The Love Story Part 7 - Our Adventure Begins

NO, NO, NO!!! How can this be happening? How can I be rejected with such casual abandon? For the very first time in my entire life, I have allowed myself to be open and vulnerable, and now I have been shunned.

At breakfast, I ask him what is going on for him and all he offers me is...

"I didn't think you'd come away with me otherwise." 

Right here. Right now. This is my chance to change the trajectory of my life. Should I ask him to leave and head off to New Zealand alone or should I carry on with the trip together in the hope that things will change?

I decide to cling to the belief that this is only a fleeting setback. A momentary panic. I just don't want to let go. I refuse to believe that after over a year of messaging and calls and what I thought was our deep connection, our beautiful friendship, this could be it.

We have our little love escape coming up. Maybe things will change for him.

Bushfire aftermath in Jervis Bay
I should have paid heed to the weather as a prediction of how things were to evolve. Devastatingly charred and layered in ash from the recent catastrophic bushfires, Huskisson is not quite the picturesque haven of white sandy beaches and crystal translucent ocean we had in mind. We could hardly complain about the thunderous storms, thick humidity, wild winds and drenching rain either. The poor town so badly needed a good soaking.

Bustling with family holidaymakers and horse race betting regulars, The Husky Hotel does little toward providing the romantic ambience that may have altered the mood of the place either. 

With little else to do, we return to our love shack and revisit sex. He suggests oral stimulation may somehow make things different for him. Beginning gently, stroking and caressing him, I slowly increase the intensity and speed, bringing him to a climax. Fully aroused by the foreplay and fuelled with the notion that this would be the beginning of things for us, I guide his hand to my breast to relieve my begging nipples. A yearning in my core prompts me to slide his hand down where his nimble fingers can work their magic. Oh my! Surely he is satisfied now, I certainly am.

My contentment quickly dissipates as he appears uneasy and confused. Something seems to niggle at him. He confesses that he has only ever slept with two other women in his life, both of which he married. He equates sex with marriage and with two failed marriages, is it any wonder he struggles with intimacy?

With ever an empathetic heart, I relate to his suffering. It all makes sense and my heart is revived. I'm not like either of his previous wives. Upon his reckoning, both are narcissistic and plagued with mental health issues. All I want is to love him wholly with all of his quirks and inadequacies. Surely over our two-month New Zealand adventure, he will come to see my open and loving heart. There will be plenty of time for us to let the tension settle, ease into each other, and let things grow. We are still the best of friends, surely there is a chance for romance to evolve.

Beautiful sunrise in Queenstown

"Fancy a trip to New Zealand?" he greets me on the very morning of our adventure.

This is it. Our epic journey is about to begin.

Over two months, we are astounded and amazed by the breathtaking scenery of the north and south islands. Punctuated with highlights like flying over Wanaka and into Milford Sound, kayaking around Abel Tasman and helicoptering onto the glacier at Franz Josef, we were in constant wonder.

The romance of it all isn't lost on me. As he circles my waist with his arm and draws me in tight toward him for the obligatory photo in front of an ice cave, I return the embrace with vigour but quickly deflate upon the realisation that today is Valentine's Day and I am in a magical place with a man that doesn't want me.

As travellers, we make a cohesive couple. I make us breakfast. Then whilst he maps and plans our day or packs the car (he has a system that I daren't impede upon), I prepare our poké rice bowl or teriyaki chicken salad for lunch. We spend the day exploring or travelling to the next town. I photograph and diarise the trip whilst he does all of the driving. (Actually, I think he is traumatised by my driving and rather than relinquish the wheel, persists for 8,022 km despite the chronic ache in his shoulder). Each evening, we relax in town with a pint and a wine followed by a meal at a quaint pub or restaurant.

Throughout our journey, my cheery disposition is easily maintained by his high school boy banter and recycling of advertising jingles from his youth. He makes me laugh every single day.

To everyone around us, we appear a happy couple. More than once we have been mistaken as being married. Returning to collect me during a pedicure in Nelson, the technician asks,

"Oh, lady, is that your husband?"

          "I wish!"

Then there are the evenings. Queen bed after queen bed, sleeping naked next to him, aching for him but not being able to touch him, I keep to my side of the bed. Night after night, I respect his wishes but longed for that one night, after a few drinks, where we would casually fall into each other's embrace and fully enjoy an evening of pleasure, even if it was just that. Fifty-two tension-filled nights.

View over Wanaka
Nearing the end of our adventure, a foreboding overwhelms me. Despite his rejection, I don't want this to end. Sadly though, it is hastened along all too quickly with the news that the covid pandemic is beginning to reach us. Lost in our remote daily excursions, we had been quite removed from it all.

Just as we reach Auckland, we are greeted with messages from friends that Australia would be closing their borders to non-citizens from 6pm the very next day. There is a decision to be made. Will he fly back to London or come back to Australia with me? I wait patiently for his answer.

The story continues here...

Read from the beginning here..

 

THE AUTHOR

As it does, life took a devastating sideways turn for me. With fierce determination, I quit my teaching job, shut down my photography business, packed up my apartment, hired an agent and rented it out on Airbnb, bought a ticket to London and embarked on an adventure of discovery, both about the world and myself. I’ve learned a great deal about people, places and myself. I’m happy that you are here for the ride. Nina x


Where you can find my work...
I will be documenting my travels through photography on Facebook and Instagram. Prints will also be available on my website. If you are interested in following along, here are some of my sites.

Facebook Group - Finding Nina Adventure
Sharing daily adventures from my travels including discoveries about myself and the people around me 

An in-depth look at places I've visited with plenty of travel information from Ireland, France, UK, Iceland and who knows where next.  

Where you can purchase signed, framed limited edition prints of my work.

My professional work as a portrait photographer


Comments

Sue said…
He is the narcissist.
Nina Beilby said…
Do you think so? I'm hopeless at picking them then, aren't I. At the time, I wouldn't have thought so.
Unknown said…
Waiting, not so patiently, for the next instalment. I know what I want to happen but...
I barely know you Nina but I do know you deserve so much better.
Nina Beilby said…
Thank you so much. That helps. Sometimes I find it difficult to believe that I do deserve better and on top of that, I'm frightened of being hurt again. Yet, the alternative isn't much better, even if I try to convince myself it is. đź’™

Don't Miss A Thing...

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