Monday, 17 December 2012

No, how are you?

When we bump into each other every Sunday and you say we must meet up, are you actually meaning it, or are you just being polite?

The text message left my phone and marked itself as delivered. His response pinged back a few minutes later.

I do mean it, I've just been busy and I wasn't sure if you wanted to see me any more. How are you anyway?

And so eventually the day came when our diaries converged; three months after silence last descended. We sat opposite each other in a cafe between our two houses late one Saturday morning. My food arrived and as I lifted the fork to my lips, and chewed, nausea rose in my stomach.

"Urgh. I'm struggling a bit this morning. Do you want it?" I pushed my food to him.
"Yeah alright. Late night?"
"Early morning." I conceded.

It's then I pinpointed what I missed; the ease of it all. The ability to be so hungover you nearly vomit the next day and he just rolls his eyes and reminds you of the last time he held your hair back after a particularly heavy night in Vegas.

We laugh.We get on. We always have.

We talk and walk, taking in our local area. We catch up, we talk about how he's doing; his new exercise regime which is keeping the demons away. We don't touch on where he went for those months, why he went quiet. We hug and leave each other hours later; him with a promise of meeting again soon, me with a glimmer of hope.

I'm more surprised than I probably should be when my text message a couple of days later goes unanswered.


He's still lurking in my mind two weeks on, when myself and PIB are seated in a restaurant eating lunch.

Talk turns to ex-boyfriends, and the cycle of getting over someone. The protracted, long, drawn out process which is made infinitely harder when you still get on with them, when you often bump into them in the street each weekend and when, despite your efforts, you still can't let the barriers down for anyone else.

"Have you ever told him what he's done to you?" she asked, placing her fork to one side. "That he basically completely shattered your trust in everyone? Yes, he had a breakdown. Yes, he had depression. But what about you? You'll always protect him, because that's what we do. We protect boys like him because we don't want to hurt them. We mother them, tell them these huge things they did don't matter. But they do matter, and he's selfish, and he doesn't know how you are, which..." she paused and I felt tears fill my eyes, "...isn't too good, at the moment."

Which is strange, I thought, because that's exactly what my instinct said after three minutes in his company that day, a flash of innate knowledge that was later clouded by familiarity and hope.

The omission of a single question.

No. This isn't going to work because he hasn't asked how I am yet.

He'll never ask how I am, except to be polite. He doesn't want to know. And that's probably why he goes off the radar. He's protecting himself, and he always will do.

"Besides" the PIB said, resuming her lunch. "Regardless of anything that happens, I'd still kick him in the balls."

And sometimes, in a world where people are often just being polite, I think that's probably the best course of action.


Amy McNichol said...

It WILL get easier. Chin up.x

Blonde said...

Not sure what to say there, my friend. Heartbreak sucks. And goes on sucking long after it has any right to.

PiB is right, though - as much as that's probably the last thing you actually want to hear. xx

dellers said...

Or maybe he doesn't ask you how you are cause he's afraid that you will answer the question truthfully and that's what he's trying to avoid, the truth, the fact that he's hurt you. You're a reminder of the hurt that HE caused.

But the reason that you've not moved on is the uncertainty about why it happened in the first place. there's been no real closure. But this break up was not about you. it was all him.but there's no going back cause he's avoiding the acceptance of that truth of the hurt he caused.
the more time you spend texting him, waiting for a reply, meeting him and analysing it all afterwards, is time you could be spent with someone who deserves your company. hope you're okay

Amy said...

I've read this four times now, and I've been staring at the comment box one and off for about fifteen minutes. I'm still not entirely sure what I want to say.

One thing I know is that you deserve to be surrounded by people who do want to know how you are.

Heartbreak is a bitch of the highest order. Like everyone else has said — it WILL get better. But it's crap that it won't just get better now.

Dominic said...


It's amazing how significant such a simple question can be.

It was the absence of that same question one time after I was stretchered away from a car crash with head & spinal injuries that helped me realize: If someone doesn't ask, it's because they don't care.

I hope you can find a less-dramatic way to come to terms with it!

Sprinkled Words (former Miss Milk) said...

I think I have to agree.

The Author Of This said...

This feeling blows.

When down, I've found that a random 'Trevor & Simon' swing your pants helps raise a smile. Might not work for everyone though :)

Ellie said...

If we could all only be a bit more human / considerate. You're not asking anything unreasonable -- just courtesy. And you are reminding me that I need to face up to some hard communication myself. xxx

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Amy - It did get easier, then it got harder again. And when you know it'll get easier, you just want it to hurry up and happen. I'm impatient.

Blonde - She's completely right. She called me out because I was making excuses for him, and I shouldn't. It's his fault. End.

Dellers - Yep, it was him. And he probably is avoiding the issue, but then perhaps I've brushed over it when I've seen him too.

Amy - I think because we never got to have that big bust up when it happened, it's all just gone a bit haywire now. Seems a backwards way of doing things. Time, time, time.

Dominic - I suppose you have to ask the question and then be willing to listen to the answer, which is where he falls short.

Sprinkled Words - A nice, sharp, kick. Bam. Done.

The Author - I'll give it a go. What have I got to lose?

Ellie - Courtesy and perhaps an admission of playing a huge part in shaping the fact that the thought of being with someone else terrifies me to the hills. I'd probably avoid it too ;)

jman said...

The sad fact is that one of the worst sins one can commit is to be careless with other people's feelings. And that is what he is guilty of and continues to be. Of course at some point you will have to accept that a) the dream is over and b) you're never going to get closure from him in any way which is satisfactory and until you can accept both, you're going to keep rising back up like the clown punching bag, to get smacked back down again. I sincerely hope you can break the cycle soon. All those happy couples one sees when one is alone often are lonelier than you are! I think a trip is in order.

fwengebola said...

There's nothing worse than being ignored or dismissed by someone you've given your heart to. The only thing that'll take your mind off of them is the next person... I said, not quite following my own advice.


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