The Countdown You Didn’t See Coming

It’s been exactly 100 days since our first date. I bet you didn’t know there was a countdown going on.

I should have seen this coming.  After all, everyone I give my friendship and heart to eventually leaves. Well most of them that is. You however stuck around for a while.

You also lied.

Maybe you didn’t mean to lie. Maybe you genuinely thought that you were ready for a relationship. At some point though, you chose to start lying intentionally. I don’t even know when it started. It’s all a blur. A jumbled mess of emotions. So distorted from wracking my brain countless nights as I sat on my bed crying.

Look at me.

Still trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. That’s how I am though. Always trusting in the next person who comes along and promises at the very least friendship. The funny thing is that I tried to write off your awful way of treating my already damaged heart as a cultural difference. A difference between our two religions perhaps. Yet I’ve spoken with new friends who share the same culture as you, the same religious beliefs and actually live in your hometown halfway across the world and their version of friendship is completely different.

45 days ago is when things became different.  You became distant and wouldn’t answer text messages. You stopped calling randomly like you used to and went three days without contact. It’s not that I don’t understand life happens, I really do. It’s the fact that I don’t understand how you could just up and stop communicating without any explanation.

How you could say you would call and then not do it? Did you enjoy sitting there knowing you weren’t actually going to call? Did it bring you pleasure knowing that I was sitting on my couch, checking my phone every so often to see what time it was? I’d like to think the answer is ‘no’, but now I’m not so sure.

Two of my good friends went through this time of sadness, this time of uncertainty with me. Even in the beginning neither of them suspected anything bad from you. None of that gut instinct that us women hold in the pit of our stomachs. I didn’t either. Weird. It usually kicks in and I ignore it. I actually searched inside some nights. Tried to find the warning signs that our bodies instinctively give off when things aren’t right. It just wasn’t there.

There was that night that I drove three hours to visit you after you had spent a month trying to convince me that you were only depressed and that is all it was. I know depression and I actually let that be your excuse. I was actually worried about you. I cared. You didn’t care enough. You allowed me, a woman, desperate for answers, finally break the silence and try to figure out what was really going on.

That’s right. It was ME who started the adult conversation that needed to occur between the two of us. I had to say the words, “We need to talk,” not you. Once again I had to be the only adult driving on a two lane road. Do you know how hard it was for me to ask you what was going on when I knew I might not like the answer?  You don’t. You probably don’t have the guts to ever start that kind of conversation. With anyone.

The worst part of that conversation was that instead of apologizing or giving me a true reason from the moment you opened your mouth, you took no responsibility. It took me looking at you with tears pooling in my eyes to actually say you were sorry for anything. From the beginning I had been honest with you about everything. My feelings, my faults, my hopes, dreams and wishes. I thought you had too. You hadn’t though.

You gave me hope that at least we might salvage an alliance out of all this crazy mess. It took me looking away from you this time, tears streaming down my face for ten minutes, for you to question me if I even wanted to remain friends. I couldn’t look at you at first. The fear in your voice when you asked, that split second of dread in your voice…that’s what gave me hope. Had me turning to you with a slight smile. Finally! You were showing some kind of emotion towards me. I should have known though.

I called it. Yep. I sure did. As I dried my eyes, I told you exactly how things were going to happen. I told you that being a friend meant that you stayed connected. Cared about the other person and had conversation. I explained to you that the way you had been treating me wasn’t how friendships worked. You said you understood.

That night we went to bed and like the old days I laid my head on your chest. My hand splayed across your stomach, feeling the rise and fall of warm skin under my hand. So stupid. I should have known that the final kiss on my forehead was just a display to keep me sated until the next morning when I would be leaving again. A minute show of affection. Just enough to keep me quiet for the remainder of my stay.

The next morning when you made me coffee I watched you and remembered the first time I saw you in your kitchen. That was 92 days ago. We walked to the garage and said goodbye for the day. You kissed me and said you were sorry, again, and hoped that I understood why you had acted the way you did. Like an idiot I forgave you and said I did, in fact, understand. Little did I know that I was lying to you for the first time. I didn’t understand but we would figure all that out in the days and weeks to come, right? Wrong.

Your last words to me were, “I’m glad you came and I hope I see you soon.”

It’s been 23 days since that kiss goodbye. My best friend says that it was your way of saying goodbye forever. I didn’t believe her. Now I’m not so sure. Perhaps she’s right. Except you just kept going. For 23 days you sent me texts every four days or so only asking, “How are you,” and when I responded and asked the same, no response. Were you trying to fulfill some kind of obligation you felt you owed me in your distorted mind? If so, I don’t need that.

It’s been 12 days since you even texted. My last text to you had been a plea for you to call me. I needed a friend to talk to and you were the only one who would really understand what I needed to talk about. You promised again to call. You didn’t.

Funny…I still held hope until 2 days ago. Now I know that you aren’t real. Not with me or yourself. Sadly you probably aren’t real to anyone that you meet and forge relationships with in life. People tell me that I’m the crazy messed up one. I will never believe that again.

Yesterday while thumbing through my camera roll on my phone, I passed picture after picture of you and me. The anger that flared inside of me was intense and I felt like screaming. I can’t bring myself to delete them just yet though. So instead I grit my teeth and try to push that anger down a little while longer.

12 hours ago I decided that I don’t need someone like you in my life.

I’ll eventually delete your texts, emails and pictures.

It’s too hard to get rid of those things right now.

You will always own a piece of my heart. The piece I gave you. The piece that you took and crumpled up like a used dollar bill. My heart will regenerate though. That’s something you don’t know about me.

I’m a survivor and so while you’re sitting there one night, lonely and holding all those pieces of every woman’s heart that you’ve taken for your own, I’ll be here finishing the countdown since I said goodbye.

8 thoughts on “The Countdown You Didn’t See Coming

  1. Whoa. I’m speechless. So beautifully written… I just can’t even. Although I fell off the internet for a good year because… life, we are still on the same weird path. I bet we could match up the days where I went through the same exact emotions on the same exact topic, but with a “best” friend/business partner. That she had the same… exact same responses and reactions as your heartbreak. Well, not exact. I got hugs instead of kisses… and I went home 😉 Love you, twin! Glad to be back, together we can never be alone!
    p.s. Love that quote above about hungry hearts!

  2. BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO! Well done, baby girl. So very proud of you to finally break through that barrier with yourself and start the healing process. Fuck him to damnation because he never was good enough for you.

    • Thank you my friend. I’ve been slowly building myself up to let go and writing this out today helped me immensely. Even if he never reads it, I know I wrote it and writing it makes it that much easier. So I’ll bid him a goodbye, wishing him nothing but the best because I am a bigger person than to do anything but that. It’s so hard though. He caused me heartache and still does. I don’t know. I guess it’s because I truly didn’t expect this from him. Thank you for being there for me through all of this. I know I’m not done with grieving and I may still need you but you’re right…he never was good enough for me and I don’t know that he ever will be.

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