The cold weather made it impossible for me to wear any of the twelve dresses I packed for the trip. No, this definitely wasn’t going to be a summer romance where we frolicked on the beach. Instead I went to meet him in tights and a long sweater. One of the few I packed for the trip. I mean, it was thirty degrees plus up until this point.
Either way I was giddy. I would have him to myself for four days! It was like a brand new toy.. I got to have sex with! I booked a separate room for us while poor Pamela had to share a dorm with a few other girls, most of whom were not even there so she was technically alone the whole time. I felt guilty for convincing her to stay in the same hostel, but I was a bit nervous Luiz and I were just not going to get along. I mean, what if the language barrier got to be too much? We have only known each other for two nights and we didn’t do much talking then.
He got out of the taxi, just as shy and gorgeous as I remembered him, now wearing a dark jacket and jeans. He hugged Pame and then awkwardly kissed me on the cheek. We took an elevator up to our room, where I felt like the bed was the giant elephant we tried hard to ignore.
“I got you something” he said in his soft voice and took out a Portuguese soccer scarf. Even though I’m not a soccer (or rather football) fan, it was nice to get something so symbolic of his country and their favorite game.
We fumbled and mumbled around nervously until he finally kissed me. Properly. And then we had sex. And as we had it over and over again, it has improved dramatically. It also helped that I wanted to kiss him all over and could stare at him for hours.
While I was miserable walking around cold, gray Berlin, so much so that I have to admit I missed out on seeing some of the most famous cites (yes, even the Brandenburg Gate… I know. I am a horrible, horrible person) the best part was always coming back to our room where we could crawl under the covers and cuddle for hours. We spent so much time in the room that Pamela became very irritated as we would never come down to meet her on time. Once again, I admit I felt terrible. She was alone, in an extremely deserted hostel which I picked for my own purposes and the fact that Jose acted a completely different way towards her than Luiz towards me didn’t help matters. We did meet the guys the same way and in the same place. I never in a million years imagined such a crazy outcome.
She did think Luiz was adorable and was rooting for me one hundred percent, which I’m not sure I would have done had I been in her situation. Either way, as I said, I felt guilty about the situation, but hell, I deserved a nice time too. Oh yes, and I did remember I had a boyfriend. But I was fairly certain that our relationship has definitely reached its due date.
It’s not like I was in love with Luiz. No, Luiz was like my favorite toy: I liked looking at him, I liked being with him and I loved touching him, but did I take him seriously? He was much too young and much too naive. However, the fact that I longed to be in his arms the whole night while I was desperately hanging off Dominick’s bed proved to me that yes, I was capable of cuddling and what’s more – I actually enjoyed it. Apparently, I just didn’t enjoy it with my boyfriend.
A really immature, stupid part of me felt almost proud of snagging Luiz. The guy was completely oblivious to his good looks, or maybe many guys in Lisbon looked like him. On the side note, Lisbon is rated very highly in the ‘good looking men’ category, so if anyone is looking for a nice city to visit – you can skip arrogant Milan and meet good looking romantic Portuguese men instead!
Either way, I would look at how other girls reacted to him just to validate my own sense of .. I don’t know, ridiculousness?
The last night in Berlin, we were at a bar with a few German girls, when one turned to me and said:
“Wow, your Luiz is really hot. And the amazing thing is that he has eyes for no one else.”
So yes, other girls did in fact notice him. Lucky me!
When our two days in Berlin were up, so were Pame’s. The day she left for New York, we took a bus to Hamburg, where we stayed right within the red light district where all the strip bars, clubs and falafel stands were. Our room looked like a brothel. I swear to God! We had a red silk bed, black walls and leopard print rugs. Classy. And did it make me feel like a cheater! Yes, sirree.
Hamburg was dreary but I loved it. We spent our time going to restaurants, dancing in clubs and taking ridiculous photos in the wax museum. For a short period, it felt as if he was my boyfriend. That we didn’t have an ocean separating us, but were in fact, really together. We spent lots of time lounging around in the bed, taking showers together and just being unable to get enough of each other.
