Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Baby's got Blue Eyes

Summer in the desert was quite something! I wouldn't necessarily recommend it unless you're a sucker for punishment. Luckily, I'm a homebody, so it didn't bother me much to be stuck at home and away from the sun. This, coming from someone who loves the sun. I mean, my favorite city in South Africa is Durban. That should tell you something. Very tropical. The thing about Vegas is that it is in the midst of the desert, that's brutal! It was hot day and night, nonstop!

Charlie and I continued seeing each other after the sexting situation. In case you haven't notices, I have sucker for punishment tendencies. He always had some kind of a coupon. He got most of them from the casino where he worked. He would insist we went to the restaurants where he had coupons just so he could save 20%. To him, that was scoring. To me, that was spending the 80% one didn't need to spend. Different strokes. It was his money after all. 

Charlie loved to ride fast. I guess you don't get a bike as your only means of transportation if you don't love the thrill of all the near-death experiences that come with riding it fast, huh? I would always be like, 'Charlie! Oh my Godddddd! You're going to kill us!" He would pretend like he can't hear me. I know he did, he has very good hearing. "Sloweeeeeeerrrrr" My words would get blown away by the wind. 

We had good times, I enjoyed the outings, in the almost four years I had lived overseas, including Eastern Europe, I hadn't been in that kind of a relationship where a guy showed me with his actions that he enjoyed my company. It was very flattering. Sometimes, we would be chatting via text, he would ask me in passing where I was and what my plans were and before I knew it, he would just show up. I would hear the bike parking outside my place. He really knew how to put a smile on my face. I felt like a girl and he was a boy; the boy, my boyfriend. The fact that he had blue eyes was an added bonus. Call it a double cherry on top! I used to call him blue eyes! "Hey, Blue Eyes, how's work?'' We would chat all day and right through the night as he was working. I really enjoyed having that constant person in my life. Granted, I sometimes wanted to punch him in the neck but I liked how he made me feel for the most part.

Charlie paid attention to the things I said I liked and he would surprise me by doing them or getting them for me whatever the case may be. I mean, I never received more flowers from one man in my life! He offered to pay my phone bill. I thought that was sweet but I declined the offer. He asked if I needed help paying rent, he had to ask, he hardly saw me going to work. That's the fun part about my life, I play more than I work and yet I can pay my bills, in fact, I go a step ahead and pay them early. Why not? Isn't that the joy of life...living? Again, I told him I was ok, I could afford my bills. It got to a point where he got obsessed with how much money I had. One afternoon, he grabbed my receipt when I was at the ATM, he wanted to see. He felt he had to know. I thought that was rude and unnecessary, those are the moments I felt like kicking him in the gut. Rancho, the guy I dated in LA was the same way, he was so obsessed with how much money I had in the bank. Tortoise asked me once if I have an inheritance. I don't know why people are surprised when someone pays their own bills and doesn't ask them for financial help. I get the feeling they expect me to ask them and I just don't. Also, maybe because I'm from Africa, they think that I can't afford American currency stuff, well, I live here now, surely I'm not walking around with a bag full of South African Rand trying to make ends meet in America!

Charlie would buy all my favorite snacks when I was going to spend time at his place. This was after the roommate finally moved out. Charlie always made sure he had the stuff I liked, I felt like I really was a big part of his life. He knew what my favorite TV shows were and didn't like one of them but he would compromise and let us alternate or let me watch one episode of one his faves and then we would have my favorite stuff playing in the background the rest of the time. Sweet! 

My first couple of times at his place, when he was sleeping, during the day as he used to work nights, I tidied up the kitchen. It was tidy but he had all his groceries on top of the stove. He got free meals at his job, all night long. He hardly ever ate at his place. You could tell not a lot of cooking was taking place in that house. I cleared the stove top. He had a stocked up fridge. Big fridge! I was inspired to cook. And you know me, I ain't no cook and I'm spoilt because all my guys here have cooked for me. Even though Charlie didn't do much cooking, he treated me much better than any of the Top Chefs I dated. It was only fitting that I would want to cook for him. He loved that whole life of having a girlfriend, making plans as a couple, going out together, buying me gifts, coming home to a clean house and a cooked meal. He really appreciated all that. It's so inspiring to do something for someone who appreciates things like that. We were the perfect match in that regard, we both wanted to be in a relationship, not just that, we wanted to get married! We wanted to have that life! 

