Chapter Sixteen – The Elevator Ride Commences

by Christine Wild

The funny thing about honesty is that you never know if you are getting it. Granted you often find out if you were not. Still the perception of honesty comes from one thing, and one thing only: trust. Once that trust is taken away, ripped apart or never existed to begin with, all that is left are some deep dark thoughts and worst-case scenarios. I experienced new levels of falling apart and rising to the top in a short month. I want to take you on this emotional elevator ride with me. This story is not for the light-hearted, I promise you that much.

Liam*—Mr. Inexplicable as I have called him so far, and I were trying really hard to make things work. It was difficult and tedious and so tiring. The sex was not even good. He was lazy, self-involved, and absorbed in another world. None of the “insane connection” I was craving, the sole purpose of my return was there. But I loved him, so I stayed. He said, “I don’t wanna give up just because it’s hard.” So we kept trying for 6 weeks we just tried. And it was exhausting. I kept thinking he needed me to be there for him, to support him on his journey. He was finally dealing with the horrible things that had happened to him over that summer, and in his life in general. Of course I would not be a priority right away, of course he needed to talk, and talk, and talk, and talk, about himself, about his problems, about his life. And I kept seeing none of me ever reflected in his words, she was still there haunting my every breath… and at times he said the worst things he could possibly say and my breath stopped. My heart broke a little every time. “This morning I woke up and had to check myself, figure out where I was and who was next me… I’ve been so all over the place lately…” He might as well have said “I thought of her while I was hugging you all night,” because that’s all my heart could hear.

So even though it hurt and even though neither of us were really happy, I thought it was all for something. There were glimpses of hope, a few laughs and sincere smiles. I thought he would eventually come to his senses. And then he blew up. I was asking for more than he could give. He could not give me shit apparently, since all I was asking for was honesty. He needed to focus on Liam, and I had to stop focusing on Liam. He blew up on the phone at his lunch break. I told him none of this could happen like this, that he owed me the respect to tell it to my face. And then he said “Why? So you can convince me to be in a relationship that I do not want?” I wanted to hang up and never hear his voice again. He did not even have the decency to be an adult and respect the one woman who had done absolutely nothing to hurt him. I gathered strength I did not even know I had. “No, I just need to hear the words you just said in person to have closure.” “Fine then, see you after work. Bye.”

So he had made the decision. I had to make him realize that he could not just be an asshole; that he still had to talk to people, that even though he was fighting his battles, his actions impacted more than his little self. No, I did not want to break up. Yes, this is also what I needed. And so we broke up for the second time. I felt like this time it was the hardest thing. He had given up. I just had to face the fact that I loved someone who did not, could not, love me back. He stayed over that night; we had dinner and talked. We talked instead of watching a dumb movie. For the first time in a while he looked at me. So when he left for work, I disintegrated.

I closed the door and went back to sleep, to ignore this brutal reality for just a little longer. When I woke up, each step I took shone a light on something that reminded me of him. His soap in the shower, the nutella we bought together to make crepes, the bag of my favorite childhood crisps I had bought just for him, the bottle of whiskey that I do not like and lastly—the towel that still smelt like him. Those were all the things I had left. I hugged that towel like it was the last time I would ever remember what he smelled like, like it was him I could hold on to for a couple more minutes before throwing it in the hamper.

The following week was torturous. It took all the energy in me just to keep going, accept failure and move on. I was single again. I realized what my girlfriends had repeatedly been saying after their breakups: “I just want to tell him how shitty I feel because when I feel shitty I want to talk to him. But now he’s the one making me feel shitty so I can’t call him and it makes me feel even worse.” I get it now. Damn. I was tired. I could not face the idea of putting myself out there, of hunting. I did not even want to sleep with anyone and that was really weird. I just felt defeated and I missed him. So I got drunk on that Saturday. I had been a week since we had talked. 10.30 pm came around….

Me: “So you don’t miss me….” (Yes, I know I’m smooth like that.)

Him: “Why would you stay that? I was just wondering how you were doing actually.”

“Were you?”

“Yes.”

“Why did you say that?”

“I didn’t think that you do.”

“That’s not nice.”

“I’m sorry I just thought you didn’t.”

“I do. But what should I do, text you that?”

I guess he had a point. What was I expecting? We break up and then he is supposed to tell me he is suffering? I guess not. I did not know what to say… I apologized the next morning and we caught up properly. He understood. We did both miss each other. But it was for the best. That was Thanksgiving morning. So I went to hang out with my friends, who have the most beautiful little children and comforted my soul with the extraordinary innocence, the warmth and pure sincerity of which they are the sole providers. We ate great food, watched a bit of Star Wars and reveled in the purest kind of love. I got into bed quite early and fell asleep easily for the first time. I did not even have nightmares that night.