I loved seeing his unshaven face first thing in the morning, when he would envelop me in his arms and I would not want to ever get up. However, we made it clear that this would be over by the time we parted ways. He wasn’t planning on moving to Canada and I definitely didn’t plan on fishing in Portugal. We would just have a perfect time and then leave it be. Or so we said.
The last evening we bought me a teddy bear.
“Sleep with it and pretend it is me” He said, his smile like a child. Then he looked away.
“Are you okay?” I asked. He nodded his head but put his hand in front of it.
“Luiz? Are you crying?” I almost laughed, which I agree must have been quite insensitive. But if I wasn’t crying, why was he? While it definitely was flattering he fell for me so much that it hurt him, I didn’t want someone who cried so easily. Crying at a funeral? Yes. Crying a day before saying goodbye? A little too much of a romantic.
The next morning we took a taxi together, dropping him off at the bus station first. We kissed each other, not without his eyes getting red again and me actually joining in this time. I think he was relieved that I had a shred of humanity in me and it wasn’t him crying by himself this time. Then I cried all the way to the airport with a teddy bear called Luiz sitting on my knees.
When I got to Toronto, I waited a few days before seeing Dominick. I just couldn’t face him after what happened. At first I was eager to break up with him. Then I felt guilty beause he waited for me for so long and even bought tickets to New York for us. During the date I realized that I do not nor did I ever like him. There was no “because”. It just was. Crying, I locked myself in the bathroom and called Luiz, who sounded miserable and knowing him, might have started crying with me.
The sex was horrible as I wanted so badly to push Dominick away. I was on the verge of crying, however he took it for me being turned on. Feelings that has I have been trying to push down inside me were now overflowing. It was as if I I was finally looking at the situation in perspective. It irritated the way he smooched me in the theater, the way he turned the TV on before putting any awkward moves on me, the way he moaned while fingering me as I lay there like a log and when he said “ I can’t keep my hands off of you” while not even touching me. He was a good guy, a good person, but he wasn’t for me.
The next day we went to a Brazilian festival, where I felt I had definitely reached my ending point. I told him I needed to go home because I “felt weird”. He swallowed hard and said he knew this would happen. A few days later I broke up with him over the phone.
He told me he was planning to ask me to move in with him.
Even though I was technically boyfriend-less, Luiz started to believe he was my boyfriend. He got a Canadian number and asked that I call him almost to check in, or at least that’s what it felt like. The worst part about it was that the distance made it more than evident we had a language barrier. Our conversation would often sound like this:
“Hi Luiz. How are you?”
“Hi Mia! I am ok, just came from work. You?”
“I am good… just finished this long project I was working on”
He wrote me a story about us, where the main character – him, was called Moreno and me, the whitey girl in the red dress, fall in love. And the finale came when he sent me a video montage of him holding my picture (the one where I literally look as ugly as a witch) all over Lisbon. To top it off, the montage went along to Lifehouse’s You and Me.
He wanted to be on the phone when I saw the video to get my reaction. Unfortunately my reaction was a series of uncontrolled snickers.
Even though we never planned to continue our vacation romance past the vacation, Luiz began considering visiting me. He told me he has never felt this way before, and I agreed with him, however, now that his beautiful face wasn’t within my reach and all I was left with was the conversation I knew for a fact this long-distance-whatever-it-was was over.
And then he told me he wanted to move to Canada for me. The image of beautiful Luiz coming home (which would of course be a basement, as we wouldn’t be able to afford anything else) in dirty construction shoes, his big eyes sad and miserable because.. guess what? Canada is cold was too much to handle. This was a repeat of Javier and I was way too old and sane to pretend it could work another time around.
I ended it right then and there. Not without more crying from him.
We still keep in touch sometimes, though he was mad at me for some time for crushing his heart.
Now, every time I see a beautiful, dark, Brazilian looking boy I begin to miss Luiz, because I know that most likely this beautiful boy knows he is just that, beautiful. And most likely he is a player. But I still think we all need to take chances. Talk to the guy you admire from afar. Because guess what? He might actually turn out to be what you didn’t expect.