Laura Mainella

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The Leo That Got Away

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August 20, 2013 12:47 pm


"Hey Laura,

I checked out your Blog and read all of your posts. You have a really great style and are very talented. You usually tend to be blunt and somehow you have managed in your writing style to add enough humor and honesty that it balances out and really gets the point across well. You found a way to make the bias not so harsh and predictable. I thought right away that you should write a book and then saw your "40 things about me" and that was on the list. I have no doubt that when it is complete and you are published it will be a best seller and you will get a lot of media...especially if it is about your life. I must say as well that it seems nobody is safe in your column;) I'm afraid to talk to you just in case I become your next article :o

Many more years have gone by since we last spoke, I hope that your articles are a true reflection of the way you feel and you are happy;)"


I would be remiss if I didn't tell you about the beautiful Leo.



I actually remember the exact moment I fell hard for the Leo because truthfully - it was the first time it's ever happened to me.

We were lying in bed together, faces nearly touching. We'd been talking and kissing and staring at each other for hours on end, the intoxication of a new relationship sinking deeper and deeper into the space between us. We watched Titanic that night and before that he had cooked me a fantastic spaghetti dinner.


I'd seen the Leo at the Fox and the Fiddle only a few times. He had just started working as a bouncer there...he had just turned 19.

That was my stomping ground.  In fact everyone hung out at the Fiddle in Richmond Hill. East Beaver Creek was rocking back in the day.


Once the Leo and I met - we just had to be together. I remember drunkenly blabbering to him "It's my 25th birthday. Will you celebrate it with me?" He picked me up like I was a toy and giggled. He couldn't believe how tiny I was.

We quickly forged a bond unlike anything I had ever experienced.


I was just recently out of a relationship with the CFL player who I had been with for five long years and never felt the spark or the love I felt with the Leo.  I learned what it meant to fall indescribably hard for someone and truly believed that it was love. Not "young love" or "puppy love" but a lasting love to survive a lifetime. At least, that's what I thought at the time.


He didn't look at me, he looked through me. He penetrated so deep into my being. Time stood still, yet danced all around us. We hardly knew each other, yet I knew him better than anyone else I'd ever met in my life. When he spoke I felt his words race through my heart with such sweet sincerity.


The Leo bought me a single red rose every month, on the anniversary of the day we first met. After every year we dated, he would buy me a dozen roses along with Gucci bracelets, earrings and necklaces. He would leave me notes and rose petals all around my apartment. Took me to the park for picnics. Drive - ins. Weekend getaways and nights out on the town.


He treated me with respect, honesty, loyalty, faithfulness and and the utmost amount of chivalry. He listened to my stories, laughed when I make a joke. Held me for hours when I needed comforting. Held my hand when we're walking, opened every door for me. He treated me with kindness and patience and gentleness, and appreciated that I did the same for him. He remembered the little things about me like that I hate mushrooms and I love James Taylor. He found me irresistible, he couldn't stop kissing me, he was so affectionate and sweet and made me feel beautiful.


You wanna know the difference between a regular average Joe and the Leo? The average Joe will say "You look nice tonight." The Leo would hold my hand, kiss my cheek, and whisper into my ear "You look beautiful." He made me feel special, important, gorgeous. I felt so comfortable, secure and confident that the man I was with was mine.


The Leo drove a yellow mustang. He lived at home with his parents.  He was flawed and insecure, young and immature. He was hugely into video games, listened to The Beastie Boys, The Chemical Brothers and The Fugees. Drank  with his friends and was incredibly tall. I had no idea if we were gonna work out or not but what I did know was that he was crazy about me and I wanted it to last forever. He never looked at his phone when were on a date because I was the person he wanted to focus on. His kisses made me melt. When we talked I knew he was really listening. He knew what I wanted in my coffee. He knew what to do when I got migranes. He knew how to make me smile when I was down.


How was I lucky enough to meet someone as amazing as him?


The Leo and I were together for three years. I moved away for a radio gig in Buffalo and he needed to sow his oats. He got married two years later. My heart sank when I heard the news. He divorced not too long after and I took a trip to Bloor West Village to see him. He was still as beautiful as ever. But it wasn't the best timing for either of us. We kept in touch.


He called me a few years ago and invited me away. I agreed at first. But then I became paralyzed with fear. To this day I can't explain why I bailed on the Leo. I should have communicated my fears. I should have trusted he would have made it all okay but maybe I intuitively knew it just wasn't meant to be. Maybe I believed at the time we were together, it was love, but maybe it wasn't one that was supposed to last. Maybe a part of me was trying to save myself from another heart break.


Fast forward to today...


I responded quickly to the Leo's facebook message:


August 20, 2013 1:07 pm


"Blue Jays against the Angels September 10 - evening game. Let's do this!"


I wanted to see him. What if now is the time for "us" again? I had been asking the universe...praying for a sign...praying for the one...and I thought this was divine intervention.


I was wrong...


The Leo is in love. Living with his girlfriend. Someone who sounds absolutely amazing. Someone who brings him joy. Someone who has the same interests. Someone who is my age.  Someone not me.



Dear Leo;

I pray to God that someday, there will be a man by my side who loves me and respects me just as much as you did. A man who is honest, faithful and loyal. That someday, there will be a pair of motorcycles in front of the house, a stunning ring on my finger, 'His' and 'Her' bath robes hanging over the closet door, Sea Island cotton sheets on my marital bed, adorable puppies asleep at the foot of the stairs, and hot coffee and pancakes waiting on the breakfast table. 


I will always remember the moments that I lost myself in you.


The weakness that came over me.


I will always remember you as the one that got away. 

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