I walked out of the library and as I made my way towards my bike I had my head down, deep in thought. It had been a couple days since the Tiger and I felt as if I had finally sobered up after that massive night out. There was a Halloween party being thrown that night and I contemplated whether or not to go. It was at a friend’s house and there was a 50-50 chance Grey would be there. Plus, I still had no costume. As I contemplated my weekend plans I noticed a bicycle riding towards me in my periphery. I looked up as it became clear that it was coming directly at me just as it came to a halt, inches from my feet.
“Hello,” I said, slightly taken aback. It had been almost ten days since I’d seen Grey and it was almost as if I’d forgotten what he looked like. “I didn’t recognise you.”
“Oh, cheers,” he teased.
“I don’t know, you just look different.”
“Um, yah.” I said, a bit too enthusiastically. I am so suave sometimes.
“Why are you dressed so smart?” he asked.
I looked down at my outfit. I always looked good, so I don’t know why he thought I was looking particularly better. “I don’t know, just what I picked up off the floor first.” It was true. My outfits are usually entirely random and victim to my lack of time in the mornings.
“Yeah, sure.” Grey said, unconvinced.
“It’s true! Any-way. Are you going to this party tonight?”
“I don’t know,” he said, inhaling and lifting his handle bars up unintentionally so he’d have something to do with his hands. “I don’t have a costume.”
“Me neither. I was going to go shopping for one later … want to come?”
“Maybe,” he said, squeezing his brakes. “What time are you going?”
“I don’t know … what are you doing this afternoon?”
“I’ve got a tutorial in about two minutes until three o’clock.”
“Well, I was going to go around three,” I lied. I had no plans, but figured I could make some around his schedule.
“Hm,” he said, pumping his brakes again. “How about if I call you after my tutorial?”
“Okay,” I said, nonchalantly. Secretly I was glad to be spending time with him again. Despite having broken up, we had texted each other every day. That’s the problem with breakups that have undefined reasons. What? You don’t want to be with me anymore? Ok, well … talk to you tomorrow?
“I’ll call you when I’m done.”
“Great,” I said, immediately wishing I had used any less-keen sounding word. “See you later!” Ugh. Stop. Talking.
“See ya,” he said, smiling at me as he cycled off.
I had nothing to do to fill the time between that moment and the end of his tutorial, so I went to the pub.
I sat and began writing about the past two weeks, beginning with my encounters at the kebab shop, and about Russ and Cam and the Tiger. I checked my phone for the time occasionally, but there was no need to text or call Grey. He was ridiculously prompt, and if he didn’t call when he said he would it usually meant something was wrong. That’s how I knew he had cheated on me. He hadn’t called me that night when he said he would, yet promptly called me repeatedly until I picked up the next morning.
15:01 My phone rings. It had been ages since I had heard the personalised ringtone he had recorded onto my phone. “Pick up, it’s me. Pick up. Pick up. I know you’re screening your calls.” I stared at his name on the screen for a second before answering, my heart jumping slightly.
“Hey,” I answered, trying to sound cool. He could probably hear me smiling over the phone, but I couldn’t help being amused by how predictably on time his phone call was. His time diligence is one of the many things that makes us complete opposites. But opposites attract right?
“Hey. Just finished. Where are you?”
I looked around the pub, “Uh, Boots. Just picking up some shampoo.” He probably wouldn’t approve of my post-breakup alcoholic tendencies, so I lied.
“Where do you want to meet?”
“Wherever. I don’t care.”
“I don’t care either.” Our one common trait had to be indecisiveness, didn’t’ it?
He was at his department, which was close enough to the pub I was at, so I said I’d meet him there. In my rush to get to him I almost left my notepad with my future blog post scribbled in it. Error. Luckily I got that ‘something’s missing’ feeling and quickly realised what I’d left.
I cycled to his department where he was waiting for me. He was looking quite good. We made a very attractive couple. As we ventured into town we slipped back into couple mode. Walking and laughing together, everything seemed simpler. An hour into shopping we jokingly picked up the same outfit and tried them on. We looked ridiculous, but agreed that it was less ridiculous if two of us wore it. We may as well have just gone as Dumb and Dumber since that’s what we ended up looking like.
So there we were. Matching costumes and going to a party together.
That evening people who knew we had broken up were confused and those who didn’t were none the wiser.
The Tube Stops, bless their hearts, were fresh off being informed of my split from Grey. I had told them a couple days earlier while we were watching football.
“I really just can’t believe it. I mean, I thought we had something. I can’t believe he’s gone.”
“I know, I know. But you’re going to be okay, you can still talk to him,” I said, putting a comforting hand on Foster’s arm. “Just because I’m not dating him doesn’t mean you can’t talk to him.”
“He won’t want anything to do with me now,” Foster said, looking drearily at his beer. “He only talked to me because I’m friends with you.”
“That’s not true, he talked about how funny you are all the time.”
