The New M.E. Generation











{January 25, 2016}   The Ex-Friend 20 – I wish I may

I was really glad that the visit to the elderly couple was over. We were there for about 4 hours and just got to the point I was getting upset.

Don’t get me wrong dude; if you want to visit them, please do so on your own time, not during my birthday weekend. On top of that, you complaint about others using your mom, you, or other people, but you definitely did it with me for this.

The next stop was a flea market in his college town that I had visited during my Spring Break visit. From there we stopped at the beach. It was here where the beach guy called me when I was getting my photos taken (please see the Looking Back story), to which I later answered when we were all sitting in the car. This was the phone call that the guy made the comment that ‘I was with my boyfriend’, to which I replied, “no, he’s not my boyfriend!” in a harsh tone.

I know I shouldn’t have answered that way, especially with my friend behind me, but it was frustrating that my friend was supposedly interested in taking our friendship further and the beach guy was not taking my interest seriously of hopefully taking things further between us.

Once again, I put the incident aside as we were still pending to do the last event of the day, get to another town and have dinner at a restaurant I had been before and always wanted to return.

At the end of the meal, the waiter brought out a dessert with a lit candle on it. I got emotional and tears came down my face before I blew out the candle.

I looked at both my friend and mom, and placed each of my hands into theirs, while thanking them both for all they had done for me the past days.

My friend smiled with joy, but his mom didn’t flinch. Her face looked like she was saying, ‘girl get yourself together’. The mom has always been one who never smiles at anyone or anything, don’t know why. She had a demeanor of someone who had a wall in front of her and showing no emotions.

Whatever the reason, I never liked this angry demeanor of her or whatever happened that made her like that, especially when my friend was now advocating forgiving people or shedding anything of the past that is anchoring you down into moving forward.

This woman was not capable of at least sharing the happiness of this moment or even making the effort of gifting me a smile. It was all about her and her only. I have never done anything to this woman that made me deserve this attitude.

It’s strange to think that as much as we say we will never be like our parents, somehow their character and actions follow us forever, and manages to influence our lives for better or worse.

How is it possible that my friend and I were conscious of the toxicity that we wanted to avoid, but showed signs of repeating the many chapters of others? Karma? The universe playing games?

Don’t know, but I only hope that my friend doesn’t become her. That’s not much to wish for, isn’t it?



During this trip I did pretty much the same as during Spring Break, except that soon I was about to go into the real world and was as lost as ever.

I liked being there with him; I felt protected in his environment and that anything would be possible. I kept looking at this guy and envied how well balanced he seemed and confident that things would turn out the right way.

I always admired that he would give thought to his plans, analyze the options that he had or were available, decide and stick to that until he achieved it. He would do it all calmly and stress free.

I was the opposite. I was anticipating all the obstacles before they hadn’t even occurred. I didn’t know what I was to do next and was already questioning myself how and if I would make it.

He saw how confused I was and suggested taking me to a palm reader that he had visited before.

I was shocked by his revelation as I always felt he didn’t need any outside influences to do anything. He was practically the only one I knew that would turn things around when they were not headed the way they should have.

The other matter to consider was that we attended a catholic school and were taught to follow or trust faith. Anything that didn’t fall under the established parameters weren’t considered correct.

I don’t know how he felt back then about his religious beliefs, but we were both careful on what we believed and trusted.

We shared that our parents had divorced at a young age, meaning we hit reality early on and that as much as you believed in a supreme being or not, there were things beyond your reach that you couldn’t control, because they didn’t had to do with you, but could scar you for life.

That’s probably why I’ve always considered myself spiritual than religious. Or maybe it was that after 12 years of daily classes it overwhelmed me instead of embracing it.

Life as I knew it was one where people would come together for the best reasons to later distance (or separate) for good. It was the effect of wanting to be close to others, but not too much, because you knew one day they could abruptly walk out of your existence with no explanation.

And this is how I’ve dealt with guys all along. I want to be with someone, but always put a wall in between, keeping the necessary proximity, so in case they go, it won’t hurt that much (or so I say).

The only one that had never done that was this guy and I was confident he would never do. It would be decades later to learn how wrong I was, because to keep up the faith, sometimes not even a little prayer works.



The rest of my Spring Break went great. He took me everywhere, even to places that you had to drive some. But it was worth it.

Like my father would say to me many years later, ‘you never know what places you will have a chance to go to that you might not return, so take it as an adventure when you do.’ I loved all cities I visited and put it in my bucket list to return one day.

I did visit my friend one more time before he completed his studies. He really dedicated his efforts in his career; he was doing 1-2 summer sessions, and eventually some graduate courses.

