We are giving away a copy of Next Time Lucky: Lessons of a Matchmaker by Siggy Buckley! Read this excerpt and leave a comment for your chance to win the book!
A Woman’s Conundrum
I should have known better than to be devastated. After all, I am a pro, an expert in matters of the heart – or so I thought. But with the sudden, heart wrenching break-up with my love of three years, I was back to square one. In spite of my status as a dating guru, I was clueless. My name is Cherie.
George and I were in bed for one of our afternoon romps. No better way to spend a wet Sunday afternoon in April, when the Irish spring doesn’t live up to its promises. A pilot for one of the new economy airlines, George was home on layover for a full weekend. A rare event.
Cocooned under a fluffy duvet, I snuggled up against his warm, welcoming body and caressed his skin. With a rush of trepidation, I plucked up all my courage to ask him what had been on my mind for a while. “I see you got Fintan’s plans back. Are we setting up house together now?”
I hadn’t dared to bring it up before. I knew only too well that George’s past experiences had made him relationship challenged, even commitment-phobic, but now he was about to refurbish his sprawling house tucked away in a cove by the sea on the coastline north of Dublin. The architect’s plans were scattered everywhere. Silly me, I was hoping to even have some say in the remodeling.
“I can help you choose fabrics and new furniture.” But the request for advice never came.
”Look, I’m not that happy,” George said pulling away as he swung his legs over the bed. He got up, covering his now dangling manhood with the briefs he discarded ten minutes before in expectation of an after lunch snooze/shag combo, usually our favorite time. “You want things from me that I’m not ready for.” George said. Then hesitating, “Honestly, I feel we never totally connected.”
I took in his tanned, lean frame that I loved so much. What was he on about? Never? “It didn’t feel that way to me the last time we made love. What about your promise to keep me fed and watered as well as kissed and sexed, even if it wore you out,” I answered, forcing a brittle smile. Our old joke didn’t work this time.
“I don’t like the whole boyfriend thing and all the responsibilities that go with it.” I sensed the rumblings of an earthquake. “I have so much more love inside me that you were never able to unleash.” By now the pillars of my known world got a real good shaking. Then he delivered the coup de grace: “In the long run, I’m looking for somebody more stimulating and exciting.” That really took the biscuit. And the biscuit took three years and only the threat of more intimacy to come out. Not being suitable or not being loved back is bad enough, but to say that I wasn’t stimulating? Ouch. If I were a man, a remark like this might cause permanent ED. In this case, it was rupturing my soul.
Fidgeting with the buttons of his shirt, George looked out the window onto the grey horizon and soggy gardens. “I like the way things are and don’t see myself giving up my freedom.” With these words he ruled out any future together, any plans I might have been harboring. And they had the power to nullify each tender moment, act or word of love that we had shared in the past three years.
There was nothing left to say and no reason to continue. In a daze, I put on the dark red lacy underwear he had bought me for Christmas, and covered them with the first layer of heavy winter clothes. I stared at him, but no further explanations were forthcoming. Scrutinizing his face for any signs of regret, I found nothing to latch onto. I struggled with my watch and necklace. Hesitating for a moment, I looked at the ring I had talked him into buying for my birthday. What had I been thinking? I left it on the bedside table. He didn’t notice; something in the garden continued to grab his fascination.
If I gave him one more moment’s sway, the agony would be so devastating that I wouldn’t make it home in one piece.
“I won’t be coming to the party tonight then,” I said, all dressed now down to my boots. The plan had been to host his best friend’s 50th birthday party that evening. But no longer with me! My heart was pounding, ready to explode.
George eventually turned around and looked at me, his lover of three years. Frowning, he said, “What shall I say to the others?”
That was all he worried about? Janey Mac! Anger was rising in me, making my voice louder than intended. “Say what you bloody well like and don’t let it blight your party bliss!” With that, I grabbed my handbag, slammed the door, and was out of the room and down the stairs. I made it into my car before tears started to well in my eyes. My vision on the short drive home was blurred by the deluge, partly the heavy rain coming down in buckets, partly my own water supply. And the latter wouldn’t clear. Thank goodness, I didn’t fall apart in front of him.
In my forties, I was ten years younger than George, still slim and attractive, allegedly, and with a brain to go with it. His brother, Neville, called me Ingrid Bergmann because I reminded him of the actress for my poise and lilting accent. My two teenage children were no bother to George since we didn’t live together. As the owner of two businesses, I was able to bring home my own bacon; even buy my own house close to his abode, just to be near him.
How stupid can you get, woman? Holy cow, there I was cursing myself instead of him.
And on top of everything else, he had deprived me of a beautiful night with our friends. I crunched the gears of my old van on the mucky, graveled driveway. Hadn’t I done everything to please him? Did you even realize how I came to love your hobby? Car racing, such a stupid male sport, not exactly environmentally friendly, and it can trigger my headaches.
After the initial shock, fury began to rise in me. Did he give a hoot that I could cook a mean Christmas dinner, entertaining his whole family for this important day of the year, and put up with some of his not so well behaved friends for the rest of it? Even my best wasn’t good enough for this man. Blast him!
