Monday, June 13, 2005

Boyfriend Number 2 - Past the point of no return?

Working for an investment bank means that taking long holidays is very very difficult. But the first time in my career I have managed to negotiate a four week holiday to help use up holiday which has been carried over unused from previous years.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that I discover last week that boyfriend number 1 can’t come with me. It seems inappropriate to describe here all the circumstances which have led to this situation. However the thing I find extremely upsetting is that everything that prevents boyfriend number 1 coming with me is within his control. He knows how hard I work for us both, and also how important this trip is to me given that it’s a chance to take a “once in a lifetime” type of holiday together. Since 1989 when we got together he’s never let me down like this before.

I’ve got three choices. I could try and postpone the holiday – which will be impossible because other people in the bank have booked their holidays at other times to suit me. So the two reaslistic possibilities are either going alone, or finding someone else to go with. My strong preference is to travel with someone.

Last Thursday night, when the terrible situation became clear, I decide to send an e-mail to P in Singapore (Singapore trip Feb 2005. Monday, final day):

Hi P :-)

How are you? There's a possibility that I may be able to come to Asia soon for a few weeks on holiday. Are you free at all between now and 18th July? If so perhaps we could do something together?


The next morning I get a lovely reply:


great to hear from you. I've been good. Been travelling in and out of the country but I'm back now in Singapore. Yes, I am actually free from the week of 19th June if you want to do something. What are our options? Somewhere near? Or further afield? Call me or email me and we can plan something.


I'm not misleading P because he knows about boyfriend number 1.

Since the reply from P I’ve been in contact with both him and with my travel agent trying to sort out something which suits both us both. Of course there was a tricky paragraph which I had to put into an early e-mail to my travel agent, who knows both me and boyfriend number 1 very well:

This is a bit sensitive. My boyfriend doesn't know I've got a friend in Singapore and I prefer him not to find out, is that OK with you? Regarding hotels, please book us into double rooms, as though I was travelling with my boyfriend. For correspondence on this please don’t use my normal e-mail address, instead please use the one from which I've sent this e-mail.

I didn’t get an answer to the question I asked him but I think I can count on my travel agent to be discrete because he gets well paid for arranging tailor-made holidays for me and boyfriend number 1. I wonder how many other clients he has like this, perhaps married men who go on holiday with their mistrisses?

But this means that my travel agent has become the first person in my mainstream life to know I’m not 100% faithful to boyfriend number 1. I’m worried that I'm getting deeper and deeper into complex situation which ultimately I can’t control.

I think this holiday is actually going to happen. A four week holiday with P instead of boyfriend number 1. Can I really hide from boyfriend number 1 the fact that I’ll be travelling with P? I’m not sure. In any case, I feel extremely confused at the moment. I'm writing this around 4:30am on Monday morning because I can't sleep. I’m ecstatic to be going away with P, and at the same time I’m heart-broken that I won’t be with boyfriend number 1 on such a lovely holiday. Assuming we have a good holiday together, this probably means that P has officially become Boyfriend Number 2.

I watched the film "Phantom of the Opera" with boyfriend number 1 last night. I'm a big fan of Phantom but there's one scene which I definitely think is much more powerful in the film than on the stage - the scene towards the end when they're performing the Phantom's opera 'Don Juan' and they sing "Past the point of no return". I'm not sure exactly how, but if I step onto that plane to Singapore, in some sense I think I'll be Past the Point Of No Return.

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