I left my sweatshirt in KC

This is a love story without a happy ending

If you read the section “About me” you know by now that I once traveled for love. This is that story.

(I should REALLY be writing that paper but my inner self doesn’t let me focus on that!)

It all started on a hot day during the beginning of July 2014. I was having fun, school year was over and I had 2 and a half months all for myself. My daily routine consisted on going to the beach and binge watching TV shows. Tinder was a recent thing in my life and I was pretty much addicted at that time. There’s something about having the power to choose from a guy catalog that forces me to keep swiping. Summer is Tinder high season in Lisbon. For every 10 guys, I’d say 7 aren’t Portuguese. There I was, swiping. Until an american guy appeared on my screen. He is about my age, judging from his pictures he travels which automatically draws my attention to him. I swiped right. And I’m a picky swiper, not being Portuguese is not my only criterion. On my Tinder profile I suggest I enjoy a clever pick up line and that works great as a conversation starter. He went for that. He dropped his pick up line and guess what? Made me laugh. We chatted during that day and it was an interesting conversation. When I told him I live in Sintra he told me he was planning on visiting the next day. He invited me to go and since I had nothing better to do I accepted.

The next morning I arrived early at the place agreed. He was a bit late but that’s ok, every extra minute I can get to prepare myself is useful. I got the text, he was there. I saw him. He was actually cute. Oh, it was also my first Tinder date! I immediately felt a weird connection to this guy and later on that day I found out I was not alone on that. I took him to Quinta da Regaleira, my favorite place in Sintra. We had fun exploring the tunnels and gardens as we were getting to know each other. I never felt like he was going to be a hookup. I took him to the beach for lunch. I took him to a small empty beach. We sat there for hours just talking. I was impressed by this guy. He was smart, he had goals in life and we shared a lot of the same interests. We sat there quietly for a while looking at the ocean. I wasn’t thinking about anything at the moment. I was just there, with a guy I met for the first time that day, thinking that I was actually going to miss that moment in the future. And I do. As I write this I realize that maybe I’m not over him. And I really thought I was.

Eventually it was time for him to go back to his Air bnb place. But neither of us could let go. He had a plane to catch early in the morning so we knew this wasn’t going anywhere. I drove him back to Lisbon and took him to Bairro Alto. That’s where everybody goes to have a drink. We had that drink. We still couldn’t let each other go. We don’t know why. By that time it was around 2 am and he had to be at the airport in five hours. We made that time count.

Next morning he told me that his flight was delayed. It was a 5 hours delay. I mean, that never happens. This is real life, this is not a movie. We never get extra five hours with the person you love. I don’t know if it was love. But it was something extraordinary. Those five hours flew by. Next thing we notice we’re at the airport. This time we had to let go.

It took him 8 hours to get to New York City. I spent that time mainly crying, watching the movies he had suggested me and re-reading all the messages we shared.

We developed some kind of relationship during that summer. We texted and Skyped every day which is not easy when there is a 6 hour difference in between two people in love. We were determined to see each other again. And we did.

I arrived in Kansas City, Missouri in January 2015, 6 months after we first met. Again, I was the one getting to the airport first. I got the text. He was there. I ran to his car as he was waiting outside. We couldn’t believe we were face to face again. We only had 10 days together. We made those 10 days count. We were a regular couple during those 10 days. But then we had to say goodbye again. It’s hard to say goodbye, it’s even harder to say goodbye when you don’t know if you’re going to be with that person again. I gave him my sweatshirt and he gave me his. At least we know this was real.

Eventually he stopped replying a couple of months after I left the States. I don’t know why. He never told me. But I learned from this. I learned that if you ever love somebody you have to go for it even if it ends up in nothing. I loved him and he loved me. Not for long but it was enough for him to be a part of my life forever, even if we never speak again.


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