Weekend in London – part 1
I arrived in London amid an unusual heatwave. I believe I spent the first couple of days working at the office, but I have little recollection of any part of it. My mind was occupied by the thought of spending the weekend with Stuart, and to this day, I only carry that memory.
Stuart picked me up after work on Friday at the hotel located across from Hyde Park. He was taking me to a nightclub later that evening, and he had suggested I wear something interesting. I had brought a one-shoulder crop top that showed my recently pierced belly button, but I decided to put on a fitted baseball t-shirt with a studded heart on the heart chakra instead. He had told me it’d be a “Rock club,” so I figured my salsa costume wasn’t appropriate. I was glad to have changed my mind because Stuart showed up in his usual t-shirt and jeans. At the pub, though, I flashed my belly button ring to Stuart, which seemed to have crumpled him into a half-mirth and half-extreme shyness.
We were definitely on the older side at the rock club, though they played many of the songs from Stuart’s mixed CD. I wasn’t used to dancing to rock music, so we mostly spent time by the wall trying to speak into each other’s ears. When I returned from the restroom, Stuart extended his arm to his side, which I understood to be for me to lean my back onto. But when I did, his arm stayed there limp, not wrapping me with it or touching my arm with his hand. It simply looked and felt like I was crushing his arm with my back.
We took the night bus back after midnight, and it was as late as two in the morning when Stuart saw me off at the front of the hotel. Naturally, we had a proper kiss this time, but it wasn’t particularly arousing. What lacked? A passion…? Nevertheless, I invited him up because I wanted to have sex with him, and I was almost certain he did as well, judging from our email conversations in the past couple of months. But he put his hands on my shoulders to keep me at his arm’s length and said, “I can’t, I am sorry. I only recently broke up with my girlfriend. I am just not ready.” I was a little disappointed, but I was more taken aback by his honesty and sincerity. It’s not that I was insincere, but my desire for life’s excitement had gotten ahead of me before considering the consequences of sleeping with a colleague. “That’s ok, I understand,” I said, expecting him to be eventually ready. We said good night, promising to meet the following afternoon.