The photo taken above was on the cave basin walk. It’s so beautiful there. I didn’t have the best phone back then, but look at how amazing it looks!
The coffee chats, dinners out, and nature walks with calmer people were just the thing I needed. It was a gentler, quieter life in the beautiful mountain town. All I needed was to be a little patient and soon enough, people who were more like me arrived. I noticed something forming between Seb and I, but I didn’t want to rush anything. I was just being myself. As my depression lifted, I went out dancing on Sundays again and he seemed attracted to my carefree attitude. I remember dancing with a nice looking Australian guy yet all I could think about was Seb. I hoped that something could form between us. One evening, he invited me to stay at his place after everyone turned in for the night. We talked until the wee hours of the morning and he told me how much he liked me. Like me, he was really into pop punk and metal – his favourite band was Greenday. We’d listen to great music together and it was like being with someone I’d known for a long time.
I hadn’t been in a true relationship for a few years at that point. I took an intentional two years off back in Ontario to focus on myself. When the marriage ended and was quickly followed by a “rebound” relationship, I had to take some time to get to know myself again. The whole point of the divorce was to heal from what I went through and become the woman I really wanted to be. With Seb, I felt a little closer to that goal. I’d worked through a lot and had some almost finished stories in the works. I was saving some money. I wasn’t the unstable manic pixie dream girl anymore. I was becoming more open to a true relationship again.
It was wonderful to have someone to trust and share the magic of Banff with. I’ll never forget how Seb assured me one day.
“You’re my girl,” he said while we cuddled.
I was his girl. I didn’t want to be with anyone else either. He admired that I was a writer, but he saw the other aspects of me as well. He didn’t use my hobby as leverage to try and use me, but instead he took the time to get to know the girl behind the writing.
“You never have to be alone,” he would often say.
I’ve always liked my alone time, but I think he was referring to something else. You can be with a big group of people and still feel lonely. That was what he meant – there will always be people out there for you, no matter where you are. It’s always been about the right people for me. Being around the wrong ones can take you several steps backwards.
One of my favourite experiences with Seb was the night we went out dancing with everyone. I’d always wanted a guy I could dance with sometimes and most of my nights out in Banff were as a single girl. It was awesome to spin around on the dance floor and laugh. We didn’t drink very often though. That’s what I liked about hanging out with him and his friends – they were more balanced. Most evenings we’d grab dinner and go for a walk or we’d cook at home and watch movies. One evening we went to the Banff hot springs with his friend and girlfriend which was amazing. The view all around us was gorgeous and everyone should experience bathing in the naturally warm mountain waters at least once. It felt great o spoil ourselves since our job was pretty physical.
As lovely as summer romances are, they usually have to end. Seb needed to go back to school in Germany and I was ready to move on from Banff. We didn’t realize at the time that we’d be making memories, we just went with the flow and had a wonderful experience. Our mountain romance was coming to an end, but the best part was we would both leave the beautiful place on a good note. The darkness I felt earlier in the year was long gone.
I wish I could say that we maturely parted ways and smiled rather than shed tears, but I was a mess for our final evening together. I was able to stay composed until dinner then the tears kept falling; we cuddled on the couch for hours until we had to go to the bus stop. Some of my house mates were concerned that I was so upset. It’s why I had to leave a few days before him. Being the one left behind would have been awful under the circumstances. I’d already watched a few people leave so this was my turn.
The evening I was scheduled to leave, he and his friend waited with me at the bus stop. I’d already said good-bye to Katelyn and the others. The bus was scheduled to arrive around 10 P.M., but it was an hour late. It bought us a little more time together. I looked out at the moonlit peaks and was amazed that I had experienced so much in just one year.
“So, that was Banff for you,” said Seb softly. “What an amazing journey you’ve had.”
“Yes and you were the best part,” I said, shivering in the cool air.
He took off his blue Billabong hoody and gave it to me. “Here, you can wear this. You’re so cold.”
“Are you sure?” I cried. “It’s your favourite hoody.”
“Yes. It’s yours. Every time I’ve worn it, something wonderful happened. I wore it the day I met you.”
We hugged. Soon after, the bus appeared through the darkness. My stomach churned. It really was time to go. He gave me a final hug and I’ll never forget the look on his face. He looked deeply into my eyes as tears began to stream down his face. He turned around and walked away with his friend, who put his arm around Seb’s shoulder. Choking back a sob, I got on the dark bus and cried. His scent was still on the hoody he gave me – I was grateful to have a part of him with me as I moved on to the next chapter of my journey.
Time of Your Life by Greenday played in my head – the song was popular when I was in Grade 8 and it wasn’t the best year of my life, but now I’d just had an amazing romance with someone who listened to it with me. Seb was like one of the adventurous young male protagonists in my stories. Finding him was a dream come true.
“For what it’s worth it was worth all the while
It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right
I hope you had the time of your life”
*Bonus* Here’s a post I wrote right around this time in 2014! It’s like a time capsule.
That photo at the top is just amazing. The reflection of the mountain and the trees in the lake. I cannot believe you took that with an old mobile phone.
Right? It really goes to show how beautiful the scenery is there. 🤣
this is great secenery it puts you in the mindset on travelling now and going out and seeing different things.
I’m glad you like the photo. 😊
yes sara it was a great one
And you’re right I think getting out more and seeing nature really helped my mindset. 🙂
thats really good
I love that photo! ☺️ Also, I must say, you capture raw emotion in your writing in such a beautiful, vulnerable way. ❤️ I’m immersed in your life story.
Aw I really appreciate your kind words and I’m glad you are enjoying my story. 😊 I’m grateful i was there to take such nice pics too.