You might remember I talked about a trip to the US I was taking for work last week. Well, that has come and gone, and I’m back, and not completely unscathed, if you will! Let me start at the beginning.

You may even remember that I went for a running event. I went to participate in what could possibly be the biggest relay race in the world (yup, google that and you’ll know where I’ve been) that spans just about 200 ┬ámiles. About 50 teams from offices around the world in my company participate, and we went with about 200 people from my office. We were made up of teams of 12, and in my team, we all happened to kind of know each other. Technicalities.

So I arrived a few days early, did the tourist thing, and then as of last Wednesday, we were in full fledged pre-race programs. We visited our head offices, trained some more, did some teambuilding and had lots or carb and protein filled dinners. (Read burgers and beer.) On one of those nights, I happened to be the last woman standing at our fancy hotel bar, together with, let’s call him John. John is the last man standing and I am not surprised. He’s British and knows where to put it. John is in my team and I had never really talked to him, because he always seemed like kind of a dick. Anyway, we finish our last drink, and decided to hit a famous strip club in town. Colleagues had told me to go there, and he was up for it. Though once we hit the elevator, he made his move and pushed the button for his floor. We got off, ran into his roommate in the hallway, and before I knew it, he was told to ‘go hang out’ for a while.

John latched the door, and he is not as drunk as I thought he was, as he has no problems getting it up. So we get to business. I have to ask him twice for a condom, and twice he bluntly tells me ‘it’s not happening’. In my inebriated mind (or that’s what I tell myself, I wasn’t that drunk) I am thinking ‘a little longer, I’ll stop on time’. He is a fantastic kisser, though that is hardly good enough reason. Somehow I snap out of it though, and leave him. Just in time, as his roommate has had enough and wants to get back into the room.

Back in mine, I take a shower, get into bed and hate myself for what has just happened. I can’t believe I’ve gone that far, with another colleague yet again and this time someone else knows. I manage to fall asleep, but wake up feeling exactly the same the next day. I’m disgusted with myself and don’t know what to do. We have another day of teambuilding and during the actual race, we’ll be together in a van for 30 hours. I don’t see him at breakfast, which is good, but once we get on the bus to go to the office, he’s there. He mouths a ‘okay?’ and I nod. During the day I stay away from him a little, but he doesn’t make special efforts to do the same. Eventually we go through a little small talk to test the waters, and it’s not too awkward.

The next day, the race starts, and I decided to be as good as this thing as I normally am. And so we’re stuck in the van with our other 4 teammates, joke around, do our runs, and I am the navigator for a while when he drives in the middle of the night. All goes well and there is no awkwardness. At occasional times we are alone when he walks me to my starting point or when others are sleeping, and it’s all good. Sometimes I feel he is about to take a breath and address the situation, but he never does and neither do I. I feel that there are things unsaid, and I have to bite my own tongue. I am not that girl. He’s nice to me, sticks up for me when the vicious gay guy in our van bitches at me, and apologizes when the team is not there for when I finish the race in the last leg. I can’t help but think he does this out of guilt, after all he hated my guts and he must be nervous about opening my mouth.

We’re on the same flight back, as well as his roommate. We all have breakfast at the airport, have a horrible flight with puking, screaming kids and then say our goodbyes at our home airport. He and I are the last ones to wait for our trains, and as I only have 2 minutes before mine leaves, we have a quick hug and don’t say much. And today, not exactly looking my best, I run into him at the office. Awesome.

So all in all, I have myself to blame for this. I don’t feel any less awful about it than I did last week. When will I learn? I keep saying I deserve better, but maybe I don’t. I am going to let this go completely, but feel unhappy about the whole thing. Ugh. Feel free to comment with your advice or judgements!