Overtime, we became best friends, he was literally my only friend in Vegas. I did meet people and make friends, I do all the time but nothing stuck. He seemed to get me, he was a great listener something that is rare in my life. People just want to talk about themselves, at least people I had been surrounding myself with. It was nice to have someone who could just listen and actually hear what I was saying. I knew he thought about me even when I wasn't with him from the surprise visits and from his stories about how he saw something and though of me, we should go check a certain spot out etc.

He didn't care how expensive something was, if he thought I wanted it or it would make me happy, he would do it. I didn't have to ask him. Instead, I would be the one telling him, it's ok, you don't have to. In a sense, I was glad I was the one in his life because I didn't take advantage him financially, I had plenty of opportunities to but just him being a part of my life was more valuable to me than what he could buy me. I can afford to myself whatever I want. Thank goodness.

He saw how close I am with my family, he told me about his family. He didn't know his father, they literally never met. His mom is, apparently a drug addict and an alcoholic. He has one sister, she's younger than him. I would have long Skype chats with my sisters while at his place in the living room while he slept. He would tell me that he needs to work on his relationship with his family too. My nephew had a baby, the cutest thing you can ever lay eyes on! I had one of her pictures as a screensaver on my cell for a while. Charlie, copied that idea and had his sister's little one's picture as a screensaver on his phone. I was glad to be positive influence to him. I was also proud of how far he had come. He told me he used to do drugs from age  9 until his 20's. He told me he would do them with his mom, that's how it all started. By the time we met, he had his own place, job, means of transportation and savings. It was something to be proud of, how far he had come.

Apparently he met the 62 year old man who roomed with him in a homeless shelter. Charlie lived in shelters on and off for 6 years, finally, he cleaned up his act and made a 180 degree change. Good for him. He is a very goodhearted person who will literally take the shirt off his back for a stranger. He gave this one guy a pair of his work shoes. The guy had been struggling, he was homeless for a while and was cleaning up his act, he got a job, called Charlie and Charlie called him over to his place. He gave him the shoes he was actively wearing to work. I asked him why he didn't at least give him shoes he wasn't wearing. He told him he wanted to give him nice shoes so that he can look good at his new job. It was a testament to how good a person he is.

He took time to meet people, and he remembered their names. He introduced himself to my landlord one day and would always greet her by name whenever he saw her. A new guy moved into one of the apartments where I lived, Charlie saw him, introduced himself to that guy. I remember, we were hanging out at my place, after he left, I noticed after about ten minutes that I never heard the bike, so I called him, he told me he was still around. He was chatting to my new neighbor. He didn't judge people by how they look or financial status or any such thing. He got along with people in all age groups, I mean, look at that 62 year old man he was sexting with!  

He would say hi to my sister on Skype if he's awake. 

I remember telling him how my family always surprises each other when we go home for holidays. I told him we do it almost all the time without fail. How I surprised my siblings when I returned from Eastern Europe,  first, my mom and my oldest sister who was at my mom's at the time, then called my brother on the phone and pretended I was still in Georgia, surprised him too and then went ahead and surprised my sister and her daughter when they got home (my mom's) by hiding behind the closet and just walking into the kitchen while everyone was catching up; all in one trip. I gave him different examples, he loved the idea and told me he was going to go to Colorado and surprise his family. I was flattered he loved the idea but it was going to be an 11 hour trip on the motorbike. I din't think it was a good idea. I mean, on that last surprise, I had taken the bus, the train, a taxi, a plane and a car. He ended up no doing it, not because I said so but because he didn't have time. I had recommended he just took the bus. Much safer. He had never ridden the bike that long.

Those are some of the things that attracted me to him and made me stick around even when times were challenging. The good outweighed the bad.