My swift vacation romance with a younger guy that turned into a long distance relationship. I guess the sun can really melt your brain!
I have now been in Playa del Carmen for two months and the animator position at a resort that seemed so wonderful in my dreams was in reality truly exhausting. In
the opinion of drunk American tourists, most of whom came to Mexico to escape winter,
playing volleyball with the guests must have been the best job ever. Sometimes it was. Most of the time though, smiling and constantly interacting with people, eating with them, performing in front of them and always being on drained me to no extent. Apart from the day off, we had zero time to ourselves. At first the two hour break we received in the middle of the day seemed perfect for tanning on the beach. Lately, I would use this time to curl up on the stage behind the curtain feeling true bliss. Then the cell phone would buzz that hateful sound and I was back to entertaining, which never seemed to end.
Thankfully, I made two wonderful friends: Paula and Patricia, whom I called Pau and Pate, both hilarious and straight to the point. This was also doubled by the fact that they spoke less than adequate English and I spoke average Spanish: so we conversed in Spanglish. And let me tell you, when you are limited in a language, you can’t help but be straight to the point.
Pau was a skinny rich girl who left her home in Mexico City to try something new, while Pate was a busty, sarcastic girl from a small town, Celaya that she has always wanted to escape, because ‘is so boring!‘. Both lived across from me in a shared apartment. We would usually yell to each other through the window, which was ultimately heard by the entire animation team who also shared the complex with us. Tonight, they promised they would meet me at Mandala, a big electronic club, but didn’t show. Had I gone home as usual, I would have seen their note in the bathroom which told me about their change of plans, but for the first time, I had gone straight into the city.
Now feeling lost and angry I stared into space, until a tall and blond silhouette appeared in my vision.
“Hola, como estas?” He said.
I blinked. He was a tall, curly blond guy with light blue eyes, full lips and light skin. He was of an athletic build and looked slightly French. How was it possible that he spoke any Spanish? He did not at all resemble anyone who might be from South America.
To my grand surprise, it turned out he was. Javier was from Chile and was in Mexico for a weekly vacation with his family and his half brother Cristian, who was sitting in the bar. His brother definitely looked a lot more Latin with his contrasting dark eyes and skin. They were leaving in two more days. This fact didn’t faze me. Especially here in Playa, where hardly anyone stayed for more than a week.
Javier invited me for a drink, which turned out to be a bottle of rum that his brother and he took from their hotel. Seeing as how my friends weren’t showing and I was slightly attracted to him, I agreed. He was relaxed, had an easy demeanor and did not try to impress me in the least. He seemed very genuine and I felt comfortable with him. And OK, he was very attractive, though for some reason, this only kicked in later.
After drinking a bit of rum, we went to an underground bar to dance salsa. Turned out, I was much better at salsa than he was and by the looks of others, they thought it too. They must have thought I was a Mexican, trying to teach an American how to dance. He was so white and I looked so dark, it really confused even me.
After we danced, Javier and I sat on the chairs talking.
“How old are you?” He asked in his soft Spanish accent.
“Twenty-five” I said. “I just turned twenty-five” I corrected. “And you?”
“I am almost twenty”
I think I must have either squealed with laughter or put my head in my hands in shame. He was a child! And as it would later turn out, almost twenty meant nineteen and a half. I was a cradle robber. Not that I have done anything yet, but I was definitely thinking of it.
However, as many of you know, your vacation mind is not exactly the same as your everyday one. You do not assess the person with as strict of a check mark list as you do in real life. In Canada I had to make sure the guy had a career, goals and was my age or older. Maybe one or two years younger. But six? My vacation mind told me that I was just having fun and none of it would last, so why worry?
He walked me to the end of the street, as we waited for my taxi and leaned it to kiss me. There were no crazy fireworks. Just a nice and soft kiss which I knew was coming. We agreed to see each other the following night.
The next night was just as fun as we danced on the beach, kissed and laughed. I wouldn’t say I was falling for him, but I definitely enjoyed spending time with him.
The last night of his stay, I invited my friends to come out with us. Having heard endless stories of Javier to the point where they couldn’t take it anymore, they were interested in finding out who I was so interested in. Exhausted from work, I almost didn’t wake up as they screamed through my window. All I wanted to do was sleep. Unwillingly, I got myself up. I have worked for thirteen hours, and it was eleven, but he was leaving the next day. I had to see him.
