After the first back and forth emails, there was a gap of about 4 days before Juan emailed me again. I noticed that those days when I was waiting to see if he'd write again matched up perfectly with the most extreme moments of my illness but decided it was just a coincidence. Surely I wasn't turning a simple cold into a deadly disease just because I was sad!
However, when an email arrived Christmas day I certainly did feel that there might be the possibility of a full recovery in my future. When my phone rang later that evening and I picked up only to hear Juan on the other end of the line, I felt so good I considered going outside (I didn't actually leave the apartment for another 3 days...but I did consider it)
It was a bad connection, we didn't know what to say to each other really - Happy holidays, Same to you, I miss you, Me too, I'm sick, I'm sorry to hear that, I want to come back, I want you to come back etc etc. It won't go down in the history books as the most romantic phone call of the ages. I've probably had deeper phone calls with telemarketers and taxi dispatchers. Yet it lit me up like a Christmas tree.
And that's how things worked for the next couple weeks. If I heard from him I was happy. If I didn't, I was sick and depressed. With it being the holidays there weren't many people around but even if there had been, I doubt I would have wanted to talk to anyone. I was so caught up in my thoughts and emotions. I was mad at myself for thinking so much about Juan and mad at him for tying my head up in knots. I didn't want to drag anyone else into the emotional mess in my brain.
At the same time I was also quite certain that this wasn't about him. I had fallen for the Cuban experience and he was part of it. I'd fallen for the version of myself I'd been on holiday - bold, carefree, fun, friendly, adventurous, open. I'd fallen for the climate and the lifestyle of Cuba (at least the lifestyle that I'd lived at the resort). I wanted to hang onto that and avoid slipping back into the serious, responsible day-to-day of my life in Canada. I wasn't sure how he fit into the whole thing, what he was or what he represented to me. I assumed he had a new tourist girl (or 2 or 3) every week and didn't know why he was even bothering to maintain contact with me. I assumed that he'd move on soon enough and so would I; I'd realize a one-week trip can't change anything and the entertainers are only on the resort to entertain you and life would go back to being exactly the same as it was before and so would I. I was already mourning for what I knew I would lose.
But I kept checking my email and I kept writing back. Even though I was certain it had to stop, I just wasn't ready to say goodbye to him or to let go of the person I'd been with him.