It came on not like a torrent but like a gentle shower which just continued and increased until one day, I looked down and my feet were buried in the mire which had grown around them as I stood unawares, sinking in the mud. I don’t even remember the circumstances that made me do it. I just remember one day, while on IM, I asked this question. “Does your family know that we have broken up?”
“Well, they have never really known our status but they know things have changed and that we are committed to being friends.”
And it struck me like a tangible blow. All this time, I have felt so guilty that I made him feel like my dirty little secret. But I was his. His family, his friends, his coworkers and acquaintances, even his new girlfriend; to all of them I was just some enigmatic, undefined presence on the periphery of his life. I was a secret. I was always going to be, even had I been single and free to love him completely. In ten years, he had never defined me as a part of his life to anyone else in it. How do you miss something so obvious for so long?
So I told him I didn’t want to be friends anymore. I didn’t want to talk on the phone every day, and IM and look forward to emails. I needed some distance because I couldn’t have him so continue to be so important to me anymore. I broke off our friendship…on IM. Cowardly, I know and yet, a necessary act. And as strong as I was capable of being; a quick and violent kill.
It would be easy to say that I felt strong and energized and like some conquering goddess, but of course we all know that would be bullsh*t. I cried. I stopped sleeping. And I forced myself to play music to fill the void left by the absence of a phone call. And for days after I tried not to want him to be the first person I said good morning to and the last one I said good night to. I tried not to want him to be the one I wanted to share my happiness and my sadness with. And yet, I was still happier than I have been because I was calm. OK, not happy, that’s not it. Relieved. Sad…but calm. Heading toward ACCEPTANCE.
Now if this were a movie, this would be the end. But it’s not. Nothing in life is ever so neatly wrapped and packaged as it is in the movies. So, one day I sent a message to Mr. Darcy and he called me. And we fought about boundaries and the fact that he thought I meant I needed a break for a week and I kind of meant forever-at least for the time being.
And then there was my show. I asked, if he was coming to at least give me a heads up. Which he did, but of course, he sat in the front row.
And then there was the matter of his birthday which I labored over trying to decide if I should ignore it or send a card or call. In the end, I sent a text which just said happy birthday and he returned it with one which just said thanks. Things do get easier.