Her name was Gigi. She was, without a doubt, the best and the worst thing that ever happened to me in my life. But let me take you back when it all started. Let me take you back to the Summer of 2010. 

Even after all these years I can still picture that day clearly like it happened yesterday. I just turned 18 and I remember that it was so hot outside. It was one of the hottest day that our country has experienced in years. I was working in an ice cream parlour wearing shorts, plain white t-shirt and light blue shoes with yellow laces. I had my hair in a messy bun and I could feel the sweat coming down my neck. I wiped it off and grabbed my water bottle. The queue calmed down and I could finally chill out and breathe.

Just when I was about to open new box of cones, a girl of my age, maybe bit older, turned up. I forced myself to smile and said:”Hi, what can I get you today?” 

“One scoop of raspberry sorbet,” she said and I nodded. I scooped a generous amount of ice cream into the cone and handed it to her. 


“That will be £2, please,” I said. I took the money and opened the till.

“Tough day?”

“Yeah, kind of. It was busy,” I smiled. 

“I used to work in here,” she looked around the place and then said:”Don’t miss this shit hole at all. Is Kevin still the manager here?” She asked me.

“Ehm… yeah. He is,” I said bit nervously. 

“Yeah, stupid idiot,” she murmured. “How long have you been working here?” 

“Oh, it’s my second summer. I moved here last year in January so this is kind of an extra money option,” I said to her. She was so beautiful with her long brown hair, perfect make up, a tattoo on her shoulder, black ripped shorts and a red top. 

“Yeah, it’s good money but their attitude…” she rolled her eyes and lick the ice cream. “Wanna have a drink after your shift?” She said suddenly. I stared at her for a moment. 

“Erm… I don’t… well,” I stuttered, still in shock. She was looking at me, smiling a bit as if she thought it was funny. 

“Do you know where the Kings head pub is?” She asked me and I nodded. 

“I’ll be there from 6 pm. Come along if you’d like,” she winked at me. And then she was gone. 

I was standing in front of the pub. It was 6:10 pm, and I nervously looked around. Ok, let’s do this, I said to myself, let my hair down and sprayed myself with a cheap perfume that I had in my bag. I opened the door to the pub. There were so many people, chatting, drinking beers and wine, eating dinner and laughing. I looked around but I couldn’t see her. 

I made my way to the bar and ordered myself gin and tonic. Double, please. With a drink in one hand and phone in the other, I made my way outside where there were more tables. And there she was. Sitting on her own, with a book, a cigarette and a pint of Cider. I sat down opposite her. 

“You’re here!” She said surprisingly, closing the book. 

“I am, indeed,” I said. 

“Well, cheers to that!” She raised her glass and I raised my one.

“Can I ask you, what’s your name?” I said.

“Gigi. And yours?” 

“El. Short for Eleanor,” I introduced myself. Gigi smiled and took another sip of her Cider. 

“What are you reading?” I asked her and pointed at the book. 

“Shadows of the wind. My favourite. Have you read it?” She asked me. I shook my head. 

“You should. It’s a brilliant story if you like books,” she said to me.

“Yeah, I do. Thanks for the tip,” I said. 

She looked at me, sort of curiously. “You need to drink up. I hate these formal conversations,” she laughed and downed her Cider. 

The evening went so well. Gigi and I had so much in common. We found out that we listened to the same bands, that we both loved Italian cuisine, that we both had divorced parents and that we hated winter. 

“We should go somewhere else,” she said suddenly. “Get a bottle of wine and go to the park.”

“That’s such a good idea!” I said way too loudly and clapped my hands.

There was no one in the park, just us. Giggling like teenagers. We found a spot and we sat down on a warm ground. Gigi opened the bottle and took a sip out of it, then she handed the bottle to me. 

We talked for so long. We didn’t care what the time is or that it was getting dark. It was perfect summer evening with a person whom I just met.

“You are funny,” she said to me and sat closer to me. 

“You too, Gigi!” I said. We drank half of the bottle. She smiled at me and then we kissed. Just like that. And in that moment, it felt right.

The Summer went on with hot days, lots of hours in the ice cream parlour and evenings in the pub with Gigi. We laughed so much together. I've never believed in soulmates but with Gigi I soon changed my opinion. She was my soulmate. We went camping together, we went to a festival, we’ve had lots of sleepovers, we cooked meals together, drove in a car to different places, we went for dinners, borrowed each other’s clothes, we laughed together and sometimes we argued but over little things and we kissed a lot. I felt so alive. 

“I want to go away with you. Just us. You know, to Greece or Spain or Barcelona,” she said to me one evening. I looked at her with surprise. 

