This is a study in getting over it. Sucking it up. Practice in keeping the place settings pristine and in place as that tablecloth is yanked fresh out from under them, complete with the little linen snap-gone-staccato at the end. This is a story about looking for answers at the bottoms of bottles and truly discovering your new best friend in your dog. (The kind of friend that let you cry endlessly on their should at 3:30 a.m. on a school night and never complain.) This is the story of readjusting a paradigm and reacquainting oneself with the idea that you will, at some point, possibly have to consider dating again.
Is there such a thing as a good break up? Probably not. I’ve never had one, and I’ve lived through quite a few, of varying levels of dramatics. I think, though, that the worse of them all may be the break-up you don’t really expect.
Here’s the thing—We won’t pretend it was going stellar. It was sort of stagnant, in that we-both-work-too-much-and-opposite-hours kind of way. We fought, we complained. There was very little sex, but neither of us really blamed the other for that or made much of an effort. We had hit a slump, I won’t deny it.
But what you don’t expect is that slump to turn into a black eye and some good ol’ fashioned heart-thumping scared. You don’t expect for the man you love, even if sometimes you feel like you’re not really liking him much at the moment, to go all zombie glass-eyed mean on your ass in the middle of the night and try to break your neck, gouge your eye out, and bite your cheek off. (Yes, bite. your. cheek. off.)
All else aside, it just stinks of betrayal of the worse sort.
And yet, here I sit, wondering how he’s doing. I haven’t seen him for two weeks, since the police escort brought him by to collect some of his things. Haven’t spoken to him. I wonder how pissed at me he is for calling the cops—he probably doesn’t remember what he did to deserve that reaction.
I’ll admit, it happened once before. I had bruises on my arms so dark they wouldn’t fade for weeks. This was months ago and I told him then there would be one more chance, and that was all. One more… for a while he quit drinking quite so much. He was more careful. But I think the stress got to him. He could not end the night without getting quite drunk, he lied about doing so from time to time because he knew I wasn’t a fan. He started to make more friends with similar interests, and I guess I was the bad guy or the boring one because I wasn’t so keen on going out every night. He started to crack a little around the edges. Sleep walking, talking in his sleep about work. Even waking up in the middle of the night and having full conversations on totally irrational subject matters and texting everyone in his phone at 5 in the morning, etc.
To this day, I don’t believe he was really “in there” when he tried to kill me. I’ll never believe that. But… how do you forgive that. How do you trust that person ever again.
And still, I know if he wound up on my door step begging me to take him back, I probably would consider it for at least a fraction of a second.
He won’t though. He’s too proud. And goddamnit, so am I.
And that’s why this is a study in moving the fuck on.