“He’s gorgeous” said Pau and Pame in unison. Before this statement, I mostly saw Javier as a cute guy who I had a fun time with. Now I looked him over. He really did look like some sort of an Abercrombie model with his toned and muscular body and a sexy pout that would get all the fifteen year old girls excited.
After dancing in the beach club, the Blue Parrot, the girls said they were exhausted and needed to sleep. I was beyond exhausted as well, but I didn’t want to go. Javier took my hand and pressed it against his chest.
“Please don’t go” he said.
“Okay” I agreed. “I’ll stay”
We went walking on the beach. Heavy rain started and we decided to go swimming in our
underwear. I, as usual, didn’t plan my choice of underwear so it was mismatched: a black bra with flowery panties. Without his shirt, Javier really did have a six pack.
I walked in the water and he followed me. We attempted kissing each other, which was made difficult by the splashing waves of salty water on our faces. I gotta say, it definitely looks a lot more romantic in the movies.
The rain got heavier and we climbed up onto the covered lifeguard chair. Our kissing turned into more kissing and suddenly he was removing my bra and we were having sex. Let me be honest here: yes, it looked ideal, just the way I’ve always imagined it, but here was the thing – I didn’t really enjoy it. We were slippery, it was a bit awkward and it felt too rushed. Not only that, we never finished as there,in the midst of all this rain, appeared a couple who decided that kissing each other right near the lifeguard chair would be a superb idea. Javier and I sat naked, laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation. I mean, could they really not find any more space on this gigantic stretch?
I put on my wet blue dress and took my sand filled shoes into my hand. The taxi dropped me off and we kissed each other goodbye. I didn’t invite him in, firstly because I had roommates and then, just because there was no point in prolonging this. He was leaving the next day.
My next day went along as usual. During the Playacar bike tour, which consisted of me in
an ugly helmet making up a whole bunch of history about the ruins, in order to entertain the tourists who were too lazy to leave the hotel zone, I thought of him. I felt a bit empty that he left. The time with him, though short, was genuine and fun and now I felt alone.
The day after, I came in to our morning meeting with the animators only to see the headline of the paper Terremoto en Chile. Had there been an earthquake? I asked one of the guys. Apparently there have been. They even closed down the airports, or something, someone else said.. though it could be a rumor.
I was playing darts, or rather watching people miss the bull’s eye and feeling insanely bored as well as nursing a sick throat, when a short stocky Mexican security guard came up to me.
“Eres Mia?” he asked.
I nodded my head. He told me that were two guys looking for me.
Was one blond? I asked, my eyes widening in disbelief and hope. Could it be him? He was blond, answered the Mexican man with a shrug.
Hands shaking, body shaking, everything shaking I ran to the animator office.
“Mia, can you go collect people for the water aerobics?” Vicente, my boss asked.
“I’ll look on the beach” I said.
He looked me over as if I looked absolutely insane.
“Everything ok?” He asked.
“Of course!” I squeaked looking as if I just snorted Coke.
He gave me a doubtful once-over and turned away.
I ran or rather skipped to the beach thinking: is it him? What if it’s not? I don’t want to get myself pumped up for what might be a mistake, because if it’s not him I will be so upset I will die!
Awkwardly standing in the water, shuffling his feet, Javier’s eyes lit up when he saw me approach. I put my hands to my mouth. The older man sitting on the lounge chair smiled at us as if to say ahh, young love! and got more comfortable in his chair to watch this movie meeting.
I ran into him and hugged him around his neck.
“You’re back!” I exclaimed.
“Yes, I wrote you an email, but you didn’t respond. The airports are closed. We’re staying for two more days. It took me so long to get to your hotel, and I didn’t know if you wanted to see me. But I really wanted to see you.”
“Why didn’t you know if I wanted to see you?” I asked.
“Cristian. He told me it was just sex. That I should let it go and not act so romantic” he smiled.
“Your brother knows nothing” I laughed. “Come to my place tonight. I will meet you outside of the apartment”
I kissed him and turned around to walk to the hotel. The old man and a couple of others seemed happy they got to watch a free show.
“Ju so lucky, Mia!” exclaimed Pate in her deep, raspy, accented voice, when I told her the story. “I wish someone would do zes to me! Is so nice to have a boy come back for you!”
“Well he didn’t come back just for me! He kind of had to come back, because of a huge tragedy..” I added.
“Does not matter. Que romantico!” she clapped her hands together in excitement.
