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The Crush Part VI – a story of Estonia and love

December 28, 2010
by budgettravelsac

Continuing the series from The Crush Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, and Part V, Lisa and I have lunch with her parents and all goes well.  On my last day there, everything is out in the open – and my trip to Estonia comes to a dramatic conclusion.

The Crush Part VI

I woke the next morning knowing the dilemma I had to face today.  Because I had only had a few more hours to spend with Lisa, I decided I wasn’t going to share all the things on my heart and would just try to enjoy our last day together.  I know this may be the last time I see her or talk to her.  With the other decisions I have to make about my life, it may be a while before I make it back here again.

After a long night of tossing, turning, and thinking, I realized that my life had changed for the best and as much as I loved Lisa, I just didn’t think things would work out.  Having made this decision only made the thoughts of my last day with Lisa that much tougher.

“Jeremy, are you ready?”

“On my way down, Lisa.  I’m a little nervous about meeting your parents.  I hope I don’t embarrass myself.”

“You’ll be fine.  They’re going to serve us lunch, we’ll chat for a while, and then we can head back here or go and do something together.  So don’t worry, things will be great.”

As we made our way towards her house, we had a nice conversation although I was a little quieter than usual.  I am not even sure I said a word.  Lisa was so busy chatting away, probably trying to hide her own anxiety about me meeting her parents.

As we got closer, all sorts of thoughts floated around in my head.  I wondered if her parents thought she was weird for liking this American guy she hardly knew.  I wondered how sad Lisa was or if she had thought about me leaving.  I wondered how much she truly loved me and wondered what her parents would think of me.  Needless to say, we both were a bit nervous and full of emotions as we walked inside.

“Tere!!  Mom??”

“Ah, Liis!”

“Tere!  Ma nimi an Jeremy,” I said with a nervous, American accent.

“It’s ok, Jeremy” Lisa said as her parents chuckled.  “They know english.  After all, they are both teachers.”

Despite my embarrassment, I introduced myself to Lisa’s parents – in english – as we all exchanged greeting and hugs.  We made our way to the kitchen, getting acquainted, talking, as her mom prepared the dinner.  As I nervously imagined, much of the conversation was directed towards me wondering where I was from, what I did, and all kinds of questions about school, life, and interests.

Lisa shared how we met and how we somehow managed to fall in love despite our best efforts to avoid our feelings my first couple of trips.  I know Lisa had already shared the story before but I appreciated her trying to take some of the attention off of me.  As the afternoon went on, we both settled down and enjoyed the day with her parents.

Lunch was served a little after noon and consisted of seljanka, chicken and rice – a meal especially made with me in mind.  The meal was delicious and afterwards, I had the chance to sit down and get to know her family a little better.

They spoke of the days under Communist rule, how life had changed since the break up, and a little about how they grew up as a family.  They shared a number of stories about Lisa.  Those made her turn red and made me laugh as we enjoyed a wonderful time together.  Around three, Lisa and I decided to head out and just spend some time together.  I graciously thanked her parents for the lovely meal as we headed out on our own.  Lisa and I started back slowly, hoping our slow pace would somehow make the hours go by slower.  We laughed and talked, recounted the memories over the last few years and days and walked hand-in-hand back to Pete’s.

“Jeremy, I hate to see you leave.  This week has been so wonderful and I have truly grown to love you.  I don’t know what will happen from here but I want us to be together.”

“I had a great week as well.  Lisa, you are truly beautiful and one of the most wonderful people I have ever met – now that I have gotten past that fiery, sarcastic side.  I will definitely miss you and I know that while we are apart, we will truly realize the depth of our feelings.  I never expected this to happen and it has really made some decisions in my life difficult for me.”

Lisa began to cry as we got to Pete’s.  I held her in my arms and comforted her as she got her composure and wiped away her tears.  We spent some time talking outside just trying to enjoy our last few moments together.

“Jeremy, Lisa – I didn’t know you two were back already.  How was lunch with her parents?”

“Things went pretty well, Pete.  I was nervous at first but once I calmed down, I got a chance to open up and felt very comfortable with them.  Lunch was delicious but I think I ate too much.”

“Listen, I am sorry about the other night at the restaurant.  I should’ve been happy for you two.  After all Jeremy, I must trust that you didn’t rush into things and that you made the right decision.  I know that if Lisa is ok with all that has happened in your life then I should be too.”

“Jeremy?  What is he talking about?  After all the time we spent talking this week, I didn’t realize there were some things you hadn’t told me.  What has been going on in your life that I need to know about?”

At that moment, all my worst fears had come true.  I stood there scared and unable to move.  So much was going on in my head and my thoughts were racing.  Why had Pete said something and what was Lisa feeling and thinking right now?  I wish I had never come back to Estonia and I regretted ever falling in love with Lisa.