“Are you serious?” 

“Yeah, why not? We are together every day, we both have the money to go. I mean, what are you saving for anyway? We should be enjoying ourselves. Not just in the evenings. I want to wake up next to you and have a breakfast with you without you or me knowing that we have to leave for work shortly. It would be perfect end to an awesome Summer!” 

It did made sense. All of it. And honestly, I wanted the same. There was nothing to stop us.

“Let’s do it,” I said. 

“Really?” Her eyes filled with excitement. 

“Hell yeah!” I said loudly and raised my glass with gin and tonic. “To us!” I said.

“To us,” she repeated. A few people from the table next to us, cheered as well. 

It was 5 am, Monday morning. Last week of August, last week of Summer, first holiday with my lovely Gigi. I was standing at the airport with my suitcase and a backpack next to me. I was sipping a hot coffee to wake myself up. I sat on a nearby chair and pulled my phone out of the pocket. No message from Gigi. She should be here anytime now but I texted her anyway. 

After 20 minutes of waiting, I was getting bit nervous. I texted her again and when she didn’t replied, I dialled her number and waited. And waited… no answer. Fuck sake! A wave of panic went through my body. Maybe she is still asleep? I tried again. And again. 

The minutes went way too fast and when I checked the flying board, our flight had already Gate number written next to it. 

I didn’t know what to do. I paced around, biting my nails. Her mum!!! I realised that I had her mum’s number. I dialled her and prayed for my call to be picked up.

“Hello?” A sleepy voice made me jump a bit.

“Morning, Mrs. B! I am so sorry for bothering you so early but I can’t get hold of Gigi. Our flight is going in like half an hour and she is still not here. She is not picking up her phone. Do you know anything at all where she could be?” I said everything so fast. 

“Oh, honey, I have no idea. But let me check her bedroom,” she said still in her sleepy voice. The moment before Mrs. B spoke again, felt like eternity. 

“Oh, erm…,” she stuttered. 

“What, what is it? Is she still asleep?” I said impatiently.

“No, dear, it’s a… it’s a note she left.”

“What does it say?” 

“It says: Tell El that I am sorry…”

“What the hell?” I said without even realising that I’ve said it.

“Erm… it is weird. Her stuff is gone as well,” her mum said. “I have to go, dear. I have to…”

I stood at the airport, not able to move or to do anything. A tear rolled down my cheek and I looked at the ticket. Seat 13A, Window, Front boarding. 

One more time, I said to myself and dialled Gigi’s number one more time. But still there was no answer. I grabbed my suitcase, my backpack and on my way out of the airport I teared the flight ticket apart. 

I had no idea what happened to Gigi and neither her mum. We tried to contact her on social media, through her friends, send her billions of messages, tried to call her several times but it seemed like she vanished. Months, years, days and hours went by. I was 22 years old when I decided to move somewhere else. I couldn’t go to the pub or to the park anymore. The town itself reminded me of Gigi every single day. It was tiring. 

I decided to move to Barcelona with a fresh mind and one simple goal: I will forget about Gigi.

As I said goodbye to my family and friends and went off to the airport, I had an idea. I pulled out my phone from the bag and texted: I am going to Barcelona. Shame we couldn’t go there 4 years ago when you’ve fucked it up. 

I hit sent and put my phone away. Few more hours and then my new life will begin…

My flight was delayed and I couldn’t be more annoyed. I found a coffee place at the airport so I sat down with a breakfast muffin, a flat and a book. Two hours of waiting. I began to read the book when my phone lit up and message appeared on the screen.

Gigi: I am sorry, love. 

I stared at the phone. My heart started beating so fast and soon enough my hands were shaking. I dropped the phone on the floor. “Bloody hell,” I said and grabbed my phone from the floor. I unlocked the phone and immediately dialled her number. 

“Hey, stranger,” a voice said at the other end.

“Bloody hell,” I managed to say. “Bloody. Hell.”

“So lovely to hear you. Are you on your way here, then?” She laughed as if nothing has happened. 

“What?” I snapped. “What the hell, Gigi? What happened?” I said bit more loudly than I realised. A family of 4 stood up and left the table next to me. I lowered my voice. “What happened to you?”

“I don’t think I can tell you on the phone. I want to see you. I live in Barcelona now,” she answered and my jaw dropped. 

“You what?”

“What time will you be here? I will pick you up.”

“Half four.” I said. 

“Perfect. See you then!” She said happily and then she hung up. I stared at the phone. What the hell just happened. 

