Not Yet A Fairy Tale

When the clock chimed in the New Year, I was cuddled up next to the girlfriend at the time. I had my feet on a foot stool, was sat in a couch in front of the television and was cradling her head as it lay on my chest, whilst we mused about the new year, and all the wonderful, beautiful things we hoped it would bring us. I had flown nearly 5000 miles to make this moment, and in the heat of the moment, life couldn’t have felt better. There was me, the one woman in the world I loved, and a bright and shining future ahead of us. If ever there was a fairy tale moment in my life, that was it.

Ten months down the road, that fairy tale is no more – obliterated by time, distance and the seemingly insurmountable gulf that a difference of faith can engender. It would take me six full months, from that fateful day in April when it all went south, before I would be able to come to terms with that loss, but I like to imagine bar the odd memory induced twinge, I have well and truly moved on.

I still hold out hope for a fairy tale ending – frog meets Cinderella, and whether in an instant or over time, the frog morphs into a Prince and Cinderella gets her heritage back.

So here’s to hope, for a fairy tale ending.. Whenever (If ever) that is…

Full circle (the anatomy of a heart break)

They say there are five stages of grief… First there is denial. Everything slows down to an almost imperceptible crawl, leaving you with the numbness of disbelief and a full blown Fariku Singularity. You replay that final scene in your head again and again until it is etched in your mind like an indelible tattoo. You deconstruct the words hoping to find an iota of comfort; and when the lads ask you about her, you pretend the phone lines garbled that bit of speech, or mutter various incomprehensible answers.

After a while reality bites, and Anger rears its head. You want to do something to hurt, something that will somehow in your mind atone for the loss, even if it is irrational. You delete phone numbers, wipe out emails, cut off social connections and add details to block lists. It is all to no avail, like a giant worm chewing away at the insides of your mind, the dull ache of her name – and her face –  remain, never mind the fact that you have dialled the numbers and emailed back and forth so much so that you know the details by heart.

In a rare moment of lucidity, you decide that Bargaining is an option after all. You convince yourself that you both had so much invested that at least one more punt – however unlikely it is to succeed – is warranted. You fire off the first salvo, it takes all of six days for a reply to come back. When it does, it is cryptic, impersonal and reads like something spat out from an automated answering machine. When you finally get to talk, it is clear there is still a mental connection, only the original issues remain and time apart has deepened the chasm.

Then depression comes in swingingly wildly; self-loathing hits you in the solar plexus and like a bag of potatoes suddenly cut loose from the weighing string you crumble. You mope around for days on end, make sloppy mistakes at work and even get pulled up by the boss. You go over all the events again, playing various what-ifs and what-mights in your head: if you hadn’t forgotten the birthday, if you had braved the odds and flown over for a face-to-face, if snow and work hadn’t conspired to pare 14 days down to barely six, if playful conversations about wanting only one child hadn’t taken on an unintended palor of seriousness, if…. if… if…   It doesn’t help that normal life continues, and the odd lad still brings her name up in conversations. Each night, in the bits of solitude that the minutiae of the life she once shared excitedly used to fill, there are alternate overpowering urges: to call her, to cry, to kick a door in, to overdose on cokes, to just do something. In those unguarded moments when you lie awake till the wee hours of the morning tossing and turning, you wonder what it is she is up to, if she still thinks about you and if she’s moved on to another bloke.

In midst of it all, there’s you, and the one bloke who can relate, he of the listening ear who has walked these self same paths before. You talk, and cry, and finally find the release that unloading the hurt brings. You let go of the hurt and accept it wasn’t meant to be, and that only time can ease this pain. In the detached clarity of your new found pragmatism, you recognise the differences were always going to be an issue – red herring or not, and that there is no way back now.

Life’s finally come full circle, and with it a semblance of normalcy, the only reminders of the season of heart break are the holidays you never took and the sense of de ja vu – you’ve been here before and you survived,  even back in 2009.

Half-full or half-empty?

Breaking up has its perks – especially when there was the small matter of a six hour difference and 3,000 plus miles. On the plus side, the need to remember birthdays (I sucked majorly at this, which probably added to my being kicked to the kerb), answer phone calls at odd hours of the day and be a pillar of strength to someone finally vanishes, and one is free to pursue other interests. On the flip side, the months of getting to know someone from the ground up are then tossed away, as though all meaning were trivial. Only after a while does the real cost register – long periods that were once filled with sharing the minutiae of life are suddenly filled with solitude; solitude which has the potential to bend one’s mind and numb it into a stupor.

Any doubts I may have had that we were done died yesterday. It truly is goodbye to EJ, and that with an air of finality. In retrospect, not talking through our differences face to face when I took my trip at the beginning of the year came back to haunt me in a really big way. The major sticking point being my inability to define a coherent Worldview that is sufficiently liberal and is devoid of Evangelical underpinnings. Life goes on as they say. For me, all that is left is the arduous task of completely wiping her out of my mind, out of my memory, and out of every iota of consciousness…. Hard task, but a bloke has to keep his sanity…. 😦

Blogoratti’s shared an apt quote:

Sometimes old things need to go away. That way, we have room for the new things that come into our lives

                                                               -Randy K. Milholland

Can my new things show up already?

One last punt

I spent the whole week – and some – agonising over the pros and the cons of one last punt, asking EJ if we were done for good. It didn’t help that she took nearly a full day to reply my initial email. Yesterday, I finally worked up the nerve to make the phone call. It still took me six tries, before I allowed the phone ring through.

We talked – whilst she was out shopping with a friend. The one thing that comes out of it all is that at best, we will be acquaintances, the odd phone call every so often, the odd email and simple safe gifts for birthdays if they are remembered. Oddly enough, I never got to ask her for a black and white response as to if we were done for good. She did seem very eager to get me back into the dating business. Guess by default, we are done, and yours truly has to wise up to that and move on, difficult as it might be.. 😦

… it will always be difficult, but if you cry like this every time, you will die of heartbreak. Just know, that it is enough sometimes to know that it is difficult.

Chris Abani @ TED 2008

Right now I miss having a male role model I can bare my heart out to.

Delayed cognition

I wake up to the sounds of a quiet house. It has taken all of twenty four hours but finally my benumbed brain connects to reality. Last night, EJ and I split up officially. It was very amicable –  no shouting, no crying, no theatrics –  just two adults recognizing that the time to end our tenuous grip on each other and move on had come. It is a strange place to be. We’re still friends, we intend to keep the lines of communication open, but our nine months of being official have  ended. Now that reality has hit, I feel like a large, gaping hole has been torn in my very existence.

Life moves on, and we soldier on, but I suspect that life, may just never be the same again…