You know that scene where Bridget Jones misses Daniel Cleaver so much she decides to surprise him by turning up to his door only to find him in there with another woman? It’s a cliché we’ve seen in many chick-flicks, and probably anyone in a relationship’s worst nightmare. But the good thing about nightmares is that they’re not actually real, right? So as I walked down the corridor towards his door, with 100 roses in my hand and the porter beside me carrying my suitcase, I never thought for a moment that a movie cliché was about to become my reality.
“And I’m dying to know, is it killing you like it’s killing me? And the story of us looks a lot like a tragedy now.” Taylor Swift
I suppose I should begin by explaining the build up to that fateful knock on the door and why I decided it was a good idea to turn up to anyone’s room unannounced. I mean, what was I thinking? This is 2018; we don’t even ring doorbells anymore, we just text people to tell them we are outside. And I definitely need to explain why on earth I had 100 roses in my hand, because even as I was running down Oxford Street with tears in my eyes, I couldn’t help but laugh at how utterly unreal the situation seemed. I had become Bridget Jones, although I wasn’t dressed as a playboy bunny, at least.
So the night before we had gone out with a few friends. I’d been at his hotel that day, but I decided to leave because he seemed off and it was making me overthink. Oh god, he must be over me. We’ve spent too much time together too quickly. Maybe he doesn’t want me to be here. Oh god, he must be wishing I’d leave and I’m still here. “I’m going to go home”, I said breezily, “but I’ll see you tonight” and as I went to kiss him he moved his head and kept his eyes open to carry on watching the film. “Yeah see you later”, he said cooly and uninterested.
Stop overthinking, I warned myself. My head has the remarkable ability to fantasise about every worse-case-scenario, and usually for absolutely no reason. Maybe we just need some space. I’m going to make sure I look amazing and turn up later and be my bright and positive self. But the night came and he could barely look me in the eye, and spent his time with everyone else in the room. That’s cool, I thought, I have friends here too, I can have a good time without him. And before I knew it I realised he had left without so much of a goodbye. I went to stay at my friend’s place that night as it was her last night in the UK, and when I woke up in the morning she had already left for the airport, leaving me behind 100 beautiful roses. I turned on my phone and decided that rather than spending the day moping and waiting for him to contact me, I would give him the benefit of the doubt and surprise him so we could enjoy our last day together before he had to leave for work for a few months. “I’m coming to your hotel baby”, I messaged him, and before long I was in a taxi travelling across London trying to tell myself this was completely cute and normal and I hadn’t in fact turned into a psychopath.
As I walked into the hotel around midday, the hotel staff greeted me warmly and told me that they hadn’t seen him yet, and offered to help me carry my things up to his room. And so it was that a porter stood beside me as I reached his door, with 100 roses in my hands.
I could hear the echoes of a movie and movement towards the door (thank god he was in) and I prepared my face to give him the warmest, not-pyscho-at-all smile. And so the door opened. And I looked up at him and smiled. A smile that I hoped would cover my nerves and over-thinking that had plagued my mind for over twelve hours. He was in his boxers and as I caught his eyes I realised he must have been sleeping as he seemed confused. No wait, he looked horrified. Oh god, this is a bad surprise I thought, still trying to maintain my composure and my smile. “There’s someone here”, he whispered in my ear, slightly panicked. “What?” I said, looking slightly awkwardly at the porter who was shuffling from side to side, presumably wishing the ground would swallow him up. Me frickin’ too pal. “There’s someone here baby, you’ll have to come back later”, he repeated as he closed the door on me. “He’s going to be a while, you can go”, I said to the porter as calmly as I could before he virtually ran down the corridor. And I just stood there.
What do I do? Do I go into his room to find out who exactly is in there? That’s what Bridget did. But I didn’t have a room key, and did I really want to see? Do I knock on the door and demand to be let in? F*ck! F*ck! F*ck! I thought. F*ck him. I can’t go back down with my suitcase and my flowers now, they’ll all know. And so I left them there outside the infidel’s door, and made my way calmly out of the hotel fighting back tears as I smiled at the staff on the way out.
The moment I reached Oxford Street I lost all my composure and the tears started to unashamedly fall. How could I be so stupid? How could I have let myself fall for yet another arsehole? What’s wrong with me?
A couple of hours and several glasses of wine later, I found myself on my friend’s sofa covered in Kleenex tissues whilst she reminded me of how awesome I am and how this was not a reflection of me. As I opened my phone to his flurry of texts, I thought of the empowering scene where Bridget decided to leave the job she had with Daniel, and he made a desperate final attempt to convince her to stay. As she walked away, she told him that she’d “rather have a job wiping Saddam Hussein’s arse” whilst Aretha Franklin’s RESPECT played in the background. “I’m sorry baby but it’s not what you think. Let me explain.”
And of course, I wish my real-life movie response was equally as empowering… only maybe I’d got it wrong? And everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. Right?