The New M.E. Generation











I repeated the same route as before, except that this time I used the GPS that this guy ‘lend’ me, which made my drive stress-free.

I arrived at the mom’s house a little after lunch time and about an hour before his airplane arrived. His best friend that he worked with at the airline (to which he referred to as ‘his brother, my absolute best friend’) arrived shortly after I did, as he was to pick up the other guy at the airport.

It was nice seeing him again especially after the fun times we had together before. I understood why my then friend felt the way he did about him. It was almost as if this ‘bro’ was the male version of myself. The ‘bromance’ was as strong as my friendship used to be.

The mom had food ready for everyone, so we sat down to eat. The ‘bro’ literally gulped down his food; the mom was really looking forward to seeing his son and just wanted to go pick him up.

I, on the other hand, was very hungry, and wanted to see my friend, but had no intention of eating quickly. There was something within me that told me to slow down, to enjoy that meal, to place myself first.

The mom and ‘bro’ got surprised that I didn’t go with them to the airport. I think I even put a face of ‘it’s not the end of the world if I stay’. It might have been for both of them (mostly my friend), but I didn’t care.

I finished my meal a while later, picked up my plate and washed it. And I didn’t do it because I felt pressured from anyone, it was the right thing to do.

While at that, my friend and else walked in, and he had a very upsetting face. “Why didn’t you go to the airport?” asked he. “I was expecting you there.”

I gave him a blank stare of ‘so?’ and showed no remorse.

Looking back I now realize that I didn’t go for various reasons. First, our relationship had suffered greatly by his own fault.

Second, his attitude of ‘I’m better and know more than you’ hadn’t been sitting well with me for some time. He might think he’s ‘God’s greatest creation’, but to me he wasn’t and didn’t deserve my ‘undivided attention’ that I always had towards him. To the eyes of his mom and ‘bro’ he may still be that, but to me he had become his own worst devil .

Third, I’ve lived my life for others and fulfilling their expectations, including him, and that was no longer the same. Yes, I wanted to see him, but this trip was more about me taking a road trip and possibly having some fun.

But, I just got here and this guy is already giving me an attitude. What next? More religious one-liners that will create a hell on earth during my remaining 24 hours of visiting? Lord, help me!!!

 

 



It was a long night, but a great one. We got home and I was ready to hit the bed after an exhausting day like this. Plus, we were driving tomorrow to celebrate my birthday and staying at his mom’s house, which was to take at least 4 hours to get there.

And just when I thought it was safe to end the day, turns out my friend wasn’t in any mood to do that.

“Are there any open bars around here?” said he in a very wired tone, like if someone had put a drug on his drink or something. “I don’t get to party much and I want to take advantage of this vacation,” continued he.

I gave him an upset look of ‘this is not new year’s eve or going to party like it’s 1999’. “What do you mean? All places are closed at this time,” replied I.

I could have expected this behavior from any other guy, but him? This was totally new to me. The guy I remembered would always get organized ahead and go to bed early, especially when it had to do with a trip that included seeing his mom, the one person he always said to love so much and hated being away from.

He was still looking at me like ‘let’s bring down this house’ with eyes lost in party central. He was so ‘up and going’ that had he had the chance to go anywhere by himself, he would have done it and left me behind.

I had a facial expression of ‘if you leave this apartment, don’t even bother to come back’. He may have been my friend and loved him unconditionally, but I wasn’t going to put up with any stupidities from any guy, including him, just like he had taught me to.

I don’t recall what happened next, but he didn’t leave. He slept in the sofa and I in my room with the door closed, checking my surroundings every so often, just like the night before.

Even with all that happened, I managed to have a good night’s sleep. I woke up rather early; the plan was to try to leave as soon as possible to take advantage of the day.

I stood right at him and he was really crashed. He was deep asleep face up and didn’t felt me there, even when I stick my face almost touching his or when his phone vibrated with a call.

I wondered again if I should take up on his proposition, but this time I really wasn’t feeling it, even less after the stunt he almost pulled off last night. I thought had he done that, I don’t think jumping on top of him or slapping his face would have woken him up.

He obviously wasn’t coming out of his semi-comatose state, so I finished my luggage and ate something quickly.

I could hear his phone buzzing a few more times and he eventually woke up. I didn’t make any comments again regarding the night before. I just wanted to concentrate on the weekend and myself.

My friend went back to being who I remembered him for, focusing on the day ahead and moving forward accordingly. He answered the phone, got up, and ready. We left later than expected, but we did it.

