It was never going to be a good day. I had to travel to and from UK head office in the same day, in order to be back here for a meeting the next day. Before I went to bed on Tuesday night I knew that Wednesday would start early and finish late.
Unfortunately, it started late as I hit the snooze button on my alarm clock one too many times and fell asleep. Running through the shower and jumping into clothes, I heard the crackberry ping - an email. But I truly didn't have time to look at it.
I got my shit together and walked - very quickly - to the Gare de Lyon to get the train out to the airport. It's now 6.00 am.
Halfway to the station, I remembered the email.
It was from Florida Boy and innocently entitled 'Hey there!'
So I open it and start to read.
It wasn't the romantic start to my day that I usually get from him.
"I love you lots....how is this ever going to work?....is it possible to make something from what we have....I don't know how we can ever make this work long distance....I wish you lived closer...." and so on.
You get the drift.
It's true, the distance is a huge deal. I'm not sure how we ever would make it work. But maybe some things are worth struggling for. Maybe this is one of those things.
But then I read on.
"I don't expect you to be a saint while I'm not in Paris....I'm sure you've been seeing other people...."
Well, you all know that I've not been a saint. But we'd discussed our attitude to sex vs love many times and neither of us were under any illusions.
"Thing is, I've been seeing someone too....I don't know where it's heading....but I really like him....I think it might be something good".
Well, that was kind of like getting shot.
And, no word of a lie, as I read this line, the telephone rang and it was him.
"I didn't mean to send it, don't read it" he sounded panicked.
"I read it" I said. "What does it mean?"
"It means nothing, really, nothing"
"Well, I still really want to see if we can make something together, but I just wanted to be honest with you" he said.
Turns out, he had sex with this guy - which doesn't at all bother me - but then the sex dates turned into proper 'date' dates - which we said we wouldn't do to each other - and he's 'not sure' how he feels about him. But he's desperate to see me and see how that works out.
The more he talks, the more he tells me that this guy isn't anything important. Nobody special.
But you know what? He has three weeks before he comes to see me, the other guy is local and I may as well be a million miles away. If this guy likes FB, he's going to be going all out to get him before he comes this way.
I really hate this kind of situation. Being put in competition with someone else. Having to prove you're the best man for the job. My natural instinct is to walk away. Close the door. Save my heart. But this time I think I should persevere.
So I talk awhile, but ultimately have to leave the conversation with him. I have to go to the airport and get to the UK.
In the UK, I lurch from dreadful meeting to dreadful meeting. My final meeting of the day ends with my boss asking me to stay behind to speak to her - and she then cusses me out (impressively so, I'd say) for being 'snippy' with her on the phone the previous day. I give as good as I get, but still, it's hard.
I leave the office in the UK, and head to the airport.
I get on the plane and fly to Paris.
I get back to my house at 11,30pm.
At this point, I'm knackered. Emotionally drained. Exhausted.
Florida boy calls.
It's all I can do to answer the phone. It's as much as I can do talk to him.
I tell him that we'll talk again tomorrow.
I go to bed wishing that my life never sees another day like this one.
So now it's Thursday and I spoke to him again today. I felt like I was just going through the motions.
How easily we are let down.
I honestly, truly do not have a clue. I don't what to think. I don't know what to feel.
I don't feel let down, much, but more that we agreed on a policy of 'no dates other than sex' and he reneged on the deal.
But the thing is, long-distance will always be like this. There'll always be a chance that one of us will have his head turned by someone local and the other will get his heart broken. Is that anyway for either of us to live? Under constant threat of being replaced?
Really? I just want to walk away. But I don't think I can.