Monday, August 22, 2005

Loose Ends (Part 2)

Today, in the name of self-improvement, I finally forced my chicken-hearted self to call JP.

Which one is JP? The One-that-got-away-One (Refer to my last post on
"Loose Ends" for more details.)

I knew I had to call. It had been gnawing away at my insides since that last post. I even have the actual bite-marks to show for it.

Besides, I convinced myself that he would be out somewhere shooting underneath the Antartic ice floes or dodging disgruntled Israelis in Gaza so really he was unlikely to pick up or return the call. And I could leave Singapore in a self-righteous huff, my dignity intact. QED.

I even had my voicemail message all rehearsed. Written out on a flourescent green Post-It. Casual. Friendly. Noncommittal. Just called to say hi, but ooh gotta run. Take care and don't get caught by a stray bullet. Ta! (How. Neurotic. Am I.)

So ring ring - the dialtone sounded local. My heartbeat was going gangbusters. And then, he actually picked up!

For a second, none of us said anything. And then...

"That can't be you who's calling," his familiar, teasing voice filled the reciever.

"Oh my god. Okay. I can't believe you picked up," I said and promptly collapsed into convulsive laughter. Yes, Bimbo Me to the rescue.

"Of course I'd pick up the phone sweetheart. It's you."

"Yes, its funny how that happens sometimes huh. Great. Now I can't use my voicemail message that I prepared. And I thought so long about it too," I said, rather stupidly. This was definitely not turning out to be one of my finest moments.

"I thought I'd never hear from you again. I thought of calling you so many times but thought nah, maybe she hates me. Or even more likely...maybe you've met the love of your life, moved into a cottage somewhere and had 8 children or something," JP's tone was lighthearted but I could sense him testing the waters, wanting to know.

"No...come on. Hey, this is me we're talking about. I think just remembering your phone number qualifies as a commitment." I was talking too loudly, too fast. Was I sounding too flippant? Too eager? Too nervous? Breathe, breathe.

He asked me to recite my voicemail message, which I did. And he said: "Oh that's nice. Although I would have preferred. 'Hey JP, I've been thinking about you for more than a year. I can't quite get you out of my head and I was wonderin...'"

I cut in with my most sultry voice. "...and I was wonderin, aren't you lonely? I know I haven't talked to you for more than a year. But hey, let's do something crazy. Las Vegas is just 15 hours away!"

We both laughed and that put the tension was put to rest. No apologies necessary.

And then, a pause. A silent acknowledgement to do things differently this time. Not everyone gets the luxury of second chances.

So, he's only in Singapore for a few days (Man did I luck out on this one) and I'm meeting him for a quick lunch tomorrow. And then dinner on Thursday. I'm going to try my best to keep my act together - and my pants on - and do justice to the herculean mental effort involved in this silly little exercise. We will actually catch up properly, and interact like human beings - not rabid animals. No more games. No more self-destructive behaviour. Not until after dinner, at least.

Well, such is the stuff of good intentions anyway. Law of Entropy notwithstanding.

Now if only I could figure out what to wear! *flaps hands wildly*

I think I need to sit down.