Life

Frank.

An Englishman, the L-word, a dangerous sexual kink, a dramatic breakup and a bottle of Belvedere.

For those who are new here, I post at a rate of once per month. Those who are close to me know I am in the middle of writing my first novel and these blogs take some time to put together. Events need to transpire, trips need to be taken and essentially, life has to happen in order to form stories worth telling. That being said since I posted my Mr Somebody new blog back in June – three months ago now – I have been frequently asked on Twitter and Instagram what has happened between him and me since then. I was initially confused by the interest, but then I put myself in your shoes. I introduced this incredibly intriguing character and have left you hanging ever since. Oops! My apologies. I can assure you though this tell-all is just as intriguing as the man himself. This goes out to the readers who were dying to know all about the Mystery Man. I have written and re-written this post four times, trying to be clear in what I wanted to say and I just don’t think I can be. So fuck it… Here goes.

Allow me to formally introduce Mr Somebody New to you. *Frank. It’ll only be obvious to him why I’ve given him this name. Of course, he’s no longer new to me though. He is a very charming, smart-alec Englishman with the unique ability to infuriate me and make me adore him in the same breath. I am always thinking about Frank. At work, at training, even when I write. I can’t get a good night’s sleep without snapshots of his face and words that have been said playing on repeat in my head. Here’s how messed up I am over it all… I rarely ever drank and now? I have two or three Gins almost every night, just to feel sedated enough to sleep heavy, without tossing and turning, wishing he was there. The Botanist – tonic water, a slice of orange, a sprig of rosemary – stirred, not shaken.

Before writing this I was never able to work out why Frank has such a strong grip on me and it made me so angry. Maybe that’s why I refrained from writing about him for so long because I am upset and confused. I don’t even know what we were, or are, or if we’re anything anymore at all. The story of Frank and I feels like one of those stories where we may reunite years later down the track when the timing is right. At least I hope it is. In the beginning, I thought he was just this handsome, young guy who would be a nice distraction from the mess I had just caused with Berg but Berg is not even someone who enters my thoughts anymore. Not even a little bit. Frank, however, has become someone I will never be able to forget. I can confidently say, without a shadow of a doubt, that when I do get married, I won’t be standing there wondering what life might have been like if any of my exes were standing there at the altar with me. But if that man who is standing there isn’t Frank, I will always wonder. I will always wonder where he is, who he’s with and if he’s happy. I’ll always wonder where our lives might have gone, places we might have seen and things we might have achieved together had Frank been the man I ended up with. I still hope he is.

Before I get into the entire recount of events that have occurred in the last four months, it’s important you know, and he knows if he’s ever reading this, I am so in love with him. I think I always will be, even though to him I may have never acted like I do. It’s a strange thing to admit given our circumstances but I couldn’t possibly find another way to describe what I feel when I talk about Frank. Sometimes I think Love isn’t even the right word, that it’s such a watered-down version of what I actually feel. But it is what it is and I can no longer fight with myself over it. My chest always feels tight when I go to thinking of him and I get a lump in my throat I can never swallow because he’s not here and I don’t know where this goes now. As I sit here on the couch writing this now, I can picture him next to me, his hand tracing lines up and down my leg, while I try to act as enthusiastic about watching his football team play as I do when watching the UFC. I mean, who even plays for Southampton FC? And it’s so real to me, I can actually see him. His handsome dark features, skin that in the summer betrays the fact he’s a through and through Pommy boy and the most mischievous, constantly up to no good, smile.  It’s important you know this first because how you feel about Frank may change over the course of this blog and I feel myself wanting to protect him.

If you have read the second most recent blog ‘Look What You Made Me Do, I’m With Somebody New’ then you know the circumstances at the time of meeting Frank. I knew very quickly I had serious feelings for him and knowing how that burned me previously, I really tried my best to remain cool and unaffected by him from the very start. When Frank and I met initially we were both in the same city. Which of course makes things easy but the travelling Australian came to find out this hot new man not only hailed from but actually lives in the South of England. The distance was always going to be a difficult obstacle, but one we decided to just get over and deal with knowing my arrival in the UK was imminent and very soon we’d be in the same time zone again. He was on board, I was on board and so instead of making the smart decision to just part ways and meet up for a beer when I arrived in England, we got suckered into the chemistry and decided to torture ourselves via WhatsApp.