I remember he telling me how some classes was done ‘in the field’ or outside the classroom with the airplanes. The summer heat and rain were memorable, so all students and classes had to start on time. By no later than 11am the weather would get very bad and everyone had to leave the area.

The second time I visited and he picked me up at the airport was as great as the first time, except I was older and almost out of school, meaning my uncertainties about the future were already looming over me.

“So, what do you want to do?” asked he when I got into the car.

“I want to buy a bathing suit. Take me to a good mall,” replied I.

My friend got surprised. He probably thought I wanted to have a drink or something. He took me to a great one and I walked in to the first bathing suit store I saw.

I was determined to buy a bikini, don’t know why because my weight wasn’t exactly how I wanted it to be. I don’t think I was that overweight, but as a woman it was an issue that always lingered.

In the store I found one with red, black and white colors. I walked outside the dressing room to show him and get his opinion. “What do you think?” asked I in a serious tone like, ‘tell me the truth.’

My friend’s eyes and mouth opened wide. I couldn’t decipher if it was good or bad. “Aaaah… I think it looks good on you…,” said he in a tone that made me believe he didn’t want me to feel bad about my body.

“Be honest with me. We’ve always been that to each other, even if we don’t want to hear it.”

“Truth is, I’ve never seen you before in a bathing suit.”

What? How is it possible to have been living in a Caribbean island and friends since our early teens, and never spent time under the sun?

“We’ve never been together at the beach?? Not even at the school’s Junior/Senior picnic?’ asked I.

“I didn’t go because of what happened during my Senior year. I wasn’t into being there.”

The more I tried to remember, the more I realized that of all things we did back home this wasn’t one of them. And during the Spring Break week, I was covering my top with a college t-shirt, so he didn’t get a full view of me.

Now thinking back on it, it was contradictory in a way that we had emotionally shared so much, and in the physical it only went as far as the kiss and sharing a bed. I even believed he saw me in my underwear, so why the reaction in the suit?

I would feel at ease at all moments with him because I trusted he would never hurt me. And even him being a guy (who tend to be more liberal), also kept his privacy (including the bathroom door closed) when I visited him.

I realized that as much ‘open’ I thought we had been, we have closely guarded the outer shell that we present to the world and each other.

So how do you then define what we have? I don’t know, but when it comes to people, for sure there’s more than meets the eye.



The memories I have of this vacation start at getting to the apartment. It was clean and organized, with a living room, kitchen and half bath on the first floor, second floor had the 2 bedrooms and 1 full bath.

His room faced the front of the building and had what one needed when being in college: a bed, desk and TV. I believe he hand a nightstand and the closet had good space.

I took my suitcase to his room and set it on the floor. To keep the space organized, I decided to leave my things inside of it and take them out when needed. I think he provided me with some hangers and made space in the closet in case I wanted to use it.

Next memory that I have was that he had to go to school. I stayed behind and was taking a rest when the home phone rang. I rushed to answer it thinking it was he.

“Hello,” said I. There was a pause from the caller.

“Is (roommate name) there?” said the female voice with an unpleasant tone.

“No, may I take a message?”

“And who are you?” asked her.

“Me? I’m just visiting.” (Click.) What the hell? I looked at the phone puzzled, but put it down. The phone rang again just a few minutes later. This time I answered with a serious voice.

The same scenario repeated, except being asked who I was and I left out the message part. Second hung up of the day. I wasn’t happy, but didn’t let it affect me and went back to my nap.

That’s how I was then. I was so naive I didn’t see it that when the caller heard my voice, she wasn’t content at all that I was there. For me, it had to do with her being totally rude and disturbing my beauty sleep.

In spite of already being away from home and exposed to a new environment, I still believed and trusted those people that were part of my life. What had occurred gave me no worries. I was confident nothing bad was to happen to me. I was there to have fun and nothing else mattered.

When my friend got back and I told him about it, he started laughing. It had been a while since I saw him like this and it was refreshing.

“That’s someone my roommate is seeing,” said he.

“Oh, his girlfriend.”

“Not exactly. There’s more than one. Well, that’s what he’s told me.”

“Whoever it is, she hung up on me twice.”

“Of course, the person was expecting a male voice. Besides, she obviously thought you’re with him.”

“Why? There’s also you here.”

“Yes, but she’s clearly insecure about herself and him. She’s now in a panic mode.”

“That’s stupid jumping into conclusions when she doesn’t even know me.”

“I think it’s incredible how he’s seeing many at once and haven’t been caught yet. You being here might change the chain of events.”

I was looking at him with a somewhat concerning look. I just got here and the wave hit me before getting to the beach. Universe, give me a break, not this one, please.



After graduating from high school and going to college, our communication decreased even more. I was like him; my mind was focused on the future of leaving home and starting a new life outside all that surrounded me.

