“Come by and see me at my coffee shop,” the note on my Facebook wall said from one Jonathan (my Travel Love from Zagreb) who was now residing in Amsterdam.
As soon as I received that message, a little glimmer of what I felt in Zagreb shot through me. I had sent Jonathan a message earlier in the week, keeping it real casual because I didn’t want to come off as that crazy girl he shared one night with way back in September in a foreign country.
I didn’t expect him to respond. So, when he did … well, it made the memories from Croatia come reeling back into my mind.
Immediately, I messaged N, informing her there was a guy she and B had to meet in Amsterdam. That it was important to me we swing by his shop.
Being the amazing, wonderful and fantastic friends they are, they agreed instantly.
As the weekend in Amsterdam grew closer, my mind began to wander towards my reunion with Jonathan.
What would happen? Would he recognize me when I walked into the shop? Would he be nice? What the hell would we talk about?
I came up with two scenarios:
1. I walk into the bar, light glistening perfectly off of my brown hair, eyes glinting with fire. I spot him from across the room and gracefully, elegantly descend down the steep, narrow stairs (it IS Amsterdam). Our eyes lock. Electric. Then, it’s just he and I in the large coffee shop.
“D,” he says to me, breathless. “I’m so glad you came.”
“Me too,” I respond, smiling.
“Let’s go outside and smoke this spliff,” he offers.
Yes. Of course.
He walks out from behind the bar displaying all of the goodies under shiny glass and grabs me hand, leading me out with a nudge in the small of my back.
We go outside and don’t even light the spliff.
Hot make-out session ensues.
“Move to Amsterdam,” he begs. “I cannot live without you.”
“Yes,” I agree. “Tomorrow.”
Cue hot make-out session again.
Move to Amsterdam and live life with the hot tattooed man.
2. I walk into the bar, clumsily take each step singularly, almost slipping down the bottom two.
I walk up to the bar and see him. He looks up and catches me eye, and continues working.
He doesn’t recognize me.
I approach the bar.
“Hey there,” I say, hoping for some glimmer of recognition. Anything.
“What’ll ya have, mate?”
“Right, ummm …” I trip over my words. “Um, Jonathan, right?”
“Yeah,” he says, looking at me questioningly.
“Hi … it’s D … we met in Zagreb … you told me to come by your shop …”
“Right, heya mate. How are ya?”
“Ummm … good …”
“Well, what can I get for you?”
I depart with more hashish than I ever needed and exit the bar, dignity barely intact.
Suddenly, the memories I treasured with him were in jeopardy of being washed away by this new experience. And, I didn’t know how much I wanted that to happen. I liked thinking of him fondly, of the night that was so memorable … and the thought of walking into his coffee shop and struggling to make conversation … trying to find that connection we had months ago …
So, instead, I decided on creating a new scenario. The one that worked best for me.
“Are you sure you are OK with not going?” N asked me over a late afternoon beer, following my medical trauma earlier in the day.
“Yeah, I think so,” I answered.
I liked the person he was from the night we shared. I liked the memory of the night. I didn’t want it to morph into something else because I wanted one more moment with him.
When I told my mom I was skipping meeting up with him, her answer surprised me.
“D,” she said, thousands of miles away in Maryland, “I think you’re growing up.”
Hmmm. I guess that’s what it’s called, eh?