“Really?” Foster said, looking up.
“Really.” I said, squeezing his arm. “C’mon big guy. Cheer up.”
As I walked into the party with Grey he leaned towards me and said, “I guess you’ve told them.”
Slightly confused, I looked up to where Grey was looking to see the Tube Stops, dressed as the Spice Girls, staring at us.
“It’s fine,” I said, dragging Grey towards them.
Dill and Goodge, or Sporty and Baby Spice, stood tall and off-standishly said, “Alright mate?” as they shook hands. But just the tone in which they said it made it clear that by ‘mate’ they meant ‘dickhead.’
“Alright.” Grey answered, clearly uncomfortable.
Foster/Ginger Spice stood sheepishly in the corner. “C’mon,” I said, pulling Grey along with me.
“Nice one, mate!” Grey said, commenting on Foster’s costume.
“Well, I try.” Foster said, and they went on in their pseudo-homoerotic banter for awhile.
As I laughed at them I caught sight of Cat walking into the party. Great. Just. Great. We made eye contact and I gave her a look that dared her to try and come over. I try to be the bigger person and forgive and forget, but to forgive would require her to actually apologise for trying it on with my (then) boyfriend.
We finished talking to Foster, danced to my favourite Calvin Harris song, then made our way to the drinks table. After Grey poured us both generous portions of Gordon’s with a splash of tonic we turned around to find Cat waiting behind us.
“Hey!” Grey said, greeting her with a hug.
I dismissed myself from their catch up and unexpectedly ran into Russ. “Hey!”
“Hey gorgeous girl!” he said, kissing me on the cheek and wrapping his arm around me. “What are you doing here?”
“Haven’t you realised? I know everyone. What are you doing here?”
“The girl who lives here is on my course.”
“What a pleasant coincidence.” I said, smiling.
“It sure is,” he said, dragging me towards the drinks. “What would you like, lovely?”
“Any thing? I like your style.” Russ poured a vodka tonic and then excused himself to talk to the hostess.
“Friend of yours?” Grey asked over my shoulder as Russ walked away.
“Yeah. What’s it to you?”
Grey grabbed my hand and pulled me back onto the dance floor. We danced like no one was watching until we had exhausted all desire to dance.
“Want to get out of here?” Grey asked.
“Sure. Where do you want to go?”
“Don’t know. We could go hang out at mine.”
We headed back to his, making no attempt to discretely leave together. Everyone saw. Plus our costumes matched. We fooled no one.
We were lying in his bed side by side in a way that was very reminiscent of the awkward sexual tension between us before we started dating.
“I feel like a bit of a jerk asking this, but would it be terrible if we had sex right now?”
“Absolutely not,” I said, rolling over. “I mean, we never did have breakup sex.”
“This is true. Just as long as that’s what this is.”
“Definitely.” I said, and I meant it. I had taken enough time to grieve and now I just wanted to get it on again. “This doesn’t change anything.” I kissed him and he rolled on top of me. There’s something very comfortable about sleeping with Grey. He’s obviously good in bed, or else why would I bother? In a way this is what I wanted. Our relationship had been rocky, but the sex was always good. I smiled as we kissed and he simultaneously tried to shimmy his trousers off. “Why don’t you just get up for a second?” I said, his mouth still pressed to mine.
“Yeah, you’re right,” he said, getting up.
“I usually am.”
“Psh. Whatever Trevor.”
We undressed and he got back into bed. There was a sense of urgency to our kissing and we spent more time on foreplay than usual. The sex itself was some of the best we’d ever had. Uninhibited, non-obligatory. Just two people who had to have each other.
After we’d finished we remained wrapped around each other, out of breath, and just holding one another. After a couple minutes Grey lifted his head and looked at me. “Well that was different.”
“I’ll say … Good different?”
“No. Great different.”
I laughed. “We should breakup more often.”
He kissed me. “Are you staying here?”
“Is that okay?”
It was a bad idea and slightly breached the “breakup sex” contract, but as I slipped into one of his t-shirts I realised that I didn’t care. He wrapped himself around me and we fell asleep.
If this story led to Grey and I getting back together it would have been entitled “Makeup Sex.” Relationships end for a reason, but it doesn’t mean you stop liking each other immediately. Or ever. I will always have feelings for Grey, but that doesn’t mean I don’t recognise that we make a terrible couple.
So for now we’re going to stick to what we do best. After all, it isn’t “Monogamy at Oxbridge.”
2023 Edit: So about a month before we broke up Grey flat out asked me to my face if I knew who wrote this blog and I, of course, lied right back to his face. Because he was onto me and he was in less than a great place mentally I think I really over-exaggerated certain things…like how good the sex was, because to be completely honest this incident was probably one of the only times it was actually good. And even then it wasn’t good enough to justify the shit show that was about to come from it. Plus I was late to something really important the next day so this incident fucked me over in so many ways. Live and learn I guess! Jk I haven’t learned anything.