He’s talking about love, but he’s only known me a few months. He’s attractive, caring when he’s present; he’s well employed and is a damn good cook. I should have known. It was going too well – a general rule of thumb, if something seems too good to be true it probably is.
He messages me every morning to say he misses me, and then again asking if he can come over that night. I like my own space, but the more time I spend in his orbit the more frequently I’m saying ‘yes’ to this request. On paper, he’s the perfect boyfriend; the type of guy you wouldn’t hesitate to take home to the parents. His charm, his wit, his ability to make conversation with anyone…He exudes confidence. Couple that with his dark features and doe eyes, I challenge anyone not to be taken with him by the end of the first sentence he’s offered up to you. But first impressions are finite; nothing more than a quick glimpse into a showroom – a fleeting introduction tailored to fit the occasion. The more you explore someone, the more they change, and this rings true for you.
Day after day I find myself rummaging through your life, collecting pieces of history and dusting off personality traits that you had hidden. The more time we spend together, the more you change. I’ve wandered away from your showroom personality and now find myself trudging through winding hallways; but the more I wander, the more locked doors I am confronted with. I hope against hope that you’ll open them for me, that’ll you’ll let me in; but all you’ve done is lead me by the hand to somewhere else.
You’re currently away in London; a holiday you’ve had planned since before we met. On this trip, you’re accompanied by an American guy; a person you’ve never met yet claim to talk to everyday. Asides from the paranoia that stems from the fact this American guy flew over from the good old US of A just to meet my boyfriend, he’s also a solid ten; a fucking walking Adonis straight off of Instagram, complete with filter. I try to describe my concerns and issues with this, but it’s hard to reach a resolution when the person doesn’t reply – and you never reply. I sit and contemplate this behaviour, and wonder where you go when you aren’t here. When we are together, you’re so there, and so present; and then suddenly you disappear for day or so, don’t answer any of my texts or calls, and I feel as though I invented you. You say you’ve been busy partying and hanging out, that’s why you haven’t replied. Saying you’re too busy to text your boyfriend back is as redundant an excuse as ‘sorry my dog ate my homework.’
I’ve had snippets of this behaviour over the last few months, but now you’ve vanished into the bustling streets of London I feel like I don’t exist. I explained that you can’t bench your boyfriend whilst you jet off on some booze-filled holiday with a random guy that you’ve never met. You can’t put me on hold for nine days. You also can’t expect a level of understanding and calm from someone when you neglected to mention that you’re sharing a bed with another guy this whole trip.
I throw myself into heart-breaking hysterics then try to convince myself that I’m being ridiculous; that maybe I have imagined the whole thing. Scouring every corner, collecting all the facts, before I reach a logical conclusion. I present my findings with the legal prowess and endless cool of a hot-shot TV-show lawyer, rhyming off facts and fears to a jury of friends, hoping they’ll help me reach a verdict, the whole time hoping they don’t judge me for it. As I wait for the result, I try and picture your face and how lovingly you look at me, only my visual is blackened by the crippling fear that you’re going to cheat on me, if you haven’t done so already. I sit on this for a minute, imagining all the ways it could happen. A few drinks too many, curious hands sliding across bed sheets; the taboo of knowing what you’re about to do is wrong being the biggest turn on for you.
My friends conclude that I need to close this chapter of my life, and that your behaviour is neither acceptable or that of someone who loves me. Their words hit me hard. The truth is like a swelling storm, even if you know it’s coming, or you think you’re prepared for it, when it hits it knocks you off your feet. It destroys everything in its path, leaving us torn apart in its wake.
The next day I decided that I need to speak to you about this behaviour. From my bed, I string together a text, telling you I don’t think it’s going to work. Cautiously I list all my concerns, but I get no reply. I imagine you sitting, hungover, sighing as you read the text. Your stupid American friend gawking over at you, asking what I’m saying. You’d tell him and a smirk the size of the Grand Canyon would crack across his face. Tripping over his words like the blundering, morally bankrupt home-wrecking-weasel he is, he’d offer an apology – when in reality neither of you are sorry.
It’s been several hours and you’ve still not replied – why bother, it’s only me, right? Part of me just wants to pretend that none of this is real, because you are the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time. The other part of me thinks you’re pretending to be deep by dating a guy with a squint. Then there’s this other part of me that believes if we talk to each other we can work it out.
You won’t tell me anything about your life though. From the start, you made it clear that I’ll have to be content with whatever scraps of knowledge you decide to give me. When I ask you a question, you tend to ignore it. You’re not mean about it. Rather, you look at me with a blank smile that implies I’ve spoken to you in language that you don’t understand. As a result of this reticence, I’ve had to develop my own theories and fish for knowledge elsewhere – and that’s not how a relationship should be.
Now I’m just waiting to find out what’s happening, waiting to get more facts about who you are. Waiting to be free from the recurrence of obsessive thoughts and the milky, sickening feeling I get when I think of you sleeping beside someone else. I don’t want it to be over, because I searched the years ahead and saw the beautiful future we could build. I’ve pictured a town house with fancy curtains that drape elegantly over varnished bay-windows, and on early rises a slither of sun light peeks through them, illuminating the life we have together. I’ve fallen in love with the idea of us intertwined on our sofa, nursing red wine and cursing at each other when we spill it. I want to have long dog-walks and morning strolls through the park on days when we’re both off. I want this life together, but how can we build a life when I don’t know who you really are?
‘I couldn’t give him what he wanted.’ That’s the excuse you are peddling now we’ve broken up. That you simply couldn’t fulfil my needs. In part, this is true, but the way you’re putting it across makes me sound responsible for the demise of this farce-relationship. When in reality all I wanted was a little respect, for you to be honest and, oh yeah, for you to not cheat on me. That’s not too demanding, is it?
