“What are you waiting for? Drink up,” Thomas said, showing a slight grin.
No matter how much time we had without seeing each other, I always felt like no time had passed. Our bond was strong, and I always thought that my friendship with Thomas was real. He was my best friend.
“Not another one!” I complained, watching how everybody else was glancing at us. I wanted to think that we were receiving the attention because he was being loud, but he had gotten more popular over the years, even famous, I believe.
He was a life coach; his career took off a couple of years ago. Today he travels the world doing seminars; even though we don’t see each other that often, whenever he is in town, we take the time to see each other.
“Oh, we are celebrating. It’s not every day that my best friend is about to launch a startup,” He said with a crooked smile.
I rolled my eyes, watching how Thomas passed me another shot.
Jesus Christ! This guy is my fucking spirit animal and therapist.
“Alright, but only because it is Saturday, and I can sleep all day tomorrow,” I said, smiling with him while we raised our shots in the air before swallowing them.
One bottle of prosecco and four shots of tequila later, and I knew this night was just starting.
Sitting across from him, I couldn’t help but admire his face. He looked like a mythical character freshly taken out from a book. Almost like an elf with a mix of delicate features, a manly beard, and long silky dark hair. Designer jeans and a button-up shirt open almost to his belly, showing his lean but shaped chest.
I guess that his sexuality was as open as his shirt. He attracted anything beautiful. Like a magnet, both man and woman propelled around him like bees to honey.
People often judged us, thinking there was something between us, but we didn’t like each other that way; he was like my brother. Gross. We did kiss once by accident, but maybe that is a story for another day.
“So tell me all about this dark and mysterious stallion,” Thomas said tilting his face down, almost malevolent. Wicked.
How does he know?
“Olivia, spit it out,” He said cornering me.
“Well, I met this guy….”
“Let me guess,” he cut me off. “He is perfect. Tall, dark, handsome, and probably emotionally unavailable. That has always hit your type.”
“There is not much to talk about,” I said, tasting the prosecco.
“Oh, cut the bullshit. How about fucking with the brother of your sister’s baby daddy.”
“Thomas! Did Sarah put it out it like that?” I gulped on the drink I was having.
He just arched his eyebrows while shrugging with shoulders.
“I am going to kill her! How much did she tell you?” I said, covering my mouth.
The last thing I needed tonight was to be reminded of Darius. I still felt sick just thinking about him.
“Oh, love, I know everything.”
“Why are we friends, Thomas?” I sighed, putting my drink down.
“If it makes it better, I was waiting to hear your part of the story…” He showed me a sweet smile with kindness in his eyes.
“So, his name is Darius, and yes, he is Alexander’s brother. We did have some fling going on, and now he hates me.” I said, looking for an escape from this conversation. Any escape indeed because as soon as I raised my eyes, a pair of eyes were piercing me. A good-looking fellow in the bar in front of us. He raised his glass at me, and I couldn’t help but smile back.
Thomas quickly turned his head, acknowledging the situation.
“Why do you care so much that he hates you?”
“Because I love him,” I said so quickly that I didn’t realize what I had just said.
“Oh,” He said, annoyed, opening his eyes. “In love again? I know how easy it is to grab a little attention to fill your heart, to fix how you are feeling, but it is time. I know you can handle it. Ollie, you have a problem. It’s time for an intervention.”
My worst fear was having an intervention with Thomas. A renowned life coach. It was exciting and scary, so cool to attend his seminars, but not to have him as your bestie? No.
“What problem?” I interjected.
“What you always do, Ollie. You are escaping from yourself into another relationship and distracting the pain with new guys. Have you ever been alone more than a month without a new guy entering your life? A new dick sliding in your vagina?”
My jaw dropped at Thomas’s intervention. I’ve seen youtube videos in the past about his coaching methods, and every time he did one, picking a random person from the public, he read them like a book, and no one could save themselves from the fall. They all ended up crying, and I don’t want to cry; I won’t let him play with my vulnerability or whatever he is trying to pull off.
“Look at you already inviting chaos into your life when everything is settling down for once.”
Did he call me a magnet for chaos?
“Excuse me?!” I scoffed.
“Yes, You love chaos. You can’t lie to me. Do you know why you love it so much? When you are in chaos, you don’t have to confront anything about who you are. Do you know who you are, Olivia?”
Do I know who I am? I guess I do know myself.
“Of course, I know myself! Do we have to do this now? I am feeling sensitive, Thomas. I don’t want to do this right now.”
“Well, right now that this thing didn’t work out with Darius…guy…whatever his name is, you are numbing the pain again going for whatever guy that gives you attention. Smiling at this stranger that is sitting alone at the bar.”
