Breakups happen at the intersection of choice and consequence

Six days ago, at an intersection, we walked different directions. You went your way, and I went mine.

I can't commit to you the way you want me to, and I feel like I keep disappointing you, you said. Of course, you were right. You were. But this isn't all about you or what I think you may have done or what you did not do. I played my role, too, willingly and foolishly—I wanted to hold on to whatever this closeness was that I knew was fleeting.

For the last month and a half, you were almost entirely radio silent with me. I barely heard from you; you rarely responded to simple text messages that would have taken you mere seconds to respond to. Perhaps you were too busy, I thought. That was just one of a few excuses I would make for why I didn't hear from you. When having meals with friends or talking to family inevitably someone would ask How is Q? I would say She's stressed out, working on her “diss” and trying to get it wrapped up. She's a ball of nerves. Honestly, I didn't know what was going on with you. I didn't hear from you, only a peep here or there, I'd reply, desperately, quickly, and then nothing from you.

I couldn't bring myself to admit that the process of “Ghosting” had been well underway. I didn't want to believe that it was happening. Not to me and not by someone whom I said I love you. This was the reality, and it was fading and fading with me grasping and grasping.

***

Being close to you gave me hope. It gave me hope that what was won't be what is, that I could rise beyond my past. I suppose, now that I look at it, it was unfair of me to put this expectation on you. You had your reasons for not wanting to get into something serious, yet I pressed forward.

When I would listen to your stories, your laughter, chuckling at my jokes, I had hope that these things could be strung together, and we might build a thing together. You were sad; you seemed sad. I think there were moments where I made you forget the things that made you feel that way. I stalked your photos and found images from your NYC past. You looked so happy like you belonged where you were. I wanted to give that to you here, but that's a silly thought. Isn't it?

I figured time would be the answer; that time would deliver. It always does after all.

You had your “safe zone,” the place where you kept me so that I wouldn't be too much trouble for you. Granted, this is a place that I created in my mind. It's where you kept me to keep me from getting too tangled up in your life. Not meeting too many of your friends, not having to interact with your family, no unnecessary mixing of lives. You can't mix a cocktail and then pour it back at into their separate components, can you? I got it then; I get it now.

When I said I love you, I knew you wouldn't say it back to me. I believed someday you might. When those days turned into weeks and then months, I knew in my heart things were not right. I kept pushing ahead. Maybe this would work anyway, maybe the school, maybe self-loathing, maybe those things would eventually fall away, and you would see, as I saw, that this was a good thing.

I was a fool of the worst kind. I wasn't a blind fool. I was a willing fool. I re-enrolled in a class I had taken in my twenties and decided a needed a “refresher” course to remind myself that the harder you grasp at a thing the more easily it slips away.

The fallout of our relationship isn't all your fault. I share the blame for why this thing didn't work, too.

I am complicit.

***

It's only been a week, and I can't help but think about you. I can't help but think about your smell, how you taste, and how you press your body into mine.

The details of your face are still fresh. I remember the lines, the pockmarks here and there, your blue eyes. Or were they green? That kills me. Those details will eventually fade; I won't be able to recall them. And that will be that. They'll be forgotten along with other shared moments, feelings, hopes, hurt, sadness, and all those other bits of emotional clutter that get boxed up and filed away. I look around my tiny place, and there are two physical reminders of you. A book of Bluenote musician portraits and a letter you wrote me, on brown parchment. I consider getting rid of them. Maybe I will, or maybe I'll banish them to the garage, so I don't have to look at them.

When we met for dinner that night, did you know, as I did, that it would be our final time? Our last laugh? Our final meal? The last time I would hold your perfect little hand in my own. Did you know as I knew? Did you care?

***

I don't hate you.

I know that when I pile the facts up, they add up to someone who didn't care about me, not really, not as deeply as I thought. You chose not to do the hard thing. You chose to be silent and not to communicate during the last weeks of our relationship. When you told me the last time that you couldn't commit to me, you could have told me why but you didn't. Perhaps you thought the truth would hurt me; you chose to spare my feelings. Perhaps that's the right call.

I resent that you got one over on me, or that you feel like you did. Part of me is angry that I didn't call bullshit on you on those things that I know. But what does it matter? It changes nothing. It is what it is, and that's all that it is.

I resent that you cowered, and I now resent that I have no closure here and that I never will.

Instead, I have to wait for these memories to fade, the feelings to numb, and all the other things that go with the cycle of loss and recovery. I have to let go to move on, and I don't want to.

I still hope you might call to check-in on me. I know you won't. I want to know you are hurting like I am hurting. I know you aren't. You began moving on some time ago without telling me. You've started the process of letting go, of forgetting, you get to forget. I envy you.

***

I didn't believe you when you told me you couldn't commit. Here was this brilliant woman and she was paying attention to me. ME! I'm a bit dull, yet I caught this woman's attention, that first night she invited me inside, and we spent the night together.

I chose not to believe you; the blind-eye was turned. Again, that's my fault. Early on, I tried to tell myself I could roll with this thing; later I knew it was all wrong and walked away. Twice. Each time you came back to me and tugged at me. I came back each time; I never wanted to be anywhere else but by your side. I thought you might feel that way, too.

Then, nothing changed. We were still doing the same thing.

I remained committed until there was nothing.

This time, you're not coming back. We have seen the last of one another. I don't make a habit of remaining friend with exes. I think doing so before you've truly moved on is a mistake. While I don't think being friends will happen, I will try to be open to the idea.

***

Right now, I fee like I'm at that intersection watching you fade into the distance, down the street. Your image fades with each passing moment. I turn my head the other direction, knowing that I, too, must walk, that I must fade from this moment into a new moment and another phase of life.

This hurts. I am thankful for the hurt that I have because it means that the love that I felt was real and that it mattered.

This is it, this is goodbye. At least we'll always have Trashcot Hills…

I get it now. Fuck off.

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Posted by yannibmbr

Alex is the founder, creative director and managing editor at the Urban Dater. Alex also runs his own boutique marketing agency in Orange County, Ca: DigiSavvy. Among his treasured pursuits are bike rides with his girlfriend (don't be perverted, now!), hiking, watching the Portland Trailblazers and the LA Angels. Follow Alex: Twitter | LinkedIn

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