I would like to share with you something that’s been on my conscience for the past few days. I need to explain the background for you first, though.
I’d been rather disappointed that Karate Kid didn’t contact me to see if I’d arrived safely to China. So much so, that I’d been planning how to orchestrate the break up. I believed there is a good chance that he may have moved out before I even return home, which would make it easy.
Because of being upset over the lack of communication, I hadn’t mentioned Karate Kid to anyone else on the tour. I hadn’t even spoken about him with my parents. This is where things got a little more complicated…..
Our tour group was like a small family. We all got along quite well and looked out for one another. Even the tour guides commented on the close bond of the group. I was amazed about how much I learned about the other travellers just by small snippets that others in the group shared with me – I guess that’s called gossip.
On the tour were my family contingent of four, six older couples, three solo females and a mother with her two twin sons. At the start of the tour I was rather standoffish and in a mood. I tried to keep my bad vibes to myself as I sulked over Karate Kid lack of interest. Eventually, I started coming out of my shell and slowly bonded with the group. They were all so careful and considerate of my blind Father. I really appreciated it.
It wasn’t until a few days in that I noticed that one of the twins was being extra tentative to the needs of my family and I. He and his brother were very respectful and friendly to everyone in the group, so I didn’t notice it at first.
I started to tweek when he kept offering his services. He’d offer to help guide my Father. He’d offer to help me carry things. He’d offer to take photos of he saw me attempting to take a selfie. His phone produced better quality photos than mine also (his cheekier brother liked to point that out). He also would stand with me and my Father at times when we were lagging behind.
During conversation on the train to see the Terracotta Warrirors he asked where I worked and where I lived. It turns out that he works in the office buildings very close to my new place. He lives further West.
From one of the other travellers I learned that they were five years older than me and that one was engaged. It must have been other other twin. The twin that had been most tentative to us was more reserved than his cheeky brother. They both had great senses of humour. Their Mother was also lovely as well. They were all good people.
I became more aware of things when one of the Greek ladies on the tour pulled me aside and told me to seek love out rather than waiting for it to come to me. She told me about how she had encouraged her daughters to signal to men their interest. She’d tell them to smile or say hello. I find this very forward for me, I generally look down to avoid eye contact as I’m shy around men that interest me. The Greek lady made it crystal clear at what she was hinting at.
I became more self conscience of the group observing our interactions. I felt awkward because I was attracted to him, but I had unfinished business with Karate Kid to tend to. If things had have been okay between us I would have mentioned Karate Kid early on. I didn’t want to talk about him with anyone. One of the solo female travellers asked me if I had a boyfriend the first day and I said ‘Kind of. It’s still very early days and we don’t communicate well so things are unclear at times’. I wasn’t prepared to pour my heart out to her. She stopped asking questions after that.
In strict confidence, let me tell you more about the twin….these thoughts that have been going through my mind during the later part of the trip. He is younger and fitter than Karate Kid. He communicates more clearly and dresses nicer than Karate Kid. He is very gentle, respectful and tentative to my needs. Importantly, he is very polite and engaging with my family. I did notice his efforts to make a connection with them all. In terms of looks and job, I’d say that they are on par.
Before I had really analysed things with The Twin, I had already sent a message to Karate Kid. This was my opening message (I promise that I do try to not come across as overly emotional):
“You never said in return that you would miss me too. Over the past five days I’ve come to understand that you couldn’t say it because it wouldn’t be true.
You’re on your phone all day every day, but you don’t want to talk with me.
If there’s someone else you are wanting to be with please just tell me, KK. Please be honest with me. Please.
Karate Kid replied soon after:
“I am missing you.
I wasnt sure if you were contactable. I just saw you online on FB and i started to talking to you but you ignored me. I checked to see what time it was in China, i thought you were probably too tired to talk to me.
You didn’t tell me when you arrived safely in China or anything. I thought you were having too much fun in China to remember me.
Message me tonight so that i can Facebook call you.”
He then sent another message:
“There is so much to tell you! !! My sister gave birth over the weekend!!”
His messages did diffuse the situation a bit. I was still disappointed that he didn’t take the initiative to contact me first like a gentleman should. I replied:
“That’s fantastic news. I hope that she and baby are doing well.
I don’t have access to messenger on my phone and likely never will. I can only see profiles and events. I never received your msg last night and can’t do phone calls over FB.
I had no battery until the second night when I had a charger. It really hurt to have text messages come through but none from you…”
Just between you and I Dear Diary, the two days included the overnight flight…It just makes more of an impact this way…
He defended his actions:
“I have never been overseas, let alone China. To me it is still a developing Country.
How is China? The great wall looks beautiful…. i wish i was there with you. I have been coming home to an empty house. No cheerful wabbit to welcome me with hugs and kisses.
I’m walking to work now. I just called you. Unsure if you received that.
I understand you feel hurt. I hurt too, thinking you are ignoring me.”
Why couldn’t he just go out of his way and voluntarily send a message like that rather than me squeezing it out of him?
“I was just down at breakfast, sorry I missed the call. The tour bus leaves soon.
I knew you were enjoying the weekend doing lots of things. I thought that you were too busy to stop and think of me. I wasn’t ignoring you, I was waiting for you to have time to say hello. I didn’t want to interrupt your fun, give you a chance to enjoy the freedom that [mutual male friend] talks about. Then with time I thought that you just didn’t want to talk with me at all.”
Not explaining himself any further, he replied:
“Send me a photo of you with the Terracotta Warrirors! 🙂”
Just a smiley face? Where is my ‘xo’? He doesn’t do it anymore.
We sent a couple of messages with photos over the next two days. He sent me a photo of him wearing an Infinity Guantlet that he’s wanting to buy. I was hoping that he’d send a photo of him with his new niece.
We didn’t text for the next day and a half. I had spent enough money on mobile roaming and wasn’t prepared to write more until he wrote something of substance….maybe that he missed me etc.
The morning of the last day in China he sent through another message:
“Good day, just fyi, i get notifications on your flights in case there is a delay. Also I’ve arranged for Nice Guy to pick you up from the airport. Is it bad that i secretly hope its delay so i can pick you up? :p
Anyway have a safe trip back and i look forward in hearing all your stories about China. -Raccon. 🙂 ”
Again, no ‘xo’, just a smiley face.
He wasn’t able to pick me up as he would be at an important family lunch. I was surprised that he had actually organised for Nice Guy to pick me up. I was still happy with the arrangement but didn’t reply. I would text when I was back on home ground.
IMAGE: [JANA GUOTHOVA] 123RF.COM