I drove my car and he used his phone’s GPS to lead the way. We even talked about anything and everything, past and present, as we traveled.

It took me back all the way to high school when we didn’t know what life was holding up for us, but somehow managed to find the right way to get there.

Hopefully there will be more other detours that get this trip off track again.



I was happy to be meeting up with Madeline and her family, especially during the holidays when single people tend to feel the loneliest. She was also single and had been very supportive during my post divorce. She was in essence the female version of my high school friend.

I remember the weather that year was really bad with heavy rain and the temperature dropped to the low 20’s. I still wasn’t technologically up to date, meaning didn’t have a smarthphone or GPS.

Both of them had one in their car and have used it successfully for years. Madeline told me to get one and make the trip; he said that if the weather was that bad, a woman like me driving by herself would be concerning to him, even if I had the device.

They both agreed that it would be a good purchase to make, as they felt that it would not only be useful to have, but would open my outlook into taking other trips in the future.

Ultimate the weather became the decisive factor, so I chose to fly instead. As simple as this road trip sounded, I was still too afraid to take risks at this stage.

Still, the temperature made me remember being in college, ending the semester, flying home for the holidays, arriving at a warm weather, and seeing my friend.

But as much as I was happy to be with Madeline and grateful for her invitation, I still felt displaced. I was still recovering from my divorce, trying to regain my sense of self, plus figure out what I was to do with my life. At least being around people who appreciated me gave me some sense of belonging for a few days.

I was also thinking about my friend. His mother underwent surgery and he spent many days in the hospital with her and later at home. Me in the distance could only provide support. His birthday happened during those days and he was more than pleased to have the gift that his mother would most likely have a full recovery.

It also started to daunt on me how loved one could be gone quickly, how oneself with age start facing calamities, how we are able (or not) to handle situations we always knew would happen, but not really ready for when they do.

In essence it was a question of how long will those important people remain with us, will they still be there near or far when the bad really happens, and if they’re gone either in life or death, how are we to cope with their departure?

It was a reality I had already seen: as much as you want to have certain people in your life or try to make things work in a certain way, like the song says, “baby, sometimes love just ain’t enough.”

Yep, that’s how it’s sang.



I didn’t mention the long weekend again to the ‘beach guy’ until the day before I was set to leave. The message was more like a reminder, as I was not expecting much response from him. I had even told him to call me and he didn’t do that either.

My friend arrived two days before departing. I checked my emails one last time before leaving and, finally, a message.

‘When are you leaving?’ asked he. ‘About to go; TTUL’ said I. But, wherever or not we would meet, that was still up in the air.

While driving, my friend noticed my seriousness. This was supposed to be a vacation away from the usual routine that surrounded my life. I tried to avoid discussing my mood by saying that I was concentrated on what I was doing.

Although we have been friends forever and spoke occasionally, there was a lot of catching up to do with my school friend, especially the topic of men. And with a 3-hour road trip, what better time than now to discuss it?

“The pattern that I see on these guys that you meet is that you’re not their priority,” said he. “They know that you’re alone and don’t have much of a social life. So whenever they’re done with their day or when a date goes wrong, that’s when they decide to call you.

None of them are worthy of you, including that one you’re hoping to see. The way he behaves with you is another example of what I’m trying to tell you.

He only sends you emails and we’re on our way and still couldn’t give you an answer? What is that?

He says he’s busy with work, kids, and whatever else in his life. He may not tell you, but what he’s saying is that he’s not that interested in you.

You should handle this like when you’re standing in line to send a package: NEXT!!!”

I knew he was right, as always. He’s one of those few guys in my life who had earned the right to tell me how it is.

We changed topics several more times during our travel. We finally got to our destination and I couldn’t be happier.

I didn’t touch the ‘beach guy’ subject again. I kept my phone close to me hoping for a call. I even thought about checking my emails, but decided not to.

You know what? It’s time to ‘log out’ from that and ‘log in’ into my vacation.



A few months went by and the communication continued either by emails or text messages.

A long weekend was coming up about a month and a half away and was planning a road trip with a guy friend of mine from high school to a location not that close to him, but way closer to where I currently live.

So I wrote him an email that read like this: ‘Don’t know what you will be doing for the long weekend, but I’m going to be upstate with a friend. I’m saying this so you don’t complain to me later that you wished I would have told you.’

He replied a few days later that he didn’t know what his plans were since basically they were governed if he had his kids or not for that week. He also mentioned that the distance between his location and mine was about a 2-hour drive, so when and where we could meet were other logistics to define.

