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I don’t know how to change the time on the alarm clock, and so it woke me up and I switched it off again, and stared at the empty space. The little things are becoming the cruellest reminders.
I had suspicions you were unhappy. I thought that you were struggling with work, or life or something. I have been struggling with work and life and something. I knew that our relationship was changing, that pressures were adding up. I thought that they were the symptom and not the cause. They are for me. But overhearing you talking through things with your friend, her asking how the mortgage is arranged and suggesting you packed a bag first, hearing myself described as pragmatic and stoic… I wish I hadn’t gone to bed before you. I wish I had joined you for a nightcap. I wish I had sneaked back to bed and pretended I hadn’t heard, and held you so closely that you would change your mind.
Perhaps you are right. Perhaps we would have come to this soon anyway.
I want to be angry, and I can’t. I was angry with you yesterday, when you came back to collect some clothes, when we talked for hours and hours. But the anger was there for a minute, and gone the next, replaced by numbness and the ever present nausea. I can’t get my head around what you are saying. You don’t know if you love me any more. You don’t look forward to spending time with me any more.
I get angry because you haven’t tried to save this. A lull in a sex life is normal after several years, you said. Nothing wrong, just very tired, you said. I don’t feel like going out, let’s stay in, you said.
You’re coming back to talk more on Friday. I asked you to see a counsellor, to make sure this isn’t something else speaking, to be sure that you mean it. I am not sure that you will. I gave you a letter which talked through my feelings, with a quote – the ubiquitous wedding reading from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes, and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.”
I am not ready for goodbye. I want comfortable. I told you that you have this whole thing easy and I meant it. You stayed on a friend’s sofa and I stayed in our home. The wonky wallpaper in the bathroom was a sign that you loved me. Now it is a sign of your pretending, carrying on as normal, hoping your feelings would go away, trying to compartmentalise your troubles like you always do. No talking. No trying.
And so I wait, calling in sick to work because the sudden retching hasn’t gone away, staring in to space for hours. Crying on friends who say everything I need to hear, but who would be better saying it to you. They make me tea.
I have told you that the love does ebb and flow and that the most important things are the trust and knowing that we are the only people in the world that we can be ourselves with. I don’t know if that is enough for you. You don’t know if that is enough for you.
The hardest part is that the person I need the most is the person who is breaking my heart.
And so I wait for Friday. I hope.