When I was 13, I came up with a definition of clarity: “It’s s like a romantic Hollywood movie, where the end of the plot is more anticipated than the beginning”. While the whole world is celebrating a love day, I’d like to tell a bit different romantic story, that showed me what love actually is.
He picked me up after work and I leaped into his arms. “I have so much to tell you” – I greeted him. He did not mirror my enthusiasm: “- I also want to tell you something. Get into the car. Please”.
I did as I was told and held space for silence and some big piece of news that was – I knew – going to crash me. I wanted him to speak and also resisted what was coming at the same time.
-“I think we should take a break” – the words finally escaped his mouth and shot me straight to the head.
-“What?! A break?! Why don’t you just find guts to call it a day and tell me we are done?!”, I shouted out loud. I was drowning in a whirlpool of emotions – relief and sorrow: this love boat was sinking. Just like that, so casually, at a car, without even a single look at the eyes, my romantic life as I knew, was over.
I think there were some phrases exchanged. Yet, all I recall was my deep breathing and both of us super concentrated on the road and traffic ahead. When he finally dropped me at a car service where I had to pick my car, I had only one goal: to crawl to my car and make sure he does not breathe the same air as I do anymore. I wanted to run away. “See you at home, ok? Let’s talk” – I heard him saying with the cracking voice. I nodded, so he would fuck off. I entered the car and put the radio out loud.
Yep, it played all those love songs. All the break up songs. What else could I expect, right?!
I kept on driving in circles, postponing my return home. Home, what was it now? A man with whom I shared 2 precious years of my life, who held my hand and walked me through my darkest times, the man whom I loved so much and created a dream home with, was now only a mirage from the past.
I was so cold and rational. I was so grateful for having my car and being able to take my time. I must admit I also felt in control of this breakup: I knew he was waiting for me at “home” and I had to put myself into the proper emotional state to handle this right. I’ve been there before. The previous breakup sucked the soul out of me and that emotional state dragged for over a year. What could go wrong, went wrong. So I did not want to repeat it.
So I turned off the engine and rang my mom’s number to present the news that their “dream son – in law” is not actually going to become one. The most sensitive and hard part was done. I was so proud of myself – I knew that if I call my family all upset, they will have weeks of sleepless nights of worry, so I rather used a perfect moment where I could “play it cool”.
After the long conversation of “I will be ok, no no, really”, I was ready to come back home.
He sat on a sofa, with his big ” guilty puppy” eyes pointed at me.
– “Could you sit down, please? “, I heard while standing in my defensive warrior’s pose.
– “Look, I could sit down and this conversation will be very short but emotional. Else, we could go for a walk, it will be one of these deep and long conversations you hate, but at least it will be a calm one. Your call.”
We strolled around our beloved neighbourhood for hours. I cried and asked all the possible questions: So what have I done wrong? What should I improve in my next relationship? Why this love is now over? Is there anything that could glue us back together? We were great, weren’t we?
We were great. Yet, I was reminded what my mind kept escaping: we were not happy. We might have called it a happiness at that moment, close our eyes to the shortcomings, small fights and imperfect character traits, but there were no bright future together. One of us painted a life vision with a dream of becoming a serial entrepreneur and settling down, another – challenging education globally, living in the most exotic locations, and leaving security for the unknown adventure. Which one should have compromised his/her big dream for another’s? This wasn’t right and definitely not how happiness felt.
It was the truth. The reality. It was a relief and a sorrow – I was walking around the block with a special someone, holding me around the waist, making me laugh. For the last time.
Reassured that I did not suck that much as a girlfriend, I found peace. It was the right thing to do. Immense gratitude started flowing through me – I was so thankful it was his move. Knowing his firm demeanour, there was no way back. Cold turkey. On the contrary, if it was my call, after some time I would have begged to get back together.
After a few hours of watching the trains pass our beloved railway around the corner from our house, we came back, took a can of bear each and left to watch the sunset together. We cheered to all the beautiful moments together, opened up a bit more, “So your mother never really liked me, did she?”, I remember asking.
It was late when he led me back to what was called my house from now on. He packed a few things, kissed me goodbye and left.
With those doors closing before me, the new chapter of my life opened.
The reason I am telling this story was because that was the best love gift I could be given.
Today I am celebrating this man who is still a dear friend, at least in my head. Thanks to him, I understood what “when you really love, you have to let go” actually means. I find myself asking: Where would I be right now, if that break up never happened? Would I have found courage to go after my dreams, to be the version of myself I envisioned myself becoming?
I can only guess now, but this break up would have happened anyway, just later in the future, leaving a big trace of crap, a bad smell and a poisonous state of being. I am glad that all of this never happened and I can still smile to all those pictures of the time we spent together.
So today I celebrate the love that I get to receive, I celebrate pure love for myself and that I still get to have an ex boyfriend whom I call my friend. Cheers to, as Beyonce sings, ” the best thing I never had”.