I was wiping off my eyeliner and mascara getting ready to finally go to sleep. It was late but I still felt restless. My workout had been three hours over the course of the day. I sighed, not wanting to really think about why that was, but it was like I couldn’t stop the thoughts. My personal development training was kicking in and telling me to create possibilities, but the hurt was still overflowing in me; it was raw.
I sat down on the couch and put my head in my hands and thought about everything that had transpired. My mind was filled with images of the panties that weren’t mine that I found in the pocket of my coat that I’d left at Michael’s place and found when I was over gathering my things at his request. Images of his face surfaced in my mind when he looked away from my eyes and explained how he needed time away from our relationship. I felt compassion toward him but the overwhelming shock and rejection stung me and it was so hard to see straight in that moment. In that moment, everything had slowed down and become quiet. I could almost hear my heart breaking. We had been together for a year and a half and all I thought was, this can’t end now! I swallowed and struggled to come up with something to say. This couldn’t be it. He and I had gone through so much together and while we had our issues like many other couples, we were strong because we had the tools to communicate better. I refused to believe it was over.
I nodded my head slowly but I was far from defeated. I was going to stand for our relationship even if he wasn’t. I questioned the wisdom of that but I knew if I put one hundred percent into us and took responsibility for our survival, we could do it. Michael would eventually come around, right? I shook my head, of course he’d eventually come around.
Everything felt heavy and my body ached. I really needed to sleep. I slowly stood and dragged myself to my bed. The softness of the bed was comforting like everything might be okay if I relinquished myself into the physical comfort. Thoughts lingered in the back of my mind telling me I knew better than that. I stared at the ceiling; the dim lighting of my night lamp made shadows on the wall that seemed to transform into images, into the series of events that had happened, into the memories Michael and I had… I took a deep breath and blew it out of my nose and rubbed my eyes irritably. I just needed to get some sleep but sleep was elusive.
I recalled the expression on his face as he explained what he wanted, what he wanted for himself, and what he wanted from our relationship. Well, he didn’t actually want a relationship… he wanted to maintain a friendship but it squeezed my heart to hear that. I didn’t want to hear that he wanted to work on himself because, honestly, it left me out of the equation other than just acting as a friend.
I turned on my side and pressed my lips together as emotion bubbled up. My eyes watered and I allowed it. I allowed the tears to come. I reached over and pulled a tissue out of the box by my bed and dabbed at my eyes. I wasn’t sure how long I laid there quietly sobbing but I must have stopped some time.
The cold light of morning shone into my bedroom, it felt grey. I felt almost nothing. It was a strange feeling but it felt better than hurt. I figured the pain would eventually come back but for now, there was just this all-encompassing strange emptiness. I feared the puffiness beneath my eyes but eventually I looked in the mirror as I went about my morning routine. I grimaced and threw cold water on my face. My face wash felt good and soothing on my skin.
I brushed my teeth and hair, pulled on my clothes and applied a little makeup. Finally I was ready to face the world.
Food was unappealing at the moment so I poured myself a glass of water and squeezed in lemon. I sipped at my water and put away some clean dishes.
My kitty cat came in demanding food. He meowed until I complied with his demand. I shook my head and smiled a little. Some creatures had it so easy. Nico, my cat, could just eat, sleep, and play and not get all caught up in heartbreak or other painful emotions. Ah the life of a cat! I stuck my tongue out at him as he gave me an unimpressed look and started inhaling his food.
“You’re welcome,” I muttered.
I picked up my cell and looked to see if I missed any calls or texts. Trista wasn’t around today, she was staying with another friend; I wasn’t sure whether to be annoyed or grateful. It might help to have someone to talk to but on the other hand, I wanted to digest everything.
Apparently the universe wasn’t down with the second option because as soon as I thought that, my phone rang. I picked it up. It was Mom.
“Hi honey,” said my mother in her warm voice, her Spanish accent thick even after all this time.
“Hi Mom,” I replied.
“How are you?”
“I’m okay. Sort of. I think… I think Michael and I are over,” I said, my voice catching.
“Oh what happened?” she asked, voice concerned.
I explained to her some of what happened and the end result.
“I’m so sorry, honey,” she empathized.
“I didn’t want this, you know. I want our relationship to stay strong. I think we can still make it and I stand by that,” I said adamantly.
“Hmm I want that for you too, sweetie. Do you think he does need to work on himself? Do you think that will make your relationship better or are things fine the way they are now?”
“Well… I think he’s fine now but…I want him to have peace with himself or whatever it is he really needs. What people say and what people think are different…I just never thought it was with us,” I said bitterly.
“It might not be the case, but you never know. Maybe you needed this to happen and maybe he does too. It could make things better somehow.”
“How can it make things better?” I asked, feeling irritated. She was supposed to be on my side and supporting me.
“Honey, I don’t want to see you hurting but maybe this is important for both of you. Who knows, it could be the thing that makes your relationship stronger. You both might come out of this better. I’m here for you though, Elle. Let me know if you need anything else,” she said compassionately.
“Thanks, Mom,” I murmured. “Hey listen, I have to go, can we talk later?”
“Sure. Take my car today, I don’t need it,” she said.
“Bye! I love you,” she said.
I ended the call and blinked. I put on my mental armour and prepared myself for the day.