I wrote this after receiving a text that my ex wanted to talk after a weird night where I truly worried for his sanity while he went to stay with his family to clear his head. This is how I imagined the situation happened. Tomorrow, I will post what actually happened.
My heart throbs in my chest all day, and a ball of anxiety forms in my stomach. It is like having a continual flashback to the day Brad broke up with me two weeks ago. I can feel that something monumental is going to happen after I get home from work. He spent the previous night with his family in our hometown so he could think away from our apartment complex. The erratic beat of my heart tells me his decision, but my ever fanciful mind plays through hopeless scenarios of him telling me he loves me after all. I try to squish all thoughts, but it’s like playing whack-a-mole with a tinker toy mallet.
He texts me as I leave work: Will you be home tonight? I need to talk to you.
My heart shudders.
When I arrive at the apartment, he is sitting on the bed looking like a lost puppy. Again.
“Let me guess,” I say, “you’re moving out soon?”
“How did you know?”
“Well, I’ve fallen into a bad habit of taking Sean’s advice as if it was sent from on high, so I figured you, who has been spending way more time with him, must be doing the same.”
“I’m not doing this because Sean thinks I should.”
“I know,” I say with a sigh. I sink down onto the bed next to him. I am moderately surprised that he does not move further away. “You’re doing what you need to do for you.”
“You’re ok with this?”
“Are you kidding? Of course I’m not ok with it. I’m devastated that I’m losing you completely, even as a friend.” He draws away slightly, and I take a deep breath before continuing. “But, I have talked about it with our roommate, and we both knew this was going to happen. We just didn’t know how soon.”
“I’m so sorry,” he says. “I’m sorry for everything.”
“Don’t be,” I start to say. He gives me a quizzical look. “Okay, do be sorry. But don’t dwell on it. We will be fine. I’m honestly more worried about you. I’ve been having some trouble realizing that this whole breakup really isn’t about me. I’ve been selfish. I wanted you to come back because it would be better for me, but I realize now that it wouldn’t be better for you.”
What comes after that is a blur. In the end, I am left sitting alone on the bed that will be leaving with him. I need to find a new mattress to put on the floor or something. This brief experiment has failed miserably. Maybe it really is impossible to live with your ex. I hoped to be an example of friendship overcoming love in cohabitation, but I have failed. I don’t cry this time. My heart feels like it has been annihilated for the third time in two weeks, but I don’t cry.
I have a sweater to finish. I have an essay due in three days. I have French homework. I have to work in the morning. I have things. I have me. I am so much luckier than my ex. But that last thought, doesn’t give me any comfort now. I still care for him too much, and I can only hope for the best for him. I hope he starts to like himself again. I hope he is able to make himself happy, because no one else can. I am sad that I couldn’t, but I hope eventually he can do that for himself. I guess I really do love him.