It all started just fine. We were mad for each other. It was that same feeling of excitement any two people feel when they realise they have stumbled into something pretty unique with each other. Until we got a little further down the road, I never wondered where I stood with Frank. What I learnt early on though, was that he wasn’t the best communicator. He struggles to say what he means and it’s very difficult for him to be open about who he is. His family and past relationships, I got the gist pretty quickly were not up for discussion. My relentless probing meant he had no choice but to spill all about it one night and that was the first and last time I ever had a true glimpse into his life beyond what he has volunteered to me. But from what very little I could gather, his relationships with the women in his family, aside from his Nan, were rocky, to say the least, and his relationship with his ex-girlfriend of four years only ended a matter of months prior to meeting me. Neither of which made me feel particularly at ease when it came to his capabilities as a partner. It all might have been a red flag; his barely tolerant attitude towards his mother, the fresh breakup of a long term relationship and his inability to open up to me and communicate much about the man he is. A red flag I ignored because one thing he could communicate very well was how he felt about me. And isn’t that enough? To know a man is so smitten by you and comfortable with you that it only took a few drinks at the pub for him to feel compelled to call and tell me he’s in love with me. Over and over again. I always took it with a grain of salt and put it down to the fact he was just drunk or just swept up in the very steamy bubble we had created for ourselves, but part of me always wondered if he meant it. The same part of me always wished I had said it back. I guess, now I sort of have, in a way. I’ll never forget the day I was in a meeting at work and he called 17 times. When I finally called him back, he said: “I just needed to hear your voice.” If that doesn’t make you melt like Gran’s Pavlova on a hot Christmas Day in Bondi I don’t know what will. Frank and I just never ran out of things to say. We made plans, we knew what was waiting for us when I got to England. We bickered and took the piss but we kept it fun and our sexy phone text game was strong. Too strong.

The bubble had to burst eventually because let’s face it,  the deck was stacked against us. Problem 1 – the distance. Problem 2 – the stupid decision to stay in touch while we were separated. Problem 3 – Communication is not Frank’s strong suit, when the success of whatever it is we were calling this relied solely on our ability to do that well. Problem 4 – Not an issue he was aware of, but something that always played on my mind, the ex. Women always familiarise themselves with their new man’s ex, that’s just what we do but she wasn’t actually the issue. What kept bothering me was that I could have just been the rebound. I never felt threatened by her, what I felt threatened by was that she was still a very recent memory, after a long time spent together and I couldn’t help but wonder if Frank was potentially trying to get back a feeling he only recently lost, or if he was just into me because he had trusted me to do something very specific that she either couldn’t fulfill or didn’t know about. Problem 5 – Frank’s kink. Not long after we met, things got hot and heavy fast. The tension between Frank and I has always been immense and I think one of the things I love the most about him is the strong sexual attraction we have. I often catch myself staring out the window of my office thinking about the things he can do. Where his hands would be, where his lips would be. I can feel the graze of his beard against the skin on my stomach and his hair between my fingers when its that little bit longer to pull on – just the way I like it. When Frank became aware that I’m a very open-minded person, he felt comfortable enough to tell me about a secret kink of his.  Now, there’s no red room or whips and chains, it’s not some weird fetish or role-play type thing – its more a scenario. One that if I ever decided I would help him fulfil, could potentially be very dangerous to me. However, without even flinching, I told him that of course I was open to exploring that with him and I truly meant it. Its not that out there, it was just an idea I was going to have to take a bit of time getting used to. That and the fact Frank would never, ever let me get hurt made me feel confident in my ability to give him this. I cannot stress this enough, I am safe with Frank. I’ve never been with a man who I am more certain could protect me as fiercely as Frank would. He has always concerned himself with ensuring that I am happy. That I am comfortable. That he has done all he can to soothe my mind about anything. So I know that same man who protects my heart as carefully as he does, would only protect my body the same. Still, his desire for us to carry out this fantasy was strong. It consumed him. Once he knew I was in, it was all he could think about and talk about. Soon, it would get in the way of everything else we had and that little insecure voice in my head became louder and louder. I quickly went from being light and fun to overly analytical and cautious. Not because of this secret kink he had, there was no hesitation from me for that, but because I became more convinced this was why he felt so connected to me. He only wanted me for this. Once it happened, where was he going to go?