I still learned about him through his family and always sent my regards, and whenever we saw each other or spoke, it was as if neither time nor space had affected our relationship.

Such an example of this was when I was on my sophomore year; my boyfriend came to visit and out of nowhere he called me. I don’t know how he got my number, but I completely dedicated my attention to him. I believe it has been over a year from last we spoke, and I was more than happy to talk to him.

It was one of those conversations that could last for hours. I was ignoring my then BF, but he didn’t complaint or got upset with me. Our relationship was on the brink of ending, so I think he remembered what this guy had told him about me, and probably didn’t want the situation to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The next year we broke up, well, I broke it off, for many reasons beyond him pressuring me. My friend and I were resumed our conversations from that day on and he invited me to go visit him for Spring Break. I quickly jumped at the opportunity.

Because I didn’t have that much money, the year before I went home. Although there were plenty of beaches, I was curious to experience what a real event like this was about.

I was attending college in the Northeast and he in the South, at a city famous for hosting these breaks. This was the ultimate college moment that anyone needed to do at least once. Getting out of the cold was even better.

My friend’s schedule was different than mine, but he was living at a 2-bedroom apartment off campus with another guy, plus he had a car.

This was the perfect scenario for me; we could spend some time together and I would have some independence to venture out on my own.

He living at an apartment felt better than visiting him at a dorm full of men. It also avoided the question of where I would sleep.

Knowing how my friend was, I was certain he would have a sofa I could crash on. I never asked him before my arrival about this, but I believed he offered his bed for myself.

I wasn’t worried; I was confident I would arrive to a safe, clean place that anyone would enjoy staying at. I was sure that I would have a memorable vacation, one that I now look back upon fondly, but filled with certain moments I never thought would repeat in other circumstances many years later.

And now that details are slowly coming back to mind, I ask myself (or perhaps the universe) if these were coincidental or meant to occur (even when they had nothing to do with me directly) to test (or perhaps prepare) me for the present life?

Let’s just say, you’ve been warned.



After sitting down and ordering a drink (a beer because I felt that would be more of a college level thing than wine which is more of an ‘adult’ choice), I decided to put aside the first few details of the night that had bothered me. I wasn’t expecting to be a totally awesome night, but at least one that I wouldn’t later regret.

This guy and I started a conversation and the most obvious topic for me to discuss was his experience with the dating site.

“I’m still trying to figure out why you got interested in me,” said I. “I’m sure there’s other women aiming to have a career like yours in what you’re studying. The school is pretty large overall, so the options are endless.”

“True, but, I’ve always tried to experience many things. I’ve never done only one thing throughout my life,” answered he. “For example, I did my undergrad in journalism and after graduation, I traveled abroad to get exposed to new people and cultures. I wanted to do that before getting totally dedicated to medicine.

Yes, there are girls who want the same goals as me, but they either want a commitment early on or don’t want to get involved at all. Right now I want neither. I’m just experiencing things, that’s all.”

When I heard the part about his travels abroad after college made me feel sad. I miss my college days, but I never had the money to travel for Spring Break or anywhere else after school.

I never really knew what I wanted to do during my first few years after graduating. Sometimes I feel I wasted those years, until deciding to do a Master’s degree. I had this great need to challenge myself and aspire to make something better of my life.

A few years later, and during my first job (in the field I was actually studying), it was when I met my ‘x’.

I know you will probably think, “and the rest is history”. It sure was, but when I look back, I remember achieving positive things, but tangled in-between with these bad memories.

Getting married was definitely a milestone, but the following years weren’t so great. The relationship was difficult and some situations were unbearable to sustain, and my career wasn’t that great either.

I did manage to graduate and achieve other personal things, which I make an effort to keep present for my positive wellbeing.

Then came the divorce and other years of rebuilding, of not knowing how I was going to survive on my own, of was I ever going to find another love in my life.

And there I was, sitting with guy number (what?) that I met online, wondering one thing: what number is he, or life in general, going to pull on me now?



I got on my car and tried to keep calm while driving. The 20-something guy suggested a place to meet that I’ve heard before, but never been to. We were to meet outside of the location and take it from there, in case the place wasn’t worth staying.

I got there about 20 minutes later. I parked on the other side of the sidewalk of him and he got off the car first.

‘He doesn’t look that bad,’ I thought to myself. He actually looked better in person that his photos, which is not usually how it goes. But, hey, if you post a photo of you sticking your tongue out during Spring Break week, your hope is that the real thing is way better than that.

He greeted me politely and still seemed well mannered from what I perceived from his phone voice. So far, so good?

“This place looks kind of dead to me. We should probably go somewhere else,” said he. He was right, not much activity was going on.

