Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 91 Louis and Petra

Louis and Petra met in 1998 in Environmental Science class at the University of East London. Petra flirted with Louis and Louis found her annoying and off-putting. She was too loud and exuberant.

After getting to know her more, and finding that her zest for life was real and not a put-on, he started falling for her. By the time he had started to fall for her, she had moved on and was dating someone else. But Petra still had a soft spot for Louis and so they started an inappropriate friendship. Petra eventually broke up with the guy she was dating and she and Louis started a relationship proper. It lasted three months. Louis broke up with Petra because being in love was new to him, because it freaked him out and because he didn’t realise that love was not a smooth ride.

Petra finished her degree and moved back to Greece. Louis went on with life, relationships and political activism. Ten years later in November 2008, Petra got in touch with Louis out of the blue. She called him from Greece and told him she was planning to be in London during the Christmas vacation, and they should meet up. Later, she would tell Louis that she had called him in the naïve hope that something might be rekindled between them.

Something did rekindle between them. Louis fell in love with Petra all over again. Hard. They met up the day after Boxing day (which is the day after Christmas day) and had the best date. They met in a pub in Camden Town, had dinner in a Brazilian bar, and then went dancing at Madam JoJos, a funk club. It was the best six hours Louis had ever spent with a woman.

At the end of her vacation Petra went back to Greece. Louis didn’t pine away. Instead he made a plan to spend the summer with her. Plan A was that Louis was going to spend a month in Zakinthos, where Petra lived. After agreeing to that, Petra got cold feet and the plan became that Louis would spend a month in Greece, but only a week of that would be in Zakinthos with Petra.

It was a long, difficult winter for Louis. But finally summer came round and it was time to go to Greece. He opened two separate bank accounts giving him access to ₤1,250 in overdraft and sold all his books for ₤800. Two weeks before he was due to fly out, Petra told him she had started dating someone.

Louis went to Greece. He had to know what had happened, and if there was still a glimmer of hope, which there always is, he was going to hold on to that.

After spending two awkward days with Petra in Zakinthos, her boyfriend showed up with a menacing undertone. Louis spent three more awkward days with Petra, Petra’s boyfriend and Petra’s mum in Zakinthos. Louis eventually left Zakinthos and went on to other Greek adventures. He had fallen in love and he had followed his heart. He may have been heartbroken, but he had no regrets.

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