It's a warm August evening on Saltspring Island. The house party lies just beyond a grove of lush trees. I'm a little nervous and excited. It's an outdoor buffet and is attended by the island's gay community. I'm happy, enjoying unscheduled days of exploring, swimming, hiking, canoeing and great sex with BC.
I'm on holidays for the entire month of August with BC. We arrived a week ago, and spent a few days in a Swiss chalet inspired bed and breakfast, and are now camping by a lake. Last night, at a party held by a friend, I ran into someone I knew from Vancouver, from my previous life seven years before when I was part of the 'in' crowd.
JR is a very handsome man: tall, jaw length, messy blond hair and looks like he walked out of a Versace ad. But I don't find him sexually attractive. He moved to Saltspring seven years before with his boyfriend RJ, who I discover I met earlier that day at the Saturday market, selling whole grain, oven baked bread. He gave BC and I a loaf, for free. I find him very sexy: tall, short cropped brown hair, engaging smile, muscular. BC and I are gaga over him. BC is also crazy about JR. JR and RJ invite us to join them at the gay house party.
I'm wearing black shorts and a black t-shirt, feeling handsome with my tan and holiday glow. BC is practically bouncing around, he's so excited to see JR and RJ and get to know them. It doesn't occur to me that he wants to have sex with them. Actually, it did occur to me, but I flipped the thought aside, thinking, "He wouldn't do that. We're on holidays together, and he knows how upset I'd be."
We walk through the private tree enclosed entrance of the home, and are startled to see an expensive, west coast, multi-leveled home overlooking acres of beautifully landscaped property. Large tables are set up on the lawn featuring delicious home cooking. There's only a handful of people, mostly older gay men and we see JR and RJ immediately, who come up to greet us. JR introduces us to the host and several other people at the party, and we grab some food. One guy engages me in conversation - he divides his time between his home in Hawaii and his residence here on Saltspring. We get into a good conversation, and ten minutes later I realize that BC has wandered off somewhere. I don't see him. I walk around the garden, saying hello to people, keeping my eyes out for BC or JR and RJ. The party's host tells me they went through that trail in the forest over there, to take a look at the riding stables. "Thanks," I say.
My mind begins fretting, thinking, "What are those guys up to?" But I relax myself, and walk into the forest on the cedar lined trail. A few seconds later I see the three men - BC has his arms around both of them, caressing their backs, while making out with JR, and RJ has his hand down BC's pants. I stop in my tracks, in shock. They see me, and disengage. "Hi," I manage to say. "I see you guys are busy." I turn around and walk back out to the garden. My mind is blank from shock, but I feel my whole body start quivering. I walk back to my car and sit in the back seat.
"I'm okay," I say to myself. "Breathe." I take deep breaths of air, trying to relax my shaking body. I feel like someone just stuck a knife in me. What bothers me the most is seeing BC look at and touch another man, in the manner he has, so far, reserved for me.
It's not the first time this has happened, but it's the first time I've witnessed it. I wish BC hadn't decided to do it on our holiday. We've still got two more weeks to go. And now I don't know what to do.
I consider driving back to our camp. Then I see BC walking toward me.
"Hi," he says. "What are you doing in the car?"
"I'm triggered and trying to deal with my feelings," I say.
BC reminds me that we're no longer officially boyfriends. I know this, but it doesn't make me feel better. I shouldn't be sleeping with him, I think.
"They've invited me to stay with them tonight," BC says.
If I didn't know BC better, I'd think he's intentionally trying to hurt me. But he's not attached to me, and doesn't realize how painful it is for me.
"Okay, well, I'm going back to camp, packing up and going back to Vancouver," I say. All this delivered without anger, blame or a loud voice.
To make a long story short, BC stays with JR and RJ for the next two weeks, has sex with them several times a day, and I go back to Vancouver, alone. I was pretty fucked up for the rest of August.
(Note: Wow, I thought I had enough distance to write this story, but having written it, I feel tremendously angry and am eternally grateful that I finally stopped seeing BC. May this story be a reminder to me and a lesson.)