I knew that I wouldn’t see Lisa again and that once I left Estonia, we would never have the relationship we had this week.  But now the time had come for me to share everything that had happened and allowing her to share in the events that had changed and transformed my life.  Pete knew what was coming and I knew Lisa might not like everything I had to say.  Seemed like everything around me was about to fall apart.

“I think I’ll leave you two alone,” said Pete as he headed back inside.

“Have a seat Lisa and I will explain all that has happened to you.”

I began to share my life and how things had changed the day I left Estonia two years ago.  From Tallinn, we flew into Frankfurt Germany and stayed in the hotel at the airport.  While we were there, Eric, my friend Jon, and myself met a group of Americans who had been overseas to another part of the Soviet Union.  We ended up meeting three girls and stayed up all night talking.  We all had a blast and it was quite an unexpected and fun way to end our trip.

We ended up exchanging addresses and numbers and kept in touch here and there over the next few months.  Eric kept in touch better than I did but I was able to use email to chat and keep in touch.  As time went on, I became really close to Erica, one of the girls we met.  As time went by, things really began to go well for us and our relationship seemed to deepen.  After I got back from Estonia on my second trip, Erica came out and visited.  After only a week, we ended up getting engaged.

With a lot of things up in the air about her life, she decided to move and be closer to me.  We dated all year but our share of ups and downs had us both questioning our decision to get married.  With only a few weeks until the wedding, I decided to come back to Estonia for one last visit.

With all the ups and downs of the past year, I came here to not only visit but to clear my mind and decide if this was really what I wanted.  After getting back here, I told Lisa  how my feelings for her had grown and that I had really fallen in love with her.  We had gotten to know each other so well and had so much in common.  But despite our love, this trip confirmed my desire to be with Erica and I knew we belonged together.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.  I did really grow to love you while I was here but I knew that after I left, you would go your way and I would go mine.  Our lives would go on and eventually we would just grow apart.  Somewhere down the road I figured I would tell you about Erica.  I just wanted to enjoy our time here and try not to hurt you.  Only until the last couple of days did I realize that it was Erica I had to be with and that things with us would not work out.  Believe me – I do care for you and love you.  That is why I didn’t want to hurt you.”

“How could you do this to me!!?!  I loved you and gave everything to you this week.  But now I don’t want to see or talk to you again!!”

Her tears were streaming as she jumped up and ran home.  I only sat there knowing how much I had hurt her.  I never meant to do this but I knew there was no way I could comfort her now or make up for anything I said.  I spent the rest of the evening packing and thinking, wondering what Lisa was doing, and if she would ever forgive me.

I ate dinner with Pete and told him how everything had gone.  Surprisingly, he was understanding and told me I had made the right decision.  In my own head and heart, I began to doubt if I really had after seeing how much Lisa was hurt and how horrible I felt just wanting to be there for her.

After dinner, I tried calling Lisa numerous times but no one answered.  I was sure even her parents were mad at me now and wished they had never had me over today.  After a couple of hours, her mom finally answered the phone and told me Lisa didn’t want to talk to me.  In a last desperate attempt, I went over to her house begging to talk to her.  I never saw her or even got a goodbye.  I was leaving in only a few hours but knew I would never see Lisa again.

The next day, I packed all my things up and headed for the airport.  As I headed to my gate, everyone showed up to surprise me and say goodbye – Pete, Ilmar, Dema, Maria, Helena, Meelika.  But no Lisa.  I got on that plane a broken, hurt man.  I knew I had made the right decision.  Or so I thought I did.  I was sad to go and hurt. I really did love her.  But I left wishing I had never come.


The sun rose early in the morning as I woke from my sleep in my own bed.  My first thoughts this morning were of Lisa and the relationship that wasn’t.  That week together, our relationship, and the pain seemed all too real.

As I thought about that crush I once had on Lisa, I longed to be back in Estonia again.  I missed Pete, Dema, Ilmar, Maria, Helena, and Meelika and especially Lisa.  I missed Tartu and Tallinn, the people, and the country.  I thought about Lisa and wondered how she was doing.  I wondered how she really felt about me and if she really could have loved me.  Could we have fallen in love with each other?

While the thoughts and feelings of my dream about Lisa and our relationship still lingered, I knew it was just that – all a dream.  Funny how life moves on but we can still hold on so strongly to our memories and feelings from the past.  Sometimes the past is so hard to let go of when you just don’t know what could have been.  But as real and painful as the dream was, I am glad that even though I can’t do anything about some of those “what if”situations in life, a little bit of my past was brought to mind again never letting me forget the friends, the country, or the crush.

I rolled over and watched Erica as she was sleeping.  It was our three-month anniversary today.  Maybe one day I will make it back for that third trip to Estonia.