Definition: ‘I’m so busy there’s no way I can move things around and make it happen.’ I knew this was the answer he would give me. No surprise here yet again.

He asked me where I would be staying. I said at my friend’s family home. I took the opportunity to even mention that my friend has been that since my early teens and he lived in another state. I said this because I knew he would question my relationship and didn’t want to ruin the only chance of maybe meeting.

Whichever way I explained it, it was going to be an awkward situation. My school friend has known me forever and has been at my side through all my good and bad moments.

After learning of how the ‘beach guy’ has been behaving, he felt I was having hope on something that would never happen. He knew how badly hurt I’ve gotten in the past and didn’t want me to go through that again.

Then there’s the beach guy. As much as I tell him ‘we’re just friends’, I know he won’t believe that. If I was he, I would really thought it over about driving 2 hours and seeing me with another guy.

Also, where would he sleep if he decided to stay for the night, in the couch?

No definite plans have been decided and my anxiety level is already going overboard.

What is it about me that, no matter what I do, I always have some sort of complicated matter with a guy (or guys)?

Comments? Universe? Any one?



The first few days of Jay’s visit went very well. In fact, they were too good to be true. We both were very comfortable with each other. Everything that we did together felt very natural; it just flowed with ease.

On the third day of his trip, we drove to one of the locations of the resort he had worked for. It was in an area I’ve never been before, and the trip, more than that of the road kind, felt more like I was headed to a romantic trip, like a honeymoon.

We got to the place about two hours later and, upon arrival, many memories from my previous trip with Dina flashed before my eyes. My feeling was that this trip would be as equally memorable.

After checking-in, leaving the bags in the room, etc., we toured the resort and took advantage of some of the available activities before dinner.

Jay also located former co-workers and the encounters were as much joyful as they were a few months back.

Some hours later, when the activities were pretty much over for the daytime and the sun started to come down, Jay and I got some drinks and settled on a hammock.

After some chatting about simple things, I leaned my head on Jay’s shoulder and stared straight at the sunset. I was still wearing my sunglasses.

It was again one of those moments when I was able to briefly forget all that I’ve gone through, and allow myself to feel happy for a change. I felt a peace within me that I hadn’t for the longest time.

It was yet another almost perfect moment. I exhaled and felt that the wall I had built in front of me to protect myself came crashing down.

“I’m not here to play games,” said I to Jay while still looking forward.

“Me either.”

I felt like the universe had finally given me what I’ve asked for so long; true love.

If only I could always feel this way…



I asked ‘that guy’ if I could join him and he gladly complied. (Oh, oh, sounds like a re-run from when I met Brian. Please refer to chapter 3 of ‘You Can Be My Hero’ for details.)

The opening question was, what the heck we were both doing so early at breakfast?

The ‘guy,’ Hiio, a Canadian from Montreal (who I will nickname Monty or Canadian #1), had previously worked for this international resort and came for the week to share with the rest of other former colleagues in an EXGO reunion.

So that’s the ‘big event’ that Dina referred to when she made me the invitation to join her on the trip.

When Hiio said he lives in Montreal, it instantly reminded me of the road trip Mark, my ex-rommate and her former significant other, and I made there during college on a Thanksgiving weekend. (Please refer to ‘The Bostonian’ story.)

I returned there about eight years ago with my ‘x’ and still have very fond memories of both times, and it’s a city I would definitely like to return to again someday. (Hmm, am I already forecasting my next future trip?)

He shared with me that he has a morning show and is Program Director at Mohawk-Radio, a punk rock and roll station, among other things, and came down to Cancun with one of his daughters.

I did share somewhat about my personal life that related to that other chapter in my past existence, but emphasized more on Dina’s friendship and how happy I was for being at the resort.

And speaking of the devil… Just when I was engaged in a very insightful conversation with ‘Monty’ (my toast experience with Pirate), who else could appear out of nowhere, faster than the speed of light, but…Dina!



{November 15, 2008}   The Bostonian 11 – I’m back!

Annette and I parked on the lot next to the building where the apartment we lived in is located. I stand on the same spot I stood before I left school. The same spot where I promised myself I would be back.

‘I’m back. I’m finally back!’ I said to myself.

Most of the students have not yet arrived to campus, so unfortunately there’s no one inside.

We kept walking around the complex and found the other apartment Annette and I shared when we first met; no one’s inside either. This is where I first met Mark shortly before the Canada trip.

I then searched for my sophomore-year apartment that housed four people. The door’s open. There are people here, awesome!

