Since the last heartbreak, I had pretty much given up on dating and lost all faith in the female species in general. When you are in an area that is home to a large population of “Working girls” and tourists, you kind of just stop looking after a while. I was not looking for a one night stand or temporary fling and I definitely was not going to be with a girl that was with other guys every night. I had in time adapted and become accustomed to being alone. Then at the most unexpected moment and the time you need it most, someone enters your life and in essence sets your soul free.
My sheer disgust with Costa Rica had risen to an all-time level. There are only so many times you can listen to the same lies and be taken advantage of by those around you. The more work I put in, the more it seemed the leeches would appear, sucking both the life and happiness out of me.
As I noticed good things come in bunches. I was removing the negative entities from my life, my work situation was becoming stable and more enjoyable, and then she happened. You may be thinking that I am going to be rehashing about a love interest, but this was more like an angel entering my life to help me become me again and finally recover my smile.
Since the surgeries, it had seemed like everything on a daily basis was a battle. Although there would be days that I found peace, a majority of the time was spent trying to figure out who I was without alcohol. I was having to rebuild both my life and who I was at the same time. There were not many days when I was happy. Even if everything was going well on the outside, inside a war was raging that I could not quell or comprehend.
Ariel and I connected electronically. I would love to have some incredible story about how our eyes met from across the room and we were immediately drawn to each other, but that is not what happened. I was basically a hermit and was not going to meet someone in the real world with the life I was living; reserved, shy and introverted. With all that being said something had a hand in the fact she was brought into my life.
I had gone past the point where I wanted a girlfriend, a friend to hang out with and talk intelligently would suffice and that is what I received. Ariel and I would message back and forth, talking about our days and what was going on in our lives. She had recently gone through a divorce and I was in no state mentally to start a relationship, so what we had was perfect. Before we knew it, we had become pretty good friends.
After some time talking, I had to make a trip into the city to run some errands and we decided to meet for a movie & dinner. As I waited in the food court for her to show up after work, I felt nervous excitement like I was back in high school and going on a first date. Although I knew we were just friends, I still had butterflies. Something I had not felt in a long time.
After a perfect evening together, I dropped her at her house and headed back to my hotel. All I kept thinking was “I have never really felt that comfortable with someone. Especially that beautiful.” There was no goodnight kiss, it was just two friends that had enjoyed an evening together. But on the drive back to my hotel I almost felt if some of the dark clouds that had gathered over me had been blown away.
After about another month we decided to take a weekend trip together to Manuel Antonio and Matapalo to see sea turtles released. It would turn out to be more than a weekend together, it would be a weekend where I would begin to find happiness with a fresh view on the world around me.
Ariel’s behavior was intoxicating and brought me into a state where I was seeing things through her eyes. For this weekend I was living life as it should be; seeing the joys and wonders of life presented by our surroundings and experiences as if they were being discovered for the first time. I had taken off the jaded glasses that most adults wear and reverted back into a childlike state of mind.
We drove through Quepos and started the ascent up the hill towards Manuel Antonio as the beginning of the afternoon rains started. It was the end of rainy season so this was expected. I watched as my friend’s eyes took in everything. The rain forest that lined each side of the road, the brief glimpses of the incredible Pacific Ocean view, and the quaint hotels and houses set back in the tropical surroundings. Periodically she would turn towards me with a gleam in her eyes and smile…nothing more needed to be said.
After checking into our villa, we headed south to the small town of Matapalo to go to the Annual Turtle Festival. It was the first time either of us had been to an event like this. After listening to a talk on the reasons that turtle conservation is so important, we headed to the beach to watch the turtles be released. It had begun raining harder and we were both soaked. Not once did she complain, she reveled in the experience and was taking in everything.
After the release of the turtles, we headed back to car and headed back to the villa. We sat quietly as I think we were both absorbing everything that we had taken in that afternoon. This WAS Costa Rica. As we drove back my friend closed her eyes and went to sleep like a child running out of energy after a long day at an amusement park.
After changing into some dry clothes, we headed out to eat at a Falafel Bar. The rain continued to fall as we enjoyed the meal together. I watched as she was in ecstasy with each bite of her food. It was like she was trying her favorite food for the first time.
We headed back to the villa and decided to fill the Jacuzzi on the balcony. Unfortunately, the water heater did not work very well so it was more like a cold bath with bubbles, but we still jumped in and watched the stars over the Pacific Ocean.
Although she was thanking me for taking her with me on this adventure, it was I that should have been thanking her. She had made me feel happy again. Food tasted better. I was seeing things that I had ignored before and the beauty was once again brought out of the country in which I was living. The annoyances that I would dwell on in the past were drowned out. There was something that I had lost when I went through my surgeries. It was almost as if during the time in the hospital that had cut out an organ that allowed me to experience joy and amazement. Ariel had returned it to the proper place in my body.
There was no way to tell her what she had done for me, just the little time we had spent together had made me whole again and opened my eyes to a new life. It was time to continue the journey I was on but with a different set of eyes and different set of emotions.
We fell asleep in each other’s arms that night and did not awake until the sun was rising over the ocean. One day, one perfect day had changed my life forever.