I can’t possibly keep referring to this guy as the “guy” so lets call him Bob. That is not his real name but we will all know whom I am talking about. Bob finished up his degree and I still had a few years before I would finish my vet degree, so he decided to stick around and begin another degree as a way of being able to stay in the same city.
The relationship was rocky, but everything that I had read and all of the people that I had spoken to assured me that the first years of living with someone were always difficult. There are many books written about how to survive the first year together. So, I did not put too much stock in it.
By the next summer we were quite an item and decided to go away for a week together near the end of the break from school. We borrowed his mother’s car to go camping in our home province. We did not really set out a plan, but we loosely were going to drive to the areas where there were campsites, not the commercial, provincial ones where there were hundreds of people, but the more secluded ones where you could get out into nature, even if you did have water and electricity provided.
My idea of a nice vacation is to reach a destination that is enjoyable and relax there. Currently, my favourite vacations are to go to an all inclusive resort in the Caribbean where the weather is good, the scenery can be breathtaking and all of your needs are met without any thought. Food, drinks and entertainment are all available without any planning, total relaxation.
His idea of a vacation was to cover territory. He wanted to be doing things. We ended up going from campsite to campsite ever in search of the ultimate destination. There was always something that could be improved upon, the possibility of a better place to stay for a couple of days.
This meant that our holiday consisted of driving from place to place, setting up a campsite and taking the campsite down the next day and moving again. These places were often quite a distance from each other so we might spend a few hours on the road each day. Not my idea of relaxing.
To be fair in all of this, Ontario is gorgeous. We were driving through open expanses of fields, mature trees, small towns and waterways. There were all kinds of interesting things to see and nice places to stop and look around. We did not stop and look around. One of the priorities when driving anywhere is to get there as efficiently as possible, so stopping is never an option unless absolutely required. But I digress, the scenery was quite nice.
The bit that I’ve left out so far was that he did not have a driver’s license, or rather he had one and it had been suspended. In high school he had been in a serious car accident. They were never able to prove whether or not alcohol was involved because they were too busy trying to save lives to remember to take the required samples for blood alcohol analysis.
So, in summary, I drove for most of this holiday and he sat in the passenger seat and drank. Wow! The metaphor there is absolutely frightening.
We arrived at a particularly scenic place near the end of our week together and set up camp. The site was on the edge of a small inlet of water quite a ways back from the main body of water. This inlet was surrounded by mature trees with a majority of evergreens giving it a very secluded and private feel. The deep green and total coverage of the evergreen trees is quite appealing. We spent the day at the campsite and in the water.
Have you ever had the experience of blurting something out and then regretting it immediately? Have you ever realized later that it was the right thing to say even though you did not realize it at the time? Sometimes, the sensation feels like you knew what was going to be said, before it was said, and that you had the answer waiting and ready. These answers should be trusted.
At one point during our stay, we swam out to a small dock that was suspended near the edge of this large inlet. We were completely alone and there was this blissful feeling of being surrounded by nature and beauty. I climbed up onto the dock and sat there enjoying the scenery and Bob said something along the lines of, “Will you marry me?”
With no thought, no consideration and no hesitation I just blurted out, “No.”
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