Updated: May 23, 2014 6:50PM
For the first few days at least, the vacation was shaping up as a Rocky Mountain high.
Travis flew to Denver with Ava, his girlfriend for six glorious months. The trip was one of those wonderful, spontaneous things in life. Let’s go someplace. Where? Denver! Why not?
So there they were, driving up mountain roads, exploring quaint restored gold mines. The food was good, the high-altitude air invigorating, the hotel fine. They were having such a good time they even thought about extending the trip for a few days to get in some spring skiing.
But there also was the somewhat troubling fact that during those first few wonderful days Ava was spending a lot of time on her cell phone.
“I didn’t think too much about it,” says Travis. “She said she had a friend in Denver she hadn’t seen in a couple of years and wanted to get in touch. I kept saying things like, ‘Great, why don’t you meet him for lunch.’ I’m an agreeable guy. On the third day she finally contacted him. She said she was going to have lunch with him and she’d see me later. I said, ‘Great.’ Again.”
Later grew into much later. Travis always had been under the impression that even long lunches usually terminated by 3 o’clock. This one eventually went on for a record 36 hours. Travis punctuated the time by periodically trekking down to the hotel switchboard to ask if any messages from the missing Ava had come in.
“I tend to date women who are a little wild and fancy free, so at first I wasn’t surprised,” he says. “That’s why I didn’t call the police. But the next day I was getting kind of worried.”
A day-and-a-half after she had left, a remarkably unremorseful Ava waltzed back into the hotel room.
“I said, ‘Where were you?’ She, very nonchalantly said, ‘I had lunch with an old boyfriend, we got along real well and I think maybe I’m going to stick around.’”
Travis says he remembers slapping his head a lot. “I was trying to understand, but I wasn’t having a real good time of it. In fact, I was saying a lot of real bright things like, ‘I don’t understand.’
“We must have gone at it for an hour or more. Her defense was it was one of those electricity kinds of things and she just decided he was the one and she was sorry, that I was a nice guy, etc., but it was chemical and she just couldn’t help it. She said she had to go with him or she would always be sorry.
Two years have passed since the week his dream vacation in the mountains turned into a wipe-out, and Travis has grown philosophical.
“I would have been much more upset if it had happened in Paris,” he says. “At least I didn’t have thousands of dollars invested.” He had, however, paid for the hotel room, all the meals and his own plane ticket. And the very worst part was that Travis had charged the whole debacle.
“Getting those bills was exactly like getting a picture of your girlfriend with another guy every single month,” says Travis.
Did you have a romantic vacation from hell? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my new ebook “Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front.”