So over time, the little seed I planted about possibly being his breakup distraction, blossomed into full-blown paranoia once he revealed this secret fantasy. This is the only reason he wants you – played on a constant fucking loop. And it was warranted. Because once it came to light and it was all out there in the open for me to process and accept, it ruled him. It was all he could talk about. Suddenly, how each other’s day was and plans we made didn’t matter. Those things occupied ZERO of our conversations and it was all about this. All about how we’d do it, where, what we would need, how much he loved this feeling. I’m to blame too because I fed into it. It felt like his excitement about me became less about me as a person and more about how I was willing to help fulfil a fantasy he has suppressed for so long. So I held onto what I could by giving in to his urges. We kept talking about it, what I had to do and it drove him wild. I loved having that effect on him, of course, I did, I but it was clear to me that his feelings about me were now conditional based on this. If I took this opportunity from him (which I’d never do) but if I did, would he still be as crazy about me? I was afraid of that answer.

Like worried women with an insecure inner voice do, I put all the walls up. I laid out all the traps and sat them in his path and watched our world burn because I created a test he, a good man, was always going to fail. I became so hard on him. Called him out on the smallest, most insignificant things. Made him feel bad at every opportunity I could. He trusted me with this, he opened up to me and allowed me to understand him on a more intimate level and now I was using it against him. Knowing I was always pushing my luck to get more information out of him about him and his life, I used my participation in this fantasy of his as a bargaining chip and it backfired. I tried and tried telling him how it was making me feel and each time he took it on board. Each time he was upset with himself for making me feel like he didn’t care and each time he promised to do better. But we’d end up back in the same spot – talking about the same thing. Did he now only want me when he was turned on? Were we ever going to have normal conversations again where I learned more about him? No. Our life together became this. And the more it consumed him and ruled his every thought when he was with me, the more I resented the idea of doing it at all. Not because I didn’t want to do it, not because I was scared, but because this urge had taken from me the man I fell in love with and without us doing something about it, I was never going to get him back. So, with quite some time left until I was to arrive in England I decided drastic times called for drastic measures. I suggested he just go out and do it. I researched extensively trying to find people online who would be interested in this one-off event. He was hesitant at first, but he knew what I was trying to accomplish and agreed he needed to get it out of his system if we were ever going to have a chance. I thought I had fixed the problem. He’d get what he wanted with some random woman and I’d get him. It didn’t fix the problem though. Because this sweet, kind of demented man of mine only wanted me. It was all my fault that he then became too down on himself to even talk to me at all out of fear he’d fall back into this adrenaline rush and begin pushing it on me all over again. He hated himself for how he had made me feel. I’d push and push and push for more of him and not that, making him feel insecure about his ability to make me happy and he’d retract further and further into himself until we were no longer we speaking. We went through this cycle twice with a month-long break of silence in the middle, our most recent attempt of reconnecting ending only a matter of weeks ago when I lost it at him because he seemed completely disinterested in the fact I was writing something new. This has always really been the thing that’s bothered me the most. That in spite of how often he tells me how much he adores and appreciates me and is adamant that I’m the woman he wants to be spend his life with, Frank has never really taken the time or the interest to know me. I’ve pushed and pushed to know about him and I’ve made little progress. Frank has made even less – he couldn’t tell you anything about my family or what I do – and I can only interpret that as a complete lack of care. If men I’ve only just met on Hinge can seek out my life’s work and take interest in it to show they are interested in me, how does this man that says he loves me not do the same? How can you say you care about me and not have even read anything that is the number one thing I’m on this earth to create? How do you not know the woman you supposedly say you love has an entire online following and a novel waiting to be released? Is this the creative in me that’s just being overly sensitive to someone who’s not? So by this logic, I felt like he didn’t care about me as a person, which was completely untrue and I had made him feel like he didn’t know what he was allowed to say anymore. The fact that his mind was entirely and solely occupied by sex is his fault and it did put a lot of pressure on us. I felt like this was all that mattered. But in truth made it 100% worse. When he needed patience and understanding, I gave him anger and insecurity. I’ve always known how he felt about me, I had known since I met him. Just because I wasn’t getting those glimpses of him that I loved as frequently as I once did before this obsession with sex was revealed to me, I acted like those genuine feelings didn’t exist at all. Which is the most unfair thing I could have done. Now he’s gone and I wonder… does he think about me like this? Is he still as hopeful as I am? My heart sinks thinking that after all the harsh things I said to him, the answer is probably not. Had I just waited a few more weeks until we were physically together, in the same city again, to get this off my chest would it have gone much more smoothly and ended differently? Most likely.

