Happy Endings and Sweet Pretending Part 2: The Final Week in Hattiesburg

A continuation from:

https://lisalaceberrie07.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/happy-endings-and-sweet-pretending-part-1-the-final-week-in-hattiesburg/

Day 4, May 29th- Mad for Motorbikes and Madison.

Despite today being the sixth anniversary of my Granddad Berrie’s untimely death, I’m genuinely in an excitable mood all day in the knowledge that after over three months of waiting, I’M FINALLY MATE DATING MADISON ETHERIDGE! ๐Ÿ˜€ โค

I’ve been penpals with her in the form of postcards whilst she studied abroad in Strasbourg, France as well as being avid readers of each other’s travel blogs. We were best friends on snapchat for a while too. I met her just before she moved away so we didn’t get to hang out much in person much before she left so I’m excited and nervous to see her; she’s REALLY cool! I waited all day for her to message me and tell me she’d be getting into town. I get to work in my apartment and packing whilst I waited for her. Anthony took me Stricks for lunch. Jana really wanted to try it with me whilst we were living together but she eventually went with someone else. Its BBQ and I love BBQ sauce! ๐Ÿ˜€ I have a barbecue pulled pork sandwich and cheekily help myself to dessert. I can’t remember how it came up but after lunch we decide to go out on his motorbike since I’m still waiting for Madison to message me back.

We head over to the motorbike shop in Hattiesburg and its very cool! There are types of bikes I haven’t seen before, brands too. Although the only motorcycle shop I’ve been to more than once is Draytoncroft in Hinckley. I get some photos sitting on one of the bikes. There’s a brand called Indian Motorcycles which I’m in awe of. My knowledge of motorbikes and their mechanics are extremely limited but I really love the aesthetics of this brand. Retro and vintage looking motorcycles are beautiful. I really like Harley Davidson’s too. I’ll probably never apply for a motorbike license but I like to look at them. We go to the shop and get a helmet for me. I get all excited when I see the Union Jack and the Triumph flags waving proudly on American soil. It quite literally is Hometown Glory since Triumph comes from Hinckley! As I get talking to the shop owner, it turns out that we know some of the same people in Hinckley! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ It’s a small world and I’m absolutely buzzing at this discovery. The helmet I get looks like a horse riding hat. I pick the cheapest one because I know I won’t take it home with me and I don’t want Anthony to splash out on something I’ll only wear once. After this we go back to the tattoo shop which is where the bike is. Anthony introduces me to some of his friends and we then head out.

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At first, I’m slightly nervous. If I fall off I will seriously hurt myself since I’m wearing thin layered clothing of a cheap vest top and old H&M leggings. Plus my helmet offers no face protection. I immediately realise that my high top shoes with wedges are not suitable for being on the back of a motorbike but I go with it anyway. Anthony goes slow at first and then speeds up when I feel comfortable. I feel really safe with him, which, given some of the experiences I’ve had out here in the USA, is very important to me! I don’t squeeze him too tightly anymore as I begin to relax. We are out on the bike for about an hour, going through Hattiesburg, Petal and Oakgrove. I feel the adrenalin rush through me as I hold on to this teddy bear. My eyes are streaming due to the no facial protection and I probably look “Chinese.” This is ironic since I sarcastically joked that was where I was from when I got tired of being asked about my nationality.

ย As we zoom through a miserable Mississippi (the weather has been horrible recently) I realise that has been missing from my life: excitement. The clip from the trailer of Paper Towns (a great novel by John Green) “my heart is beating in my chest.” “That’s how you should feel every day of your life” is playing through my mind. This is a moment to remember. My face is burning when we get off. We reached 90mph at one point! I have an hour to get ready to meet Madison. I’m washed out after the ride and almost fall asleep!

Madison picks me up at 6pm and we go to Glorybound. It’s “our place” in a way since it was where we went before she left for France for Hiba’s birthday. Surprisingly, we’ve got so much to talk about that the waitress comes over on 3 separate occasions to take our order. ย We catch up and learn that we have a LOT more in common that we originally realised. After dinner, which Madison pays for since I joked that I’d eaten out for free everyday that week and she said “well I guess I’d better do the same!” ๐Ÿ˜‰ After this we go to the cinema to watch Aloha. I also convinced her to do the photo booth with me at the cinema. When we get back to the car, she says to me “so what does THE LISA BERRIE do for fun on a Friday night?” We decide to play a few games of pool at the End Zone bar. We’re playing for so long that eventually we attract unwanted male attention. One guy in particular won’t leave her alone. I joke about us “having to be girlfriends” to which she says “this could be happening in five minutes.” After getting nowhere with palming off this guy, she tells him “yeah I’m with Lisa, we’re together.” I pull off an Oscar winning performance and make them all believe that we are a couple. Every question they ask us, I have a quick reply ready. For example, when asked about “how long we’d been together”, I said ” we started seeing each other before she moved to France so we’ve been long distance mostly, but the spark is still there. ๐Ÿ˜‰ When you KNOW, you KNOW.” They think Madison is older than me which she isn’t. They ask about our first date so I tell them “well she was already out and I wasn’t so she took me to Bourbon Street, New Orleans to help me come out and embrace my true self.” I can see Madison smirking at the ease of my lies, our act is going very smoothly.

