Rejected titles for this entry include:
- Is This What a Stroke Feels Like?
- I Promise I Didn’t Type This on the Toilet
Y’all… you have no idea how anxious I am about this post. Like had to stop and buy my first pack of cigarettes in three weeks type of anxious. Been avoiding opening this blog to the point that my friends and friends of friends are straight calling me on my disappearing act bullshit type of anxious. Like spending too much time in the bathroom, and I’m not even hungover, so you know I’m not playing around type of anxious.
Let me back up a little. About five weeks ago, I wrote the Romeo 1-4 part series as my final goodbye and attempt at closure from the most gut-wrenching breakup I had ever experienced. I wouldn’t say I was done so much as my heartbreak was seriously impeding my quality of life, and I knew it was at least time to pretend to move on. Fake it till you make it and all that. I also decided it was time to stop forgiving him and just finally be outrageously furious with him for the selfish, destructive bullshit he pulled that led to our demise. Posts went up Monday through Thursday of that week, and I was overwhelmed with the support and love and personal experiences and community from my readers and friends – who, in a Venn Diagram of those two categories, started to feel like more and more of an overlap.
Pause–> Seriously, I’m not good with the mushy stuff so I’ll never really do this sentiment justice, but y’all really have kept me sane these last few months. I’m awed and humbled by the strength, creativity and generosity of spirit that I’ve encountered. Turns out the internet isn’t just a scary place after all. Play–>
I went out that weekend on a mission to be angry with him and happy with life if it killed me, and for the first time in a long time, I felt like I was going to be okay.
The Universe is either a wise and powerful force of love or a jackass older brother that likes to jerk the car forward six inches every time you reach for the handle, but either way, I could have never in a million years expected what would happen come Monday…
That morning, I was deleting a bunch of pictures and screenshots from text convos with Romeo in order to free up storage on my phone that inspired the following email to him. Keep in mind that up to this point all of our exchanges had been amicable, but I was done being his friend because it was slowly killing me.
When you accidentally deleted our text history a few months back, I was going to be the cutest damn girlfriend in the world and print you a coffee table book with all the screenshots of the texts we sent while falling in love a million miles away from each other. And now while I’m deleting them all, I’m trying to not read them because with every one, I think that either I was an idiot for ever believing you loved me as much as you said you did, or you were an idiot for letting us break at the first bump in the road.
I’m not trying to pick a fight, and I’m certainly not trying to “win” you back, but if I have to torture myself with this, I deserve to say whatever the fuck I want to make this easier.
I get a text an hour later: “Can I call you tonight?”
I decide obviously either the email made him feel poorly and he wants us to be on friendly break up terms (*coughgofuckyourselfcough*), or he wants to tell me to back off and leave him alone because he doesn’t have time for my emotional roller coaster (no seriously, go fuck yourself).
“That’s fine. I’m free after Pilates.”
Two hours later I get this text: “I’m reading your email in class and trying to not cry.”
Wait. What? I was so confused… wasn’t he responding to my email with his previous request to call me? Why is he just now starting to cry?
“It wasn’t exactly fun writing it either,” was all I said instead.
“I’m scared to talk to you. I’ve made so many mistakes.”
My brain was spinning. “Oh God,” I thought, “is he referring to us? Am I the mistake? Wait, no. He’s been arrested. He’s been kicked out of pilot training. He knocked some girl up right after we broke up. That’s got to be it. He’s trying to be a nice guy and tell me now so I don’t have to find out on Facebook.”
Remember. Avoiding hope at all costs is the only way to survive conversations with the ex.
I went through the rest of the day on autopilot (pun not intended) until he called. Pleasantries were exchanged until I finally cut him off:
Me: Wait. Let me stop you right there. I don’t actually care how your weekend was. What do you want?
Romeo: Oh… um… well… I just… I wanted to apologize for how I’ve treated you these last few months. I’ve been really selfish in our breakup and I was even more selfish at the end of our relationship and I just wanted you to know how sorry I am and how much I regret how everything has gone down.