I have no native skill except to make mistakes – this I know. However, I can accept full responsibility for when I fuck up. You, on the other hand, cannot. If there’s been one constant during the time that I’ve known you, it’s your complete absence of responsibility.
I should have seen it coming, there was a basket full of tell-tales: The way you spoke with a strange evenness and chose your words a shade too precisely. The way you slyly hid things from me, then dodged my questions by putting your fingers on my mouth and kissing me. The way you tried to impress people with your shoes on nights out – anyone who tries to impress someone with their shoe choice is a dismally pathetic character; and subsequently anyone who is impressed by someone’s choice of shoes has the soaring spirit of a punnet of mouldy grapes. Also, the way you cradled your phone like a new-born baby, never letting anyone touch it… Lots of signs, but I didn’t see any of them. And now in the smouldering aftermath I get to witness first hand as your nine-day love-affair with the guy you told me ‘not to worry about’ unfolds via Twitter.
Each day that passed revealed more cracks in your humanity, but like a tight-fisted landlord I just pretended everything was fine and that no-work needed done, until the day that we crashed harder than a Jenga tower in a nursery full of toddlers. When I woke up that morning and scrolled through your Snapchat story the smell was unmistakable: Betrayal. There you were, arm slung affectionately around the guy you told me not to worry about, with a cluster of hearts decorating the picture. This was the first of many pictures, and as more were uploaded during the following days I found myself wondering, ‘Why hasn’t my boyfriend replied to my messages yet?’
As if the above wasn’t bad enough, you then started making me think that I was in the wrong; that it was all my fault. That I was being paranoid. When our relationship ended you clambered up to a moral high-ground, proclaimed that you couldn’t give me what I wanted and that my mental-health issues were what I should focus on right now, not this relationship. Sure, it’s totally my mental health issues that I’ve been really open about and not your secretive trip to London to meet a guy who’s literally flown from America to see you. It’s completely my fault we fell apart, and not you leaving the country to go to a city that’s an eight hour train journey away to spend nine days with a guy you ‘speak to every day.’ It’s me being paranoid, not you simultaneously ignoring me for the entire duration of the trip – that’s totally reasonable and normal. It’s couldn’t be, let’s say, your borderline split personality and astounding lack of scruples?
Also, I had ‘no right’ to get upset when I found out you two were sharing a bed in London, yet you had a breakdown every time I was out with a friend? There was no need for me to be annoyed when you posted topless photos of you two sweating over each other at 4am in some seedy looking gay club in the ass-end of London? It was all my imagination, right? Well, what about all those times I asked who you were texting and you’d say your dad or a friend from work, when really it was this American guy? No?
I’ve got cause for tears; I was lied to, cheated on and made to look like a fool. But that’s not why I’m angry. I’m angry because I was so timid around you, and timidity is its own form of cruelty. If it weren’t for this trait, I’d have spoken up, I’d have challenged you and perhaps I wouldn’t be in this mess. So, here’s an idea, why don’t you place one crumb of basic human compassion on that fat-free muffin of sociopathic detachment you’ve been chomping on and see how it tastes? Make a note of this now. On your brain. With a sharp stick. And try not to poke the bit that switches your cock on while you’re up there: I didn’t do anything wrong, you did.
You are a shallow, cheating, priapic skunk. A guy that would fuck a McChicken Sandwich if no one was looking. Sex is all you care about. It’s the only thing. There’s literally nothing else going on in your mind. Remove those thoughts and your skull would likely cave in. And if you say otherwise to a guy, then you’re lying in the hope that your weedy little-lies will lure that poor boy into a false sense of security, and you can have your way with him – in a bathroom cubicle if needs me. That’s the software you run on. You’re quasi-sentient jizz box; a walking cum dispenser. You care about someone’s feelings until you get what you want and then throw them away like a shit-stained baby wipe.
You may think I’m perhaps going overboard on the insults a bit, that I am slightly overreacting, maybe even that I’m befouling your reputation. Well, perhaps you shouldn’t have obliterated my romantic daydreams and robbed my world of magic by cheating on me. Why don’t you just get a time machine, go back in time, tell six-year-old me that Santa doesn’t exist and then punch him in the face seeing as you’re on a world-crushing roll.
Each day with you was more complex than teaching poker to a gang of feral monkeys, but with far higher stakes. I had to choose every word carefully because there was life-enhancing happiness at risk. Clearly I didn’t play my hand well because all I’ve wound up with is crushing humiliation and piffling heartbreak. Infuriatingly enough this is all stuff I want to say to you, but I can’t because you’ve swiftly removed me from all social media and added my number to your block list – congratulations on avoiding responsibility with such showy, sugary gusto, you morally bankrupt dick-swinger. You got what you wanted and you didn’t even risk exposure.
I don’t think there’s anything worse than realising that I misread the signs, that all the rumours I heard about, all the warnings people offered me, all of them were true. I was crazy about you, and now the sheer mental weight of your whorish tomfoolery has left me unable to move more than five meters without wanting to crawl back into my bed and hide away for a century. I don’t want to talk to anyone, I don’t want to eat. I’m still finding ways that this was all my fault. I’m the one that’s broken.
So, congratulations, you cheating slime ball, you got away with it. I hope you and the American enjoy taking 15,000 photos of each other guffawing and pulling silly faces. I might be lying here twitching like a half-crushed spider, my hurt exposed, but I’ll get over it. I will do better. I hope it was worth throwing something great away for nine days with a guy you’ll probably never see again – but still totally talk to every day.