Part 46 Dopamine Wildfire
Bothered again by the changes in weather, it seemed that nature mirrored Gia’s emotions once again. The low hung sky bursting with sorrow provided a perfect breeding ground for the relentless thought torment. The fierce mind attacks chasing themselves into oblivion successfully prevented the only escape Gia had – into the land of Nod. Body and mind slowly disintegrating as a result.
How many times during these sleepless nights in her attic room she looked at the old window in wonder? A builder of long ago put it in brand new and beautiful. He felt satisfied with his work as he opened and shut it for the very first time…How many times had the window been open and shut since then? A silent witness to the many people that touched it, coming and going taking their stories with them.
It was now showing the signs of ages and neglect, the rusty hinges ate away the paint exposing the wooden skeleton beneath inviting the rot to feast. It was absolutely horrifying but also strangely comforting to Gia. Everything changes, and everything comes to pass. Limerence was once new and beautiful too and now it was too getting unhinged and rusted. It too shall pass.
The window framed a picture of a dark sky, sometimes full of diamonds of the past. Did Lokie also look into the sky for answers? Did he think of Gia and wonder if she was looking at the same? Did he wonder what was the point of it all? Let Lokie receive a message next time he looks up. Lokie, everything will be alright! I need your help, please, Lokie, I need just this one thing, just please PLEASE come to the reunion!
Several weeks passed then a month and Gia was still in limbo with her daydream stuck on repeat, not knowing whether Lokie even read her email, what he thought, and why he didn’t answer. Exhausted by the constant turmoil, there was nothing she could do, she was not contacting him again for a while. She wouldn’t do that, to appear desperate…And she was desperate resorting to typing his name into Google again and again only to get nowhere due to his lack of online presence. She hated herself for doing this like some sort of crazy stalker.
Only when the girls would decide on a venue and a definite date, she would email him, and then it would be up to him…
So what about this stupid limerence? How can you get rid of it? According to Tennov once you are under the spell of the Limerbeast, on average it can take up to three years to became indifferent again. Although an extreme limerence can last decades. It may end when an actual relationship takes place and uncertainty diminishes – you get to know the real person and you either loose interest or the relationship transforms into a more mature affectionate bond – or by loosing all hope of ever getting reciprocation. The last possibility is becoming limerent for someone else.
The first option and last options were quite impossible for Gia, so the last that remained was to loose all hope – getting a rejection from Lokie. A flicker of recognition energized Gia momentarily. Something she could do to stop this curse!
If only it was that simple! Limerence doesn’t give up without a fight, she doesn’t let you do things like that, ever! You have no free will in the matter. “Are you insane, Gia?!” she started her crusade. “Do you know what that actually means? You will have to open up and tell Lokie how you feel! Imagine how ridiculous it will be. Hi Lokie, I have have been having feelings for you since I was fifteen, I was pining for you all throughout high school, and even though I haven’t seen you for fifteen years, I still love you, in fact I am obsessed with you!” she mocked, and Gia immediately cringed, she felt humiliated beyond belief already just by imagining it!
“Well, I do not have to say it so bluntly like that, do I?” Gia tried reasoning. “It is not really true exactly, is it? About the love part…” Yes, she would have to open up, just enough to expose the skeleton to let the rot to destroy the obsession. Her dignity taken with it in the process, but if that’s what it takes then so be it!
“No Gia, you would have to expose all! Make it sound even worse than it is. How else will you get rejected? Unless – you are still hoping, that he will return your feelings, don’t you?” Limerence mocked again.
“Well, yes and no, I could still get a gentle rejection, perhaps I could get rejected without him even knowing?” Gia offers.
“Gia, Gia, you poor thing, there is no such thing as gentle rejection, you need to hear Lokie say-.”
“No! Please stop! I do not want to hear it-” Gia protested, flood of her tears just about to erupt.
“If you want to get rid of me, Lokie has to look you in the eye and say: I do not love you, I do not want you, I have no such feelings for you and I never had, it’s all in your head, you are crazy!” The dam could no longer hold the flood of emotions inside of Gia. Tears of pain, humiliation, shame and utter helplessness were now pouring out, and it felt like it would never stop. Limerence was right, how could she possibly do this? To hear this would kill her and not to hear it would do the same. She is damned either way! In the end she would have to make a decision and choose the lesser evil.
But wait! “He really might not say that!” pleaded Gia clutching at straws.
“Ah, yes here comes our best friend Hope!” Limerence laughed, then stopped and with a pretend concern whispered to Gia. “Yes, he might say, he feels exactly the same, Gia! Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Just picture it!” she enticed.