The flight seemed endless but we finally landed in Barcelona. I grabbed my stuff as fast as I could, made my way out of the plane, to the security check, to the luggage claim and then to the main hall where lots of people were standing and waiting for their families, friends and loved ones. I looked around and there she was. I dropped my things on the floor and covered my face with my hands. I started to cry uncontrollably. Some people looked at me as if I was a weirdo. Gigi made her way to me and hugged me tight. 

“Oh, honey,” she whispered and kissed me on my cheek and then she lift up my face and kissed me properly. I hugged her back, kissing her. “Let’s go,” she said to me, grabbed my suitcase and backpack and holding my hand, she took me out of the airport. 

“My car is over there,” she said. “I didn’t came alone,” she also said. I looked at her with my watery eyes and mascara on my face.

“What? Who did you came with?” 

She didn’t answered. She opened a door for me and a little girl looked from the back seat. 

“Who is that, mummy?” 

I felt like someone punched me in the face. Gigi smiled behind me. “That’s my friend. El.”

The little girl looked at me curiously. “El, this is Rosie. My… ehm… daughter.”

I wasn’t able to say anything. I managed to smile at Rosie who still looked bit confused.

“Please, honey,” Gigi whispered, taking me to a side. 

“What?!” I whispered back. “You have a daughter? How… I mean… are you serious, Gigi?” I pushed her a bit. 

“I promise, I will tell you everything. Will you please get in the car so I can drop my daughter off at Robin’s and then we can go somewhere to talk?”

“Who the hell is Robin?” I said.

“Rosie’s dad.” I took a deep breath and then I nodded.

“Thank you,” she smiled at me and hugged me one more time. Oh, Gigi. What have you done…

We were sitting in a coffeeshop. I’ve ordered a strong coffee and a bowl of salad. Gigi was sipping her iced coffee and pushing a piece of brownie with a fork on a plate. 

“What happened?” I asked again. I felt like I’ve asked this question a several times but still I was getting no answer. 

Gigi looked at me and pushed the plate with the brownie on the side. “I don’t know where to start,” she began. 

“Maybe start with our messed up holiday?” I suggested sarcastically. She smiled nervously. 

“Yeah, right. That I can do.” She took a deep breath. I looked at her impatiently. “The day before our flight I found out that… that I was…” her eyes would not meet mine which made me angry.

“You were what, Gigi? Look into my eyes, for God's sake, and say it! You left me at the airport!!! You have completely cut out the contact! Take some responsibility and tell me what happened!”

She stared at me with a surprise. 

“Well?” I demanded. 

“I found out,” another deep breath, “that I was pregnant.”

The words were hanging in the air like a poison between us. I stared at her. This time I had no words. No words at all. 

“So when I found out…I panicked. Obviously. So I left the note on my bedside table. I knew you will call my mum eventually that morning and I was already packed up so… I left.”

“Where did you go?” I asked slowly. My mouth was dry but I didn’t drink anything to get rid of it. 

“Well… Robin said to me that he is driving to France with some friends. He asked me the day before I found out, if I want to come along and I said no. I said that I have plans and he said if I change my mind, I can go with them. So I did,” she looked at me carefully. 

“Who is this Robin?”

“I met him this one night when you and I argued over some stupid thing and I left that evening, do you remember?”

Of course I did. It was the first argument when one of us actually left the other one and we haven’t spoken for days until Gigi came back to me. She was crying back then. I thought she was sorry because she was the one who left but now I knew why she cried. 

“And so,” she continued, “after I left your house, I went to the pub to clear my head. And I had way too many drinks and I met Robin who said to me that his friend couldn’t make it that evening and asked for my company. So we drank together and then we… well… we slept together. But, El honey, I can’t tell you how sorry I am. I am so, so, so sorry!” She started to cry at that point, tried to hold my hand but I snatched my hand away. My eyes filled with tears. 

“I can’t believe it,” I whispered. “I tried to get in contact with you and NOTHING! Your mother was and probably still is, so damn angry with you. And you left to France with a guy who made you pregnant and whom you didn’t know! You are such a bitch, I can’t believe it!”

The customers were looking at us. I stood up, threw some money on the table, grabbed my stuff and left the coffee shop. I didn’t look at Gigi.

So there you go. That’s why she was the best thing and the worst thing that ever happened to me in my life. She showed me love, she made me laugh, she made me feel like a unique person and she made me believe that soulmates do exists. But she also broke me. She hurt me in a way that I can’t even explain. I’ve lived in Barcelona for a few months but then I moved again. To Amsterdam. It’s been 5 years now and sometimes I find myself thinking about Gigi and then I always smile and say to myself: would we be still together if we haven’t had that one stupid argument?

July 07, 2020 22:35

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