Ever meet someone at an airport? I did. He showed me parts of the world I had never seen. Meeting him was exciting and also made me realize how much I love Canada.
David was no ordinary man. I first saw him at the airport in Miami. He was from Belgium and had a swagger and a devilish look about him; he oozed of sex and naughtiness. After a few glances, he sat beside me and began to tell me about all of his travels. He was kitesurfing in the red sea and was on his way to Nassau. When I got up to leave, he handed me his card.
“I am coming to see you in Montreal,” he announced in an email weeks later. “No you are not!” I nervously replied. Was he really going to come all that way? Yes, he was. I showed him Montreal and watched him observe parts my Canadian life.
A day after he left, he thanked me and said that he forgot something at the hotel and asked me to pick it up for him. He bought me a beautiful watch, the same one I admired in a shop and left it at the hotel for me as a surprise. I smiled and proudly snapped it on my wrist.
Time went on and began dating someone else. “Tara, come to Belize,” David asked. “I can’t, I am kind of seeing someone…”
I was seeing someone who would later declare that he was still in love with someone else.
“Come to Bali with me,” he asked months later; I did. I flew into Belgium; met his mother; his daughter and was mentally preparing myself to travel with seven of his closest friends. Take a deep breath, Tara, I reassured myself, this is what life is about- trying new things. We took the train to Amsterdam, experienced a “café” before flying out to Malaysia the next morning. It was definitely the sexiest and most luxurious vacation I have ever been on; one I will not soon forget.
“Please come spend the holidays with me in Belgium?” David asked three weeks later. Again, an airline ticket arrived in my inbox.
My flight was late when I came out the arrivals gate; there he was anxiously waiting for me with his daughter. He grabbed me and we raced to the car to get her on time for her school field trip. He drove like a madman on the shoulder of the highway, dodging cars and passing others. I tried to remain calm, secretly regretting accepting the invitation.
We went to a Party that evening; as I was watching him dance on the table, his shirt opened exposing his chest, his friend leaned over and said, “Tara, you must look unavailable, David is like this.”
I looked over at him and understood the game: the chase was over; the prize was had; and I was stuck in Belgium.
“You slept with her!” I wailed. “You couldn’t of waited three weeks? Or tell me before I flew for 7 hours with an eight hour stop over staring at fat people!“
"I am sorry, Tara, I loved you, you are my Canadian beauty. You are angry… I get you a ticket to go home, “ he said in his thick French accent.
We met in an airport and would say goodbye in one. When I was heading to my departure gate, as I was turning the corner to glance back at him for the last time: he had tears in his eyes. When I turned the corner, I took a deep breath, and the tears followed. I knew not to go back to Belgium- my heart told me not to. Something also told me not to go to Guadeloupe.
David bought a large Catamaran and wanted me to see it.
“Tarr-a go to the boat, you will love it.” Again, a ticket arrived in my inbox.
So, here I was on his Catamaran with the same man that warned me about his ways at the party in Belgium and a kitesurfer instructor. We were in Guadeloupe for a week before sailing to St Maarten. I thought how strange it was that I was there- trying hard to appreciate the experience.
That night I tried desperately to sleep with the dingy slamming the waves beside my cabin, argued with the flushing system, and searched for some decent “girl food” to eat.
“Tomorrow you are going to try kitesurfing”.
“That sounds great,” I lied.
They tied me into my harness and handed me over the large kite into my nervous hands.
“No, Tara! Release the handle!”
With fear, I tried holding it tightly to my chest: the kite had full power, pulling me up into the air, with them holding on to my legs. I was terrified and laughing hysterically.
“Get this off me…please…get it off”, I shrieked.
I felt pathetic and lonely. They reassured me at least I tried. I thought I almost met God.
We stopped at some small island leaving Antigua: time to snorkel. I love snorkeling! They geared up and jumped in the water with me trying to gear up quickly to keep up, but they disappeared. I jumped in anyways, paddling away, but when I looked up: I saw no one around and started to panic. There are probably sharks here. The boat looked far away and so did they. Finally one caught on that I was in trouble, but instead of comforting me, laughed out loud and said:
“HAHA! You think that is far?”
I headed back to the boat, disheartened, fantasizing about some giant crab getting them on the island.
A free ticket isn’t cheap I thought.
We finally made it to St Maarten. I knew they had errands to run but wasn’t expecting to be left on the boat all day in the blazing heat. The marina was dirty and there was no way I was diving in to meet up with someone’s morning flush.
What was I thinking? Why did I come? Then I saw something that made me smile: In the midst of all of the European and American flags- there she was- our beautiful Canadian flag fluttering from a sailboat.
The next day, I took off to the French side: alone. I met wonderful people and swam for hours. I was happy- and happy to go home. A nice Canadian man would be better for me, I told myself.
As I was waiting for my flight in Guadeloupe to return home, a mn sat in front of me and gave me that look. He had those eyes like David’s. He smiled at me; I smiled back and got up to go to my plane, not looking back this time. I was going home.