“He might, because I do not believe, that I just imagined it all, that’s impossible, I am not crazy! He did it, just like me, he stared into my eyes, he acted weird around me, I know it!”
“Yes, I like your thinking my dear!”
“No, wait, it’s you again, isn’t it? You are trying to trick me!”
“Well, I am merely pointing out the facts, Gia.”
“No, you are not! You are a horrible parasite that I do not need or want, you are ruining my life, and I promise you, that if it doesn’t solve itself somehow at the reunion, I do not know how yet, but I WILL do it!” Gia wiped her tears with fierce determination.
The D day was approaching and although the girls had already decided that it should take place at the end of May, Leni was trying to postpone it till early June. Gia however already booked her tickets and wanted it to happen as soon as possible after her arrival, so she would not spend her whole holidays back home in agonizing anticipation like the last time. She would rather it would be over and done with it as quickly as possible.
“Nooo, Leni, please make it happen on the 28th, I have already made other plans for the following weekends!” She insisted and Leni reluctantly agreed. At last a date and a place of the gathering had been decided and a group email had been sent to everyone.
29th of April 2011
To: the whole class
The reunion will take place on the 28th of May 2011 at Andy’s in Prague. The teachers are also invited. It looks like that this year the whole class will be complete – attendance is mandatory, it’s fifteen years from graduation! Can anybody call Peter? Cheers!
Surely this time Lokie would answer! But as the days went by there was still no reply from Lokie at all, and whereas before Gia worried, now true panic set in. What could be happening with Lokie? Why was he not replying? If he didn’t want to come, fine, wouldn’t he just say no? Ignoring the whole thing just seemed off. As if he was still thinking whether to go or not, but why wouldn’t he just say he was thinking about it? AAaGrrr…Frustration came to visit again plonking herself down comfortably, tormenting Gia by her very presence.
The day of Gia’s departure drew near and suddenly she was there, five days to go and she was slowly starting to accept that Lokie might not come to the reunion. Perhaps it would be a good thing. It was a rejection in a way, wasn’t it? Wasn’t that what Gia wanted? But not if he was fighting his own feelings! Gia didn’t like this kind of rejection, leaving things hanging. That was exactly the type of stuff that kept happening with Lokie, that in a way caused the limerence in the first place.
Gia had his phone number, but she was not able to call him even if she wanted to, she just could not do it, she was absolutely petrified just imagining it. Instead she told Leni to do it.
“The number doesn’t exist Gia.” was her swift reply. WTF? What the heck was going on? Four days to go, Gia used her stalkerish skills to search for his contact details at the Art Institute at Sitav. Bingo! She sent the number to Leni and waited.
The day dragged eerily, Gia couldn’t stand it, so she took the kids to the park. Jittery and lost in thought, lacking focus… Why did Lokie have to do this? To torture her like this? Please let something happen! She sat in the grass and almost immediately spotted a four leaf clover. Was that her answer, a sign? Did it mean she would get good news? Either way, today was the day that would change everything.
She run her hand through the clover patch. What on Earh? Another four leaf clover, and another… Gia quite couldn’t believe it, if this was not a sign from heaven then nothing made any sense! Seven four leaf clovers all together warmed Gia’s heart, it was a good omen, she decided and caressed the petals, just when her phone signaled an incoming text message. “Good news! Spoke to Luke, he said he was definitely coming to the reunion, he said he emailed you, and that he was waiting for your reply. He was also asking if we could meet a bit earlier than we planned, I don’t mind. Leni”
YES, YES, Yes! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! Gia almost shouted out loud. Lokie was coming, he would be there, he cared! HE DID CARE! Gia couldn’t believe it, and her world flipped upside down again. The pain of months passed was erased instantly, and the rotting window pushed deep into her subconscious. Hit with the dopamine rush, the euphoria and incredible happiness spread through her veins like a wildfire. OMG, how was it possible for the world to be this beautiful again? Wait, did she say, he emailed her?! When? Just when Gia gave up and stopped checking her email? Why was she even surprised? She gathered the kids and rushed back to the house.
22nd May 2011
….so I am finally replying…and I am letting you know that I will be coming to the reunion…let me know what time shall I be there…oh, and I do not have Peter’s number, cause I smashed my phone and the number was in it, but I will try to contact him somehow…so please write to me, if the reunion is still happening and what time I shall come…take care L.
Original writing and photo © Gia Joseph and Giasuniverse, 2015