Staying behind in Koh Phangan because I didn't have the courage to ask.
When I turned around, Aaron, one of the only others who stayed behind, asked me why I didn’t go with them.
And I replied, “I don’t know.”
Because none of my excuses seemed valid.
Then Aaron asked me if I wanted to go book a ticket with him to Koh Tao.
And I said, “OK.”
Truth was I had wanted to go in the first place. But Josh had never asked me to come or if I wanted to come. Truth was, I was already regretting not just sucking it up and asking.
I knew Josh and his friends were only spending two nights there before heading on to Bangkok and then home. So I was only going to get one more night with him. But, sometimes, I guess, you have to realize how stupid you’re being and snap out of it all and take what you can.
When we boarded the boat the next morning I was kind of nervous and scared.
Scared that we wouldn’t be able to find Josh. Scared that he didn’t really want me to come. Scared that I’d find him already with another girl. Scared that I screwed everything up. Scared that I was just going to get my heart broken.
At least one of my fears was squashed as soon as we arrived at the hostel and, in a moment of brilliant coincidence, his friend Oscar walked into the reception. And soon after I was hugging my boy hello.
It felt weird, at first, because I was still nervous that he didn’t want me there. And so I told him that I had wanted to come but wasn’t sure if that was what he had wanted, and he said that it was.
We spent the afternoon swimming, floating. The water was shallow and you had to go out really far before you were immersed. It was a beautiful little beach.
And we spent the night with dinner, two-for-one buckets of whiskey and coke, watching poi on the beach.
I wasn’t prepared to say goodbye again.
But then the guys ended up deciding to stay another day.
And so we suddenly had more time.
The next day we all went snorkeling. Throughout this trip I’ve had no interest in snorkeling. I chickened out once before. I have an aversion to putting my head under water. And don’t think I can swim.
But Josh said he’d show me what to do.
It was hard, at first, because I kept getting water in the mouthpiece and breathing it in and choking.
But he wouldn’t let me give up and switched snorkels with me to his better one and was patient and held onto my arm for every moment I needed him to. And he made me feel comfortable. And I trusted him.
As soon as I got my head under water I found out how much easier it is to float that way. And as soon as a fish brushed right past my eyes I knew it would be quite an adventure.
And it was one of the more amazing experiences of my trip so far.
But the night was hard. I knew I had made things more difficult by following him to Koh Tao. Because we just had to say goodbye again. After dinner we went for a walk on the beach. And I cried. Because I knew he had to leave. Because he said I’d meet other guys. Because he reminded me that we were in different places.
And I knew that everything he was saying was true. But I didn’t want to be brought back to reality just yet.
He suggested we head back to our place but halfway there I changed my mind and said we should meet back up with his friends. I didn’t want to go back upset. So we turned around.
It was a good decision that allowed me to head off the sit on the beach with Laura, a wonderful British girl, who helped talk me down. To drink some wine. To laugh and talk. To calm down until I was back in my island world…