Weeks later and I am staring blankly at a new face across the dinner table and he is now Mr Somebody New. There always is. He’s funny, he’s smart, he’s kind and he asks all the right questions. He’s interested in me first, before he knows what I can do in the bedroom. He’s interested in how I became a writer. He’s interested in how I got into Martial Arts. He’s interested in why certain John Mayer lyrics are my favourites. Frank couldn’t tell you shit about any of these things that are so incredibly important to me. But you know what this Mr Somebody New is not? He’s just not Frank. And I can’t help but compare everything. His hair is lighter and it’s too short. Frank’s is dark and a little longer, gets a bit of a curl going. It’s so fucking cute. He’s clean-shaven. I don’t like it because Frank isn’t. He’s got bright blue eyes but they don’t have that dark, almost sinister twinkle in them. His hands are too nice because he has an office job. Frank has real tradesman’s hands. He looks like the kind of guy who likes vanilla, missionary, couldn’t find it if he had a map, over in 30 seconds sex. Frank definitely does not. Frank may have his issues we need to work on, but I do too. So I am sitting here laughing on cue but not paying much attention to what this guy is saying. And even though Frank and I aren’t speaking, even though we are separated by thousands of kilometers, even though he fucking infuriates me and even though we were never in a relationship, I feel like I am cheating on him. He would have no right to ever be upset about me being here with this lovely man, but I know he would be and that makes me feel sick.

A week ago my best friend came home from a holiday with her boyfriend. A real piece of shit I have never liked. He has never put her first and he’s never cared about her happiness. On the night she returned, she came home to information and evidence that he had been sleeping with someone else for quite a while. They went on holiday and still, he played happy, loving couple while away with my girl. It’s sick, how anyone could do that to another. How you can have a complete lack of empathy for another all while telling them that you love them. So, naturally, when we found out we got blind drunk. ALL the vodka. The good shit too. It was the battle of Belvedere. She confronted him that night in a dramatic showdown in the street out the front of her house, it was EPIC. Told him he had a two-hour window to come and collect his shit the next day. I was so proud of her! She showed strength and grace to a man who had taken her money, her time, her home and her heart. So while we spent that night wasted, peeling her up off the floor as she cried hysterically, I too got very emotional and drank an entire bottle to myself. It was her pain and yet selfishly all I kept thinking was: You know who only ever wanted me? You know who only ever wanted to make me happy? Only wanted to be with me and be together until we were old and grey and protect me? You know who would NEVER, EVER do anything like this to me?

Frank.

If a few years from now, the last name I take isn’t yours, part of me will always know there’s a world where it was meant to be Frank. Just like you said.

And that is the update you wanted on Mr Somebody New. Bet you weren’t expecting that, eh? Me either.

 

 

 

 

1 thought on “Frank.”

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