I knocked on the door and shouted, “Hello…!”
I heard a guy respond, “Yeah?”
“I lived here many moons ago. Do you mind if I came in?” I asked.
“No problem, go ahead,” the guy said.

I ran up the stairs and came face to face with two guys. They looked at me as if I was an angel who had just descended from heaven. One had a face that read, ‘Thank You!’ as if his prayers had finally been answered.

“OMG! It looks exactly as I remember it!” I exclaimed. I took a good look at the kitchen and living room and felt once again the excitement of the new school year like in the past.

Do you mind if I go upstairs?” I then asked.

The guys are still in a daze. One of them finally snaps out of it. “Ah, sure…”

And off I went up the stairs. The bed, desk, and dresser are still there. The space looked smaller that what I remembered and the years of constant use of the furniture showed.

The bed that I slept in is empty; the fourth roommate has not yet arrived. I sat on it and looked out the window like I used to back then. Back when I lived days one at a time, back when I wondered what was out there for me when I left this place.

It’s a beautiful, sunny day. I closed my eyes and felt traveling back in time. For a brief moment I was again that sophomore college student who had no idea where she was headed, but knew would get there somehow.

I embraced the moment and that person. I realized she wasn’t gone; it just became dormant the minute I changed my way to please (him).

I then opened my eyes and found the inner peace I needed to go on, just like I did before.

Annette and I had more to see. We thanked the guys for their hospitality and as we are going down the stairs towards the door, a man who is one of their fathers is coming up. He looked at me like, ‘Where did you come from?’

“Did you see those guys’ faces when we were there?” I asked Annette after exiting the apartment.

She laughed out loud. “I must tell you that they were looking at you, and I will say this, after not seeing you for so many years, I think you look awesome!”

Annette and I walked everywhere, including past the building where the Halloween parties used to be held. I looked at the walkway from the last apartment we both shared that leads to it, and I got a flashback. I saw Mark, Annette and I walking all dressed up in our costumes, ready to party the night away.

The memory is playing back in my mind when I asked myself this: if I had the chance to go back in time to my college years and live it all over again, would I?

The last stop we made was at the school pond and sat on the boardwalk. We’re heading back to Boston afterwards. I looked around and took a picture in my mind of the whole place.

No, I can’t turn back time. The years that I spent here belong to that time and space and cannot be changed. I exhaled. I finally got the closure I needed for this period in my life.

So now, what about my current one?

Ever since the break-up occurred, I’ve been considering that perhaps it would be better for me to relocate somewhere else and start my life over. I have decided I will not. I will find the way to make it work.

It’s time to leave this place. It’s time for me to go back to ‘the city’ and live the life that I deserve.

I no longer feel scared about anything. I know I will definitely be fine.



{November 13, 2008}   The Bostonian 9 – Road trip

I flew to Boston about a month later. Ross never contacted me again.

On the second day of my visit, Annette and I hit the road to Connecticut to visit our school. Dr. S was expecting me.

I have been contacting him on and off throughout the years, and he’s never been short of encouraging words. In other words, he has never stopped believing in me.

About two hours later in our road trip, we finally got to school and parked on the first spot we found.

We’re here! I’m as excited as the day I first stepped foot on campus. I took a good look at the place. I felt 18 again. I wanted to run across campus just like when I was late for class.

“Let’s go, he’s waiting for us,” I told Annette.

We arrived at Dr. S’s office and he’s on a meeting, so we sat in a waiting area for his return.

About 20 minutes later I see Dr. S walking down the hallway. Our eyes make contact and felt for a moment as if time has not gone by.

It’s him!! I got up from my seat and stroke a ‘how do I look?’ pose with a big smile on my face. I then ran up to him.

“Wow! Look at you!” says Dr. S. He has a face he quite can’t believe that I’m here standing in front of him.

We gave each other a warm hug. I closed my eyes and held back my tears. After all these years, my wish finally came true. I don’t remember the last time I felt this happy.

After the formal introductions, etc., we all then went to lunch.

Conversation during this time revolved around many things: Annette and I being roommates, our days as students, life. My divorce.

Dr. S understands what I’ve gone through. He got divorced once, but now is happily remarried. He knows all about it, he’s been there.

I’m looking at Dr. S and wonder what he is thinking or might be remembering about me.

The last day I saw him I was just a student waiting for life to start. Here I was now, all grown-up and divorced, waiting for life to give me a second chance to make it happen again.

It’s now been more than a decade since I left this place. How much of that then 21-year old Emma is still in me?



et cetera