A Cooler Climate Up North
Is Scottie’s cross-border romance cooling off or just a case of bad timing…
I couldn’t tell if it was the hangover, the exhaustion or something else, but something wasn’t quite right. I didn’t want to leave him, and I hoped that he didn’t want to leave me. If he did, he certainly never hinted at it. Still, it was difficult to ignore the feeling that we weren’t enjoying each other’s company anymore.
I had travelled to Belfast to see him and to even the scoreboard; until then, he had visited me twice and I had only one date in his hometown. One bus and just under three hours later, we meet for a drink in Belfast’s main bear bar. He was tired after a long day at work, and long bus/train trips always drain me of energy, so neither one of us were necessarily bouncy. We were still clearly delighted to be back in each other’s company, even if a pillow or two would’ve been appreciated. For a power-nap, you ask? Yeah, why not.
We only have enough time to catch up a bit before I’m due to meet up with a friend and go to a house party to watch the Eurovision – an event I follow almost religiously, so let’s not bring up how the UK beat Ireland this year! Tired as we were, we still left each other’s company with a smile on our faces, with the intention of spending the following day together. So far, so good.
The morning after, my brain was punishing me for agreeing to share my friend’s bottle of Captain Morgans, and soon my Nordie was en route to pick me up for some post-Eurovision wound-licking over lunch. The food was just what I needed, but it was clear that I wasn’t the only one who had a good night. He was watching the show with his family, which might lead you to ask why we didn’t watch it together and make a night of it. Simply put, if I’ve been dating a guy for only a few weeks, the last thing I need is to show him how Euro-crazy I get during May. No, it was better that we spent that night apart and instead, hung out hungover the day after.
Or at least, that’s what I thought. For almost the entire day, both of us acted like we would’ve preferred to have been in bed, but for nothing more other than to sleep for the afternoon. This would’ve been fine if we both lived a few minutes away from each other – we could’ve postponed it for another day and slept the hangover and exhaustion off, but we didn’t have the time. Fair enough, I wasn’t leaving Belfast until the following night, but he wasn’t going to be free at all then. This was our only chance to spend some quality time together, but while our minds wanted to do just that, our bodies were finding it hard to agree.
Much as I tried to keep my mind calm, I couldn’t help but wonder – and occasionally worry – if this was the beginning of the end already. It was a total anti-climax to what I had expected, especially when our previous dates felt like they had fireworks every few minutes. The seeds of doubt had already been sown since his last visit to Dublin, but even then, the passion had made me forget that.
This is not gonna last, a voice kept saying in my head, but I still can’t figure out if it was my heart or my head that kept trying to shut it up.
[To read the previous instalment of Scott’s column, click here.]
‘Scottie’ Illustrations by Stephen Charlick