That night, I ran home just to see him. I was so elevated by the thought that he was still there, near my apartment, that he didn’t leave and that we could continue whatever this was for a few days more.
I got out of the taxi in my red polo shirt and black skirt, which were the evening uniform of the animators.
“You’re late, Mia” He grumbled. “ I waited here for an hour. There are some wild dogs in your neighborhood, you know?”
I lived in a ghetto neighborhood, where the houses had broken windows, the dogs roamed the streets (I almost got attacked by a pack of wild dogs once) and the only taco joint in the neighbourhood had the menu scribbled on the wall. Our white building also looked like it had been bombed during the war.
“Sorry!” I exclaimed. “I practically ran here!”
I brought him upstairs to my apartment, which I shared with two Mexican girls: Ana and Karla and a loud French-Canadian girl Cara. Unfortunately all were there, as well as Karla’s brother and boyfriend. I quickly introduced Javier to all of them and whispered under my breath.
“Ok, we need another place to stay”
Thankfully, Pate and Pau were going to sleep anyways, so they let us stay in their living room. Javier and I talked for hours and now I saw a new side to him. He was a lot more manly and non-nonchalant than I gave him credit for and I was very attracted to this new sarcastic and masculine side that I saw. It was a few hours before we actually got to having sex. He quite dominating this time as he held my by the throat and whispered “shh” when I made noises. And I was a lot more attracted to him.
I fell asleep sometime in the early morning, after I kissed him goodnight through the gate.
The next day was brutal. I had to somehow function on about three hours of sleep, I was
still sick, and we had a dreaded Disney show that we had to perform in every Monday. One of the reasons we dreaded the show so much was because should (God forbid) one of us forget a costume or mess up, we were denied our night off. And the bosses really seemed to enjoy taking our so-called privileges away from us. In fact, one of the very first shows I was in, I misplaced my knife costume. Yes, I was a black thing with a huge silver knife on my head for Beauty and the Beast. What did my boss do? He told me I would have no night off. I didn’t like that? There was the door.
Sick and tired, I had to go through the day and try to stay alive for the night when I could spend my last moment with Javier. The night finally came. We went dancing on the sand and by the end, I sat on his knees staring into his eyes.
“You’re so beautiful” he told me. Javier wasn’t your typical Latin man. He didn’t just throw words around. So when he said something, he must have meant it.
“I want to see you” he said, his sky blue eyes widening.
“After Mexico. I don’t want to lose you.”
“Me neither!” I exclaimed. I felt that we had something special and that even though we had such an enormous age gap, maybe our connection could erase that. Now, writing this, I realize just how ridiculous this must have seemed from the outside: a younger guy from South America, who has not even finished university and who in reality, was not so mature, to move to Canada? To do what?
At that moment, however, our feelings and the ideal Mexican background added to this perfect illusion of our international romance. After all, what is not perfect about the smell of the ocean, the tropical air on your skin, the slow Spanish music, tanned and relaxed (at least on his part) people, and the sad yet beautiful finality of our romance?
Maybe I created some of this illusion because I wanted it, but at this moment I truly wanted to be with Javier. I wanted to see him again. And on the plus side, no one has ever gone such a distance to be with me. Stefan included. (Read the German)
I brought him back to my apartment. Actually, he carried me back because my feet were full of blisters. I opened up a bed in the living room, so that my roommates wouldn’t see me.. until the morning, when they had to pass by us on the way to work. We talked and talked, for hours again, and he only made a move on me by the early morning where I was too tired to keep my eyes open. My roommates must have seen him because Cara later told me that there was a beautiful boy in my bed. What, how did he get there!? I laughed.
I had a day off. We went to the beach,swam in the salty water one last time, and then he kissed me goodbye. I sat on the sand and cried. I cried and cried on my way to the telephone booth where I called my mom and mumbled the story to her through my tears.
“So how old is he?” she asked, her voice full of concern. I tell my mom everything and after Mistake #1 she didn’t expect Mistake #2 to come so quickly.
“He’s nineteen.. but he’s really mature!”
I heard laughing on the other side of the phone from both my mom and my brother who was listening on the other line.
“He’s how old?” she asked again. “Don’t tell me you’re serious.. and what are you going to do with this child?”
“I don’t know.. We will work something out.” I yelled angrily, wiping the tears with my free hand. We would, I thought. We would make it work somehow. People had long distance relationships and they found a way to stay together. And he is younger… so what? Did age really matter in the grand scheme of things?
The answer is: yes. And yes.