Jas. This is how they all end. We don’t talk about how it’s going to shit. It just ends! You just,” I took another sip of my wine. “You just grow apart. This doesn’t even qualify as a situationship. We met at a dope location, had great conversation and dragged it on. We shouldn’t have even exchanged numbers.”
“But you care. And he cares.”
“We’ll stop caring soon. Give it a few months.”
We were both silent for a minute.
“We fell for potential. We had great vibes but ultimately we were chasing potential. This is crazy anyway. We only spent half a day together for crying out loud. You can’t judge a person’s character from a few moments or days of knowing them. “
“There was a spark Stacy,”
“Fuck a spark. We were living in the moment. Long distance relationships, situationships, sparkships- it doesn’t work.”
Our connection was real, no doubt. We had moments of magic. But just like magic, there comes a time when you realize it’s not real.
Jamal and I’s timing was great but location was terrible.
……..yes the fuck it does.