“There’s this jazz bar not far from here that has a nice ambience. I think it’s a good alternative for drinks and the music is good. We can even walk there,” said I.

The first sign of how our worlds were different was when we were walking on the sidewalk. Where I come from, the man walks on the side that faces the street so they protect the women from any dangers that may occur.

I didn’t say anything because I didn’t wanted to start the night ‘on a bad step’, or sounding perhaps like his mom, whom I bet is probably more or less my age. And that would make me feel old, which I didn’t want to go there. Besides, I have barely seen anything else of him, so I have to give it a chance.

We got to the jazz bar and found a table outside. It was pretty filled up and the music was playing. But, again, he didn’t display a behavior I’m used to, like a guy helping a lady sit on the chair.

Is it me being too old school or just too picky with any guy, period?

Looking back, I think many of the past guys were quite immature for their age, Or maybe I have been too critical of all of them.

Whatever I’ve lived in the past, I’m in the present sitting at a table with a young guy who I don’t think has any clue of what basic etiquette is.

Either I liked it or not, I felt as if I had a mirror with my own reflection telling me the truth of this moment: He’s way out of my league or, for a lack of better words, I’m too old for him.



I didn’t give up on my quest of finding a man after this minor incident. It was ironic to think that I wanted to meet a guy contemporary with my age and I was getting messages from 20-somethings as young as 21.

Looking at the ‘Visitors’, some were even as young as 18 and living abroad. Where’s the adult supervision here? For crying out loud, this is a child! Find someone your own age. You have no business in this dating site to begin with.

Let me see what the others look like or have to stay. I know it’s a waste of time even reading the messages. But since I’ve been unlucky with my search, at least feeling flattered for a few minutes it’s worth it.

‘What do you think about dating older men?’ read a message from a 23-year old. Oh, no, here we go again (that’s if I want to).

I checked out his profile and it read that he was doing his post-grad with the goal of becoming a doctor. What, another ‘beach guy’ headed my way? Please universe, not again!

In his main photo he was wearing this huge sunglasses and had very blond hair; bet he’s probably in a fabulous beach. In the second he was abroad. In the third he was shirtless with a beer in his hand, his tongue sticking out, and next to a guy. He was also in great shape and quite tall.

Let me guess, Spring Break with a ‘frat brother’ in Mexico. He definitely knows how to have fun.

I looked at all of them and started remembering my time in college and got mixed feelings. It was good in the sense that I away from home and finally had the opportunity of being myself.

But I didn’t know what I was to do afterwards, mainly because I was in the process of discovering who I was as a person, and had no sense of direction.

It took me a lot of years to get to a place that I was somewhat comfortable with myself and thought I had it all defined when I got married.

The result was that I ended up loosing all that I represented, to the point I was totally clueless about anything when my ‘past life’ ended.

I’ve been regaining my sense of self, esteem, and all that I am about, but have been a long and painful process.

I looked at the photos again and became sad. If I had the chance to go back in time and do it again, would I?

If I could go back to college with the present knowledge I have, yes. Doing it with the ‘blank canvas’ I was, not too sure.

I know that in going back you have your whole life ahead of you, but presently I still have that as well.

So, what am I doing with this one? Am I answering a message of a guy who seems to be the poster child of ‘party central’ or perhaps ‘globe trotter’?

Maybe I should do the same and stick my tongue out at him and this situation.



Sometime in the afternoon I get another text message.

‘I’m in town. Wanted to say hello to the most beautiful girl in town.’

‘Who is this Jesse?’

‘YeAh’ (Yeah or ‘yehaa’. Oh no, I have a feeling he’s going to say he wants to see me.

‘How long are you in town for?’

‘Leaving later today unfortunately.’ (Now it’s my turn: yehaa!)

(Hold your horses) ‘After I see you’ texted he.

Instead of getting a bombed dropped on me, I felt instead that I got lassoed. So, how do I take the bull by the horns or, better yet, untangle from this situation?

‘Not at home right now. What time is your flight?’

‘I drove.’ (this sounds so spring break.) ‘I can leave whenever.’

I felt the bull was headed straight at me. ‘I will call you later; not at home.’

‘I would really like to see you.’

No, not again. I mean, I was really not at home and was not going to stop what I was doing to accommodate him, and then he decides to show up at the wee hours of the morning? Forget that!

This is what I’ll do. Later on in the day I will text him back, when he has already left. (I would imagine he would leave at a descent time before dark.) Then he will say he’s already gone, and I will be ‘saved’ instead of turning him down again. (Good enough.)

Besides, even if I had all the time in the world, I don’t think it’s worth the effort to see him. It’s done, over with. He needs to go back home and continue his life.

Hopefully he won’t call, especially while driving, and at a time that’s not 3am.



et cetera