I walked into my house like a zombie. Shivering, I wanted to light the fireplace in the living room. My hands were trembling; it took several matches to get it going. Good thing I had stacked up some kindling and paper when I cleaned it the last time. With the small flames eventually catching on, I poured myself a stiff whiskey, ready to collapse on the sofa. For a while, I sat there, shaking, and stared at the fire. As if on cue, the phone rang.
It was Sally, my American friend and part-time employee, whom I’d known for years from my previous life down in the country. We shared the same star sign, but our births were separated by three years and a few hours. Imagine two women as different as chalk and cheese, sharing the same star sign. Sally, formerly a dancer and actress from Chicago, was petite, bubbly, extroverted to the point of intimidating, especially to men, and endowed with an ego as high as the Dublin Mountains. Her checkered past was in stark contrast to my more sedate life experience.
A trained teacher, I’ve always been a serious person, too serious at times for my own good, and persevering to the point of stubbornness. Sally, a happy-golucky character, acted as if she didn’t have a care in the world. We were both surprised time and again how well this unlikely friendship had turned out for us.
Sally was blabbering into the phone in her typical, exuberant fashion. “Hi sweetie, I’m on the road, about halfway up, near Roscrea. Just wanted to check in with you. What’s up? Where are you? You don’t sound good.”
Between my sobs she quickly figured out what had happened. “He said what? Is this guy out of his frigging small mind? What an out-and-out jerk! Don’t worry. I won’t be long now. I’ll step on it!”
Well, it would be the better part of two hours before she arrived in north Dublin. Sally only lived about 250 km away, but the Irish roads, mostly twolane country roads, could slow you down much more than expected, especially leading up to the capital
“Here I am crying on the phone and this gobshite couldn’t even kiss properly!”
“This is getting better and better! I need to hear all the scandal.”
“Sally, I feel the urge to go back there and smash all the big windows in his house with some well placed bricks.”
“My sentiments entirely, but you do nothing of that sort now, darling. You hang in there till I arrive.” Reluctantly I put the receiver down and collapsed on the sofa with a blanket.
It wasn’t exactly as if I hadn’t had my doubts about things lately. There were signs. Intimate things I hadn’t even shared with Sally. Do you stay with a man who has no imagination or no fantasies? Someone who won’t go down on you, but likes getting blowjobs? I kept mulling over the events of the day, fortifying myself with regular sips from my tumbler. Why did it take him so long to find out he didn’t want a permanent relationship, at least not with me? But maybe with somebody more stimulating? My ass! My mind kept asking the same futile questions until my brain and soul were as dry as croutons.
It was almost dark and still raining when the doorbell rang. From her 5’4’’ frame in high heels, Sally hugged me. Normally, I towered over her but now I was reduced to a weepy slouching mess who fell straight into her arMs. I buried my face in Sally’s brunette mane of hair.
The Jameson I had imbibed was starting to have a serious impact and caused me to lose some of my inhibitions. I was anxious to let Sally in on the previously well-kept secrets of my love life.
“If you want the full picture, George was the most boring guy I ever slept with. If someone needed more excitement in that department, it was definitely me.”
“Oh my gosh, and I thought he was Mr. Kama Sutra personified. Why did you stay with this eejit?”
“Sod it, Sally, I don’t know. He always said he loved me and I felt the affection there. Then we had good times together; trips and holidays and all.”
“Now, now, don’t get that forlorn look in your eyes again. He also treated you like a toy that he could take out and play with whenever he wanted and throw in the corner when he wasn’t interested.”
“When that tap of tears opens again, I just can’t help it. At the moment, my body seems to have a mind of its own. Breaking up is never easy, you know yourself, but I’ve never been able to let him go. Instead, I continued the relationship, always hoping for more, condoning the commitment reticence as a common attitude of the male animal. I seriously thought he would come round.”
“He never wanted to tie the knot. An affair, that’s what it was for him. He loved the convenience of a provisional arrangement.”
“Well, I put an end to that today,” I said, hoping I had saved some face in the end. “I need a man who is willing to commit to our relationship and to me. I just never admitted to myself that it was less important to him.”
“Ah well, men and the infamous C-word: commitment. And we don’t know what happened on all his trips: a bird in every port?” Never one to mince her words, Sally looked me in the eyes. “Or do we?”
“Don’t say that! I never…”
”You definitely deserve better than this blasé approach, my dear. He’s another one for the scrapheap of broken dreams.”
Later that night, Sally tucked me in like a vulnerable child. “Get some zzz’s. I’ll watch a video. I have too much pent-up energy to go to sleep now,” Sally said. “After all, I wanted to make a move on George’s brother tonight at the party. So much for that. Do you have some wine for a needy soul?”
Just when the booze was taking the edge off my distraught state, at last drifting off, I had an awful thought. “Tomorrow is Monday. I’ll have to face the girls in the office…and the customers of Premier Dating.”
NEXT TIME LUCKY Copyright © 2011 by Siggy Buckley. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America by CreateSpace.
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