So that’s my story.  No, it’s probably not how people thought it would end.  After all, it was a story that never happened.  I never went back to Estonia for a third trip.  It had all been a dream.

I wrote this story when I was 22 years old.  It was all based on a dream I had a few months after I had gotten married.  To this day, I still have never seen Lisa or talked to her since that second trip I made there in 1996.

If you are reading this, don’t spoil the ending for anyone else.  I know it’s not what you thought it would be.  However, tell me what you thought or how you hoped it would end?  Did the ending surprise you?

Coming up, I will give you an update on what is really going on in the lives of the people in this Estonian love story.  Hope you enjoyed the story! :)

Tartu, Estonia photo (jarsjo)

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2010 1:41 pm

    Hahaha Jeremy, you are a scoundrel!! I was thinking about running a poll on my site: how would this story end, and that was one of my poll questions, but decided against it. haha. You have a great message in this post though, one I’ve been working on lately. And that’s understanding “the dream” and deciding what’s more important maintaining a dream to constantly strive to, or if it’s best to achieve your dream and then be content living it… as the famous book the alchemist says at some point “the possibility of having a dream come true is what make life exciting.”
    As much as I want to hate you for this telenovela, thanks for sharing man!

    • December 28, 2010 2:15 pm

      Thanks Brendan – I think! :)

      I never really looked for hidden meanings in this story. I guess there is a moral to the story about being content. I’ve spent a lot of my life asking what if questions and thinking about them often. In the end, it’s meant living a life I wasn’t content with. Having a dream is really important but only if you can be content with your life in the pursuit of it. Otherwise, if a dream is a pursuit to fulfillment or contentment, then it isn’t a healthy dream. If a dream is the culmination for a fulfilled life, then it’s a good thing. Hope that makes sense!

  2. December 28, 2010 2:02 pm

    Jeremy, I’ve enjoyed your story very much. I am surprised by the ending — pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t happy about you going through that week without letting Lisa know about your engagement. So, whew!

    Dreams are very interesting, aren’t they? Thanks for sharing yours.

    • December 28, 2010 2:05 pm

      Yes, at the end of that story, I turned myself into a villain – until it was revealed it was all a dream. So I am off the hook now! :)

      Honestly, my account of how all of this happened is true. It was a dream and I did write this over 13 years ago. The ending made it sound like a great “Sixth Sense” type ending but this is honestly how it was written when I put it down on paper years ago. I actually have this story still saved in Microsoft Word from where I first wrote it. I may have it in my notebook as well.

  3. December 28, 2010 2:31 pm

    Wow, what a plot twist. I felt like I was watching an M Night Shyamalan drama!

    • December 28, 2010 2:33 pm

      Exactly! I stated earlier to Cathy that the ending was like The Sixth Sense. However, I wrote this 13 years ago – well before M Night Shyamalan! :)

  4. December 28, 2010 11:06 pm

    I kind of think dreams are our playground for working through our life problems…your mind pushes scenarios around working out possibilities….
    At a crossroads in my business life a dream showed me the risk I had to take was the only way forward.
    Good story Jeremy. Your dream reinforced your making a commitment to Erica was the right one. Remember that when things get tough.

    • December 29, 2010 12:54 am

      That’s deep Jim. I wish more of my issues and problems were solved that way. However, some dreams are just plain weird and make no sense at all! :)

      As for Erica, I won’t share it here but I can tell you more about that story on Twitter or through email! Too much to share here!

  5. Laurel @Expat in Germany permalink
    December 29, 2010 4:25 am

    Great story, you totally had me going, I was right with Cathy feeling so bad for both Erica and Lisa, that they didn’t know about each other.

    • December 29, 2010 5:49 pm

      Thanks Laurel. With my plot twist at the end, I didn’t turn out to be a bad guy after all! :)

  6. December 29, 2010 8:09 pm

    Very interesting, Jeremy. I really enjoyed the story and, like Cathy, was glad it was just a dream and you didn’t keep some important information from Lisa. Great narrative – I was hooked from the first story!

    • December 29, 2010 9:33 pm

      Thanks Andrea! Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for reading!

  7. January 1, 2011 1:56 am

    Great story Jeremy. I had a feeling you had someone back in America but I never knew the whole scenario was a dream. I just kept thinking, gosh, what does his wife think of this? Ha Ha!! Nice work!

    • January 2, 2011 8:13 pm

      Thanks Caz! Glad you enjoyed it. As I’ve said to others, if it wasn’t a dream, I come off looking like a very bad guy here! :)

  8. January 3, 2011 5:24 am

    Great story and brilliant writing! I’ve really enjoyed following this.

    • January 3, 2011 10:56 am

      Thanks Amy! Glad you enjoyed it! I wrote this many years ago so it was fun sharing it with people for the first time.


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