“I don’t want to be in this relationship anymore.”
Hang on, this isn’t what we rehearsed! Take it back! He’ll leave!
“I can’t – I hate it. We fight constantly. When we’re not fighting, I’m just waiting for us to start fighting. Even when it’s good. It might even be worse when it’s good because I know that any minute it won’t be.”
I’m not sure he’s really listening. He’s holding a book.
The words have spilled out of me in an ugly, clumsy dance. What I meant to say was Gaz, something needs to be done about this relationship, but now he moves to stand and reaches for his keys. I’ve asked him to go. I’ve told him that it’s not good enough.
And it’s true, but as the door closes behind him I am howling at his shadow.
I send him a text message almost as a reflex: I’m sorry, that was shit. His response is instant: I’m sorry too.
I tear myself to shreds wondering what that means. Is he sorry and is coming home? Is he sorry because he doesn’t love me anymore? Is he sorry because he knows that he’s an asshole? Is he sorry because he has plans to have me killed?
I write message after message, composing and deleting, wondering how much you can drip tears on a phone before it short-circuits.
What are you sorry for? No.
Come back and we’ll talk. No!
Eventually I throw out a little That’s good and put my phone in a drawer. I sit and watch the drawer for half an hour, wondering why it isn’t ringing.
I’m so desperate to call him that I’m not sure whether I am actually calling him without realising. I’m not. I don’t think. I’m about to. I pick up the phone. I call my dad. I call my brother. I say things like “just wondered what you were up to.”
It roughly translates to “I just wondered what he is up to.”
Which means something like “Why doesn’t he love me?”
I go to bed. I’m not sure why. The sheets are rough and scratchy and they smell like him. Is my phone ringing? No, of course it isn’t. Better look at it just to be sure. No, definitely not ringing.
I watch myself find his name in my list like I’m in a different body. I’m pressing the buttons. No, stop! My phone dialling self isn’t listening. His name flashes up on the screen.
It rings. Once. Twice. Eight times. Fourteen times.
I leave a bumbling voicemail message. Foolish. Pleading.
I know he’s not coming back.