Me: What do you expect me to do with that? I’m not going to tell you it’s okay because I agree that your selfish bullshit broke us and I meant it when I said you were an absolute fucking idiot for letting that happen. But that’s your cross to bear, not mine.
Romeo: I know. I know. I… I know. You deserve to be angry.
Me: I am angry. I am FINALLY angry. It’s taken me six weeks of being broken up and six weeks of being treated like shit before that, but I am FINALLY angry. But I still don’t understand why the hell that means I need to be talking to you right now.
Romeo: I deserve all of the anger. I just wanted to give you a chance to yell at me and tell me what a horrible asshole I was.
Me: Fuck that. I’m not your priest. It’s not like I’m going to tell you to say ten Hail Marys and get bitched at by your ex girlfriend for half an hour and then you’re absolved of all yours sin. If you feel bad, good. You should. And that’s your problem. In fact, you calling is just another example of self-absorbed bullshit because the only possible excuse to call an ex and try to apologize is if it’s coupled with “I’m an idiot, and I love you, and I never should have let you go, and I’d do anything to make it work,” but you’re not John Cusack so I’m gonna go ahead and go.
Romeo: Wait. Please don’t hangup. I have so much I want to tell you that I would never be able to explain over the phone.
Me: You better try.
That’s when the tears started. Like that soul crying that comes on like a tidal wave you’ve been holding back and finally admitted defeat, “take a deep breath, honey, cause I can’t understand you, and for God’s sake, go grab a tissue” tears.
His tears. Not mine.
I, of course, was unable to cry because I was too distracted trying to determine if I was experiencing stress induced hallucinations or just having a stroke. I put the Super Bitch on pause to hear him out. Before you start bellowing “FIIIIINISH HIIIIIM,” remember: just because I hated him didn’t mean I didn’t love him.
Romeo: I am an idiot. I feel awful, and I’ve felt awful since the night we broke up. You are my person. I… I can’t say it all… I don’t even know what I could say to make it better and I understand if you’re angry and I understand if you hate me, but I’ve never regretted anything like I regret letting you go.
Me: Are you like trying to get back together? (It’s literally only at this point dawning on me that he’s not about to tell me he got some other girl pregnant.)
Romeo: I don’t deserve to ask for that right now.
Me in my head: ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodisthisreallifeheISjohncusackohmygodohmygodohmygod
Me out loud: You’re right. You don’t. So what are you trying to accomplish with this conversation?
Romeo: I was just hoping that maybe we could open back up a conversation. That maybe I could call you again tomorrow. I mean putting all my cards on the table, yes I’m going to try to win you back, but I’m well aware that I will actually have to win you back because I fucked up so bad that I can only hope you’ll forgive me.
Here’s where I need to pause and just lay out a few things:
1. Don’t forget that I led with telling you guys that I was basically living in the bathroom today due to the high levels of anxiety for finally sharing this.
2. Also don’t forget that all I ever said was that I was PRETENDING to be over him.
3. I’m anxious for a lot of reasons. I’m mainly anxious because on a practical level, it’s totally unbelievable. Literally the SAME WEEK that I unload all my internal organs into a series of posts about our great love that is no more, he comes begging for me back? STFU. The only reason you even should believe it is because the only thing I’ve ever promised y’all was to be brutally honest. This is actually not a choice, it’s more like a chronic condition, so here I am.
4. (Or is this 3B? The English teacher in me is dying to MLA this m-fer but I can’t figure out the formatting so… yet again, technology wins.) The other reason I’m anxious is that sharing happiness has always made me way more uncomfortable than sharing misery. Being vulnerable and letting people see me fall apart? It’s inevitable, so I just learned to steer into the skid. Letting everyone see me bursting with love and happiness? I’d rather walk down the street naked after eating a burrito. And nobody looks good naked after eating a burrito SO YOU KNOW I MEAN IT.
Alright, this is already small novel, so I’ll be following up with the rest of the story, hopefully soon, because I’m going to have some fierce dehydration issues if I don’t finish this confession.