‘Is that a fact or opinion?’
‘Opinion.’ she said ‘But if you want a fact’, she looked me in the eyes and stared hard before adding, ‘I hate you.’
I can’t say I’m surprised or even hurt by her words. It’s all true. I’ve been expecting this conversation for weeks now. If anything, I’m a bit proud of how long it took this one to get here.
Sheila, is what I mean by this one, by the way. I’ve been told that referring to a girl as ‘this one’ is sexist and rude. At least that’s what the last two have said.
‘I’m sorry’, is all I reply with anymore.
The words mean nothing to me if I’m being honest, but I recently realized that explaining only makes things worse. Now I just say sorry and move on, it’s quick and easy.
‘I should’ve listened to what my friends said about you.’
She’s right about that one. Her friends sound really smart.
‘Are you going to say anything?!’ she screamed.
Oh shit, she’s yelling. This is bad. Usually they’ve left by now. I never know what to do when they stick around for a bit. Should I offer her some water? Reassure her that I won’t be contacting her after tonight?
I mean seriously, what do you want from me? I can guarantee you nothing I say will change this situation. You will not feel better if I try to explain myself. Your feelings will not ease up either, if anything, they’ll get more intense. Please save yourself the extra heartache and just go. We’ll also be saving ourselves a few hours.
‘What do you want me to say?’ I swear when I say this I never have sarcasm in my voice. I want them to know my question is sincere. What follows is always the same reaction.
She opened her mouth as if she was about to go off, but quickly closed it.
She didn’t know what she wanted either. We both know that nothing I say can change this moment.
It’s unfortunate we’re here, although truthfully, in my case, it’s more of a minor inconvenience. Before you think I’m a huge asshole, just know that I am trying. Trying and failing, but genuinely trying anyways. It hardly matters though because I suck and I know it. I’ve warned everyone, but no one seems to get it.
‘You’re so kind’ they say. ‘You gave me the sweetest three months, I just don’t get what happened’, the time frame varies on that one, but you get the idea.
I’m not a dick they say. I only think I’m a dick because I’m too hard on myself. Nice analysis. Thank you for letting me know.
They don’t get it. I’m not a bad person, but in reality it’s easy not to be a bad person. What is hard is having the motivation to carry on day in and day out with someone. I can hardly live with myself half the time. There are many moments when I just need to be alone, not want, dear god I almost never want to be alone, but I have to. That’s not easy to understand, but it’s even harder to live with.
I am a nice guy, in my humble opinion, but I promise you after a month of this happy then sad and angry and needy shit you will be over me.
And don’t lie to me. Stop saying you don’t care. When I’m at my worst I know I suck. Maybe it’s just because you aren’t trapped in my head with my twisted up thoughts, but I can’t help but feel an extreme guilt everytime I snap inside. ‘It’s not you it’s me,’ is the oldest cliche in the book, but if I had to guess I’d say the person who came up with this was mentally unwell and genuinely meant every word of the statement just like I do.
I liked you a lot Sheila, so much that I was getting ready to move to the other L word, but you don’t need someone like me loving you. Not now, not ever. ‘I can handle it,’ you’ll say. But why should you have to? You can date a mentally stable, normally attached, and genuinely optimistic person who will laugh when you laugh and cry when you cry. You don’t need me. You don’t want me. I know you think you do, but with about seven billion people in the world I swear you could do better.
If I said any of this to you, you’d hate me more. You’d say I was selfish. That it wasn’t my choice to decide what you could handle… yada yada yada, you get the idea. I’ve done this all before. If I said any of that you’d say, ‘then why do you keep trying? If you can’t do this then why did you start talking to me in the first place?’.
That is a fantastic question. Now we’re getting somewhere here.
It’s time for the breakthrough.
The truth is I thought I was ready this time. I know I thought that last time too, but I was so sure that this time I was as ready as I could be. I had been stable within myself for a few months and I had mostly good days everyday. I was invincible emotionally. And the down days, pfft, those were nothing, I just did what I always did and moved on. So I figured this time, since I was so sure that I could function alone, I could be with someone.
Here’s the difference, Sheila. When you’re alone no one can save you. No one can make you better. If you cry, you know those tears are only for you. You alone can fix them. You have no choice. So instead of waiting on a stupid text, or visit, or something to help, you create the shit that fixes you. It’s no problem. I’m no one’s responsibility, I expect no one to care so I lift my own self up.
That’s the issue with being with someone. All of a sudden when the going gets tough I no longer want to handle it myself. I’m tired. I want someone around to help me and lift me up. I want someone to care and I want someone to help make it better every time. If they can’t, somehow I feel even lonelier than I felt when I was alone. And that’s not fair to you.
It’s funny actually. When you’re with someone, whether that be a friend or partner, you feel significantly more alone at times. The moments that you are with them and having a good time will be a joy you haven’t felt in ages, and the down moments, well, they’re also worse then you could ever imagine.
Sheila, I don’t know if I can handle that.
I am weak and I am scared.
I’m ready for the unexplainable joys, but I’m not ready for the low moments. I wish I could tell you that.
‘I’m sorry.’ is all I actually got out.
She didn’t need to hear all of this. It wouldn’t have helped either of us. If I told her everything it would sound like I wanted her sympathy and I don’t. I just want to fix myself. Do better ‘next time’, so I can make things work someday.
I think the best way to end this is to say as little as possible. Let her assume that I’m some asshole who was only faking being a kind and caring person. If she believes that then she’ll use her anger to get over me faster, and she’ll look for someone else. She won’t stay awake at night wondering if things between us could ever work again. In the long run, this is better for the both of us.
Right now I know it stings more than it needs to, but I’ve learned that it’s better to hurt a little now than a lot later.
I’ll miss you Sheila, and I