Kate was on a date with Nathan Boyd, Julie’s ex-boyfriend. She unceremoniously dumped him the day of their first anniversary.
Kate knew she shouldn’t have accepted the dinner invitation from Nathan, but curiosity overcame logic. And her rational thinking. But when a man calls you up begging to speak to you, it’s hard to resist.
The Kingdom knew that Julie fell in love faster than any other girl. Once her claws were into a man, her infatuation grew into an obsession at lightning speed. There wasn’t a man who could sustain her lightning dating pace. That was until Nathan came along.
Their meeting was by chance. Julie was cleaning tables at a restaurant. Nathan was buying coffee after coffee, hoping she would be the waitress to deliver them to his table.
After the fifth coffee, he worked up the courage to ask her out. Julie accepted. She ended up sleeping with him on the first date.
Usually, her eagerness to open her legs would scare the man away. But Nathan was the exception, and with the presentation of her vagina, he was hooked. Placing her on a tall, unwavering pedestal, Julie became his princess. For a long time, Julie enjoyed the adoration she longed to experience.
For a moment, all The Girls thought Julie had found a man who could tolerate, understand and treasure her reckless emotions. Nathan kept her momentarily grounded.
He helped her focus on the more significant parts of life. She cared less about hooking up with random boys that didn’t serve her confidence or perception of self. Nathan could have been the one if Julie didn’t screw it up.
But she did.
The Holiday Begins
A month before her twenty-first, we celebrated Julie’s coming of age with a holiday interstate.
In the last week of January, Olivia, Kate, Julie and I spent ten days laying out on the beach in Byron Bay. Smoking and drinking away the afternoons was the full-time agenda. We spent the evenings drinking at The Northern, before stumbling to a beachside restaurant.
It was on the second day of our idyllic holiday when it changed. We met a group of boys from Queensland, drinking with our same enthusiasm at the pub. They were kind, sweet guys, who we immediately connected with.
However, it was the sympathetic looks and charisma of Harry Barkley that caught Julie’s wavering attention. It would seem without Nathan around, her dedication to a better life wasn’t her priority.
While the rest of us spent our time getting to know each other, Julie danced the thin line of cheating. Though she and Harry never kissed or touched, the emotional cheating was palpable.
I watched in horror as they shared secrets. Their discussions would centre around physical desires. ‘What I would do to you if you were single,’ Harry would whisper. Julie warned off any intruders who could ruin their romance. Including any of us. I was thankful Nathan wasn’t here to see it.
Julie privately thanked her lucky stars the rest of the Kingdom wasn’t there either.
Warning Julie was impossible. ‘Don’t be the cheater,’ I begged her. I told her about the sting of finding out your lover’s unfaithful actions. I told her about being the bitch who had to confess the cheating. Both scenarios resulted in losers.
For the first time in our friendship, she told me where to go, delivered with the most emphatic screaming. She was drunk at the time and apologised to me the next day, but I know she didn’t mean it.
Julie was acting like a spoiled brat, and she hated that I was right.
Returning home to Nathan with commitment and love, Julie would find impossible. She maintained her connection with Harry was momentary, a mere ‘holiday friendship’. And he didn’t influence her decision. ‘I swear by it’, she quipped.
I bit my lip, as did many of us. Nathan was the only one not to know about Harry. The late-night text messages. The hour-long phone calls on a Sunday afternoon. The explicit imagery of her naked body intensifying the stakes. The lying to Nathan was heartbreaking. Yet, lying to herself was tragic.
As long as waiting-in-the-wings Harry waited to replace Nathan, Julie’s decision was straightforward. There would never be a good time to lower the axe.
And that’s when the tragedy continued.
Julie forgot their Wednesday evening movie-date was to celebrate their one-year anniversary. So when she dumped him, Nathan wailed like a wounded child. In the cinema's lobby. Holding the popcorn as the ice cream melted down his hand.
So what happens to heartbroken man look for an explanation? He asks questions. A lot of questions.
And as Julie remained silent, he started asking her closest friends.
Hence the date with Kate.
See you the next time I open the Little Black Book….
Date Night Dirt: A Date With Nathan Boyd, Part Two
Kate was on a date with Nathan Boyd, Julie’s ex-boyfriend, who she unceremoniously dumped the day after their first…
I’m Ellen McRae, writer by trade and passionate storyteller by nature. My want is for a better opportunity for writers, especially fictional, in an increasingly technology dominant world. I write the stories that have formed my life and comment on the experience along the way.