“No one else is giving me attention!” I lied.
Omg, if he knew about Archibald, he would kill me.
“Uhum?” He closed his lips with a skeptical look in his eyes.
The waiter returned to our table with one bottle in hand. “Courtesy of the gentleman at the bar. He said you are the most beautiful girl in the room,”
“Send it back; new dicks are off on her new diet,” Thomas snapped back, waving a hand. The waiter opened his eyes and left with the bottle as I frowned.
“New dicks of my new diet!? Really Thomas?” I said, not able to hide indignation in my voice.
“Yes, I bet that without my help, you couldn’t stay away from a new dick for long. You are welcome,” Thomas said so loud and shameless that he didn’t care for any one of the guests seated near us. They were doomed to hear his comments.
“And here I thought we were going to have a civilized dinner,”
“I bet you fucked his brother until you grew feeling out of him. It’s just the way you are wired,” he narrows his eyes, watching me suspiciously.
“Thomas!” I interjected. “Omg, you are horrible!” I covered my eyes as I felt exposed.
How can he read me so fast?
“No, what is horrible is how you are running away from yourself, and I’m tired of watching this cycle on repeat. You are lucky your best friend is a coach, and hell yes, I am the best, so hear me out, little Ollie. Give yourself time to heal. I mean it. I’ve never seen you this skinny; it’s not healthy.” He said with genuine concern in his eyes.
“I am okay,” I lied.
“No, you are not. You’ve barely even had two bites of your food tonight,”
“I am not feeling my best,”
“That is a start, Olivia.”
I gave him a small smile.
“First of all, you are not approaching love in the right way. You have to love yourself,”
“And I did! I chose myself; I am being selfish for once in my life Thomas. I followed your advice. I put myself first; I chose my purpose,”
“I am glad that all the coaching I’ve given you all these years didn’t go down the drain, but Listen. Some people chase love as their ultimate solution for themselves, but you? You chase love as a remedy for pain, and that worries me.”
Feeling uncomfortable, I started to watch my hands placed on my lap.
“Unconsciously, you are looking for something new where you can swirl your mind around, just like you did with Darius as soon as you ended everything with Roger. Am I right? Covering all the pain from your past that you haven’t worked on. Losing your parents, practically raising Sarah, for example, I can keep going with the list.”
“I don’t want to talk about my parents,” I said, raising a red flag in the air.
“I am just saying that the way I see it, you are using love as an act of escapism. The distraction you are looking for so you don’t have to fix yourself,” He said, grabbing my hand and squeezing it.
“Thomas, are you going to make me cry?”
“If I have to, yes.” He said while giving me a loving smile, “The desire for attachment, passion, love, intimacy…its beautiful, Ollie, but it’s getting in the way of you becoming happy. You need to reset! No more fucking!” He clapped.
“No dating, no penises, just you alone for as long as you can. Do you think you can do that? Get to know yourself again? Work in your integrity, wants, needs, and purpose? Maybe forgive the past and let go?”
“I know today was about celebrating, but I want you to go home and cry your heart out and stop the need to think about Darius or any other man.”
But there is no other man than him.
“I want you to face your loneliness, the void and the pain, ad hug it like an old friend. All that pain and shame from your past. The shitty shit that you’ve been carrying. It’s time to touch it. No more running away. No more running away into another fantasy. Now you can cry. The intervention is over.”
That was the last drop that made me break into tears in the middle of our dinner. I was now sobbing uncontrollably.
“This is good, you are feeling,”
“I hate you, Thomas.”
“And I love you. I love you so much, and you are so strong, Ollie. So strong. I am so proud of you."
“I’ve already cried for a month each night. The pain is so bad. It doesn’t let me breathe. It burns. I love him, and I lost him forever.”
“No, you are crying because you’ve figured out that no one is going to fix you. No one will save you, only you, and now that you don’t need a destructive relationship to feel alive, you can start to exist, Ollie. You can start to be present and just be.”
“But it sucks to feel!”
“Yes it does, but remember this when you are on the floor. When everything else is gone, when you felt you lost everything. Remember that you have yourself, Olivia.”
“If it were so easy...”
“Maybe it’s not easy, but it is simple. Weighless, just learn to let go,”
“Fuck you!” I yelled pushing all the air out of my lungs.
“I can fuck, but you, on the other hand? I think you’ll need to buy a toy,” he winked. “So, no dirty business. Promise me,”
I stopped to breathe in, trying so hard to pull myself back together. I was sure I looked like a mess with my swollen eyes and pink nose.
“Alright, no sex and no dating,” I said, putting my lips in a flat line in surrender.
“Yes, an epic time out,” Thomas said, tasting his victory.
This quest thing about finding myself is going to be so hard.