Not many of my stories start with 'long long ago at dusk...' but this one certainly does. Back in 2009 (yes, 4 years ago, please note this) I was with my netball team celebrating our first league win at Enigma Bar, in Rochester. Dressed up in our netball outfits, we were drinking and dancing and having a laugh. In my merry state I spotted this guy who looked the spit of Freddie Prince Jnr in his 'She's All That' phase, so I went over to talk to him.Tall, dark, well dressed, attractive he was also very sweet and immediately offered me his seat at the table, getting up to go buy me a drink from the bar. He could have been laced with arrogance due to his good looks but instead, he was chatty, funny, and constantly smiling. One of those 'happy' people. I couldn't quite believe my luck. Bad luck, actually, as it turns out.
At the time I was in the "repairing my non-relationship" haze with the ex fiancee, who I wasn't really in love with anymore due to his cheating ways, but was still seeing him. Hindsight I should have dumped his sorry ass instantly and made a severe move on Freddie, but alas, I'm a helpless romantic and so carried on seeing the ex to see if we could fix it (don't bother trying to fix a relationship when the trust is broken by the way. No worldly superglue can stick that shit back together). Anyway, the ex was due to pick me up and in his typical selfish way turned up at the bar an HOUR EARLY because he was bored and wanted to go back to mine. I was like...fuck. Freddie is here and adorable and chatting and the ex is sitting in his car waiting. I should have made him sit there for another hour to prove a point, but I excused myself and left without even getting anything except Freddie's first name. No biggy, I wasn't really ever expecting it to make much difference to my life, just another guy at a bar.
A few months on I am sitting having coffee outside a quaint cafe in Rochester high street, and who should walk past but Freddie. I said to my girl... Oh my that's the guy from the bar that night! I still remembered him, and he did me because he stopped to say a brief hi. He's still so chatty, so smiley, so beautiful...but by this point I was knee deep in the Mr.Boss phase so once again, I let Freddie walk merrily on his way without even attempting to get his number. I'll also admit back then I didn't have half the balls I do now, so was also too scared to just ask him outright for a drink.
It was very unlike me, but I would often think about him now and again, and wonder what would have happened if I seized the opportunity to get his fucking digits. Usually if I let an opportunity go, I figure I'm not that bothered and don't spare it a second thought. This wasn't, as I previously thought, just another random guy I met once at a bar. I really remembered him. I wanted to see him again. When I headed out into Rochester I often kept an eye out in case he was at the same place...but alas, nothing. I couldn't even find him on social media because, I only had his first name and that was it. Lame. I eventually decided he must just be 'the one that got away' and resigned myself to never seeing him again.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
I saw him this morning. Yep, 4 years on. I thought, this really could be 3rd time lucky. He is still SO attractive, and it proves how much of an impression he left on me that even after only a drunken tryst and a 2 minute chat in the street, I still recognised him so many years later waiting at the station. So, the 26 year old version of me went up to him and was like "Are you Freddie by any chance?" and with his gorgeous smile back he confirms it is so. Universe, you've finally delivered. And thus begins our conversation. He lives in Rochester, same as me, he works in London, same as me, he's over 30 which means he's a decent potential partner, he made me laugh...he laughed at the stupid things I said, so friendly, so sweet, so BUFF, and as we discuss our apartments he explains he lives with HIS GIRLFRIEND.
Now, Universe, I'd like a fucking word with you. If this really WAS an American rom-com he would still be single (or at least newly single) and ask for my number. We'd go for drinks, for dinners, and soon we'd be wearing matching Christmas jumpers kissing under mistletoe and I'd recall the fateful day we were brought back together to rekindle a wonderful romance that was 4 long years over-due. But this isn't an American chick flick, it's the fricking Nixalina one woman show. Hence why when I saw him again this morning I am hungover as Hell, wearing no make-up, hair in a shitty ponytail and get told he's in a relationship. A serious one at that if they're living together. A bird may as well have shat on my head during our conversation for good measure.
How could I have let this happen? I am KICKING myself. That girlfriend, I feel, has basically stolen the dude I was meant to end up with. Bitch. Okay, she's probably not a Bitch I bet she's an absolute sweetheart. It's like the universe enjoys mocking me so!! "Oh hai Nix, here's your perfect partner. But wait...we're sending in a cheating ex-fiancee to intervene. And here he is again, but you lack the balls to get his number. Fast forward and here he is again, but lets throw in a curve ball of a doting girlfriend, who he lives with so very close to you, just for the fun of it."
He really IS the one that got away. And so the reason I am writing this tale of woe is a stern warning ladies - do not do what I did and let him walk by. If you see a guy out, albeit at a bar, club, bus stop, museum, park wherever, just bloody well go up to him and start talking. Ask for his number. What really is the worst that can happen, seriously? If he has a girlfriend, fine, you've lost nothing. But if you don't act on it, then you could potentially be missing out on something awesome with a genuinely great dude, and he'll run off and create happy memories with something else who bothered to go approach him.
I hope he's very happy and his girlfriend is an absolute delight.
To Hell I do.