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This same man keeps telling me how attractive Madison’s hair is, to which I respond “oh I know, her Princess hair is what first attracted me to her.” ๐Ÿ˜‰ He jokes about him having something I don’t/ trying to make me “jealous” so I respond with “I have one thing you don’t have: her mouth” a plant a smacker on her lips very casually before taking my shot; catching Madison completely off guard. She says to me “next time you’re going to do that, warn me!” We agree to play some other guys at pool, and I joke “if I make this shot behind my back, you have to buy us drinks” which actually works to my surprise as I pot the ball. This happens again later, so we both enjoy two bottles of Angry Orchard each. Somehow on the second game I pull off the master of all comebacks and win! All in a days work. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m so jubilant in my victory that I throw my pool cue across the table in celebration and smooch Madison. A confirmation of our fake relationship, leaving the whole bar stunned. All the guys we’re hanging out with ask us about threesomes and “being the stuffing in our oreo” to which I’m on “ball” for; saying “no we’re not into that, we’re very much in love and loyal to each other.” When we eventually leave the bar in the early morning hours, I’m in fits of laughter at our Oscar winning performance; so much so that my stomach is cramping. We agree to have a breakfast date inย the morning, in 6 hours time.

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Day 6, May 30th- Berrie’s New Bouquet of Faces.

Madison picks me up at 9am the next morning and we go to Southbound for breakfast since she’s never been. Its nice to finally spend time with Madison, even though we’re both tired from the previous night. I’ve got to clean the apartment to move out and pack today so I finish my blog on Texas and begin the daunting task. Anthony comes to take me to Comcast to take our Wi-Fi router back. We then get some cleaning supplies from Walmart and go to Books-A-Million. I pick a journal for Madison, Harry Potter to go with the necklace I gave her the day before and also because I’m English. Madison and I go to Applebee’s for dinner and then go to Taylor’s. There’s been a miscommunication so Madison goes to the cinema to watch The Longest Ride and I stay at Taylor’s with Blake, Shakari and Asia watching TV before moving onto drinking games when Andrew and Taylor arrive. We have a lot of fun, with Olivia telling funny stories from her job as a nurse. Blake has just had his wisdom teeth removed so his face is slightly swollen. I can’t empathise with the pain but I imagine its awful. He’s a trooper for coming out to see me (he lives in the next town) given his circumstances!

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Madison comes back with her friend Sarah and we play Cards Against Humanity, which is extremely funny. As time gets on, there’s less of us around the table and we talk about men and women in relationships, listening to each other’s heartbreaks and other stories. It’s enlightening to hear and its gone 3am once we call it a night. It’s like this group of people I brought to Taylor’s for the first time have connected and it makes me happy to think that a new bouquet can bloom in my absence.

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Day 7, May 31st- Moving Day.

I awake at 9:01am, knowing that Anna is going to drop by to buy my bed (mattress). Andrew has forgotten who she is, confusing her with Erin. He says “Lisa, Erin/Anna is here” and I wake up properly then, knowing that he means Anna but alarmed to hear Erin’s name because turning up unannounced isn’t her thing, not at my place anyway! I’m so tired that even after I’ve sold my bed I go to my room to sleep and realise that I can’t. So I eventually get to work on cleaning my room. Anthony comes to help and hang out with us. Anna comes back after an hour after I offer her the box from Jana’s bed. And we say goodbye, again. Taking down my wall of photos of memorabilia tugs at my heart strings but I manage it. It doesn’t hurt as much as I thought it would, but that’s probably because I was anticipating in and had no choice now.Madison comes by to help us all move out and Madison, Anthony and I head out to dinner at Crescent City Grill, which Anthony kindly pays for. The sunset is really spectacular so I take some nice photos to commemorate our meal.

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We continue to pack and clean up and I lock the place up around 9:30pm and head to Anna’s to give her remaining furniture from my apartment, whilst the others head to Taylor’s with our things. Again there’s been a miscommunication and there’s nowhere for Elizabeth, Andrew and I to sleep. Anna agrees to let us stay at her’s. We stay at Taylor’s for a while watching a scary film called The Den. One part makes me scream loudly. Natalie is amused but unimpressed at my outburst. As Jason returns on his break, we head out to leave and suddenly it hits me that the next time I’m in this town, it’ll be my last time and the goodbye will be the real deal. As soon as I say it, I feel the pain and emotion surge up through my chest, splitting my heart in an upwards direction with tears forming on my face. Elizabeth says nicely “don’t cry” but I can’t help it and Taylor and Madison pull me into a long three way hug.

What I love about this is that I brought these two together. If anybody is going to take my place in Taylor’s life and heart, I want it to be Madison; although Taylor assures me that nobody can replace me. Madison pecks me on the forehead and takes us to Anna’s, where we watch Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m still upset so Madison cuddles me and its not long before I fall asleep. When I wake up Madison is saying goodbye to me and its 1am. It hits me how much she wanted to see me since she stayed with me all day on a dull day of errands and moving out. I can see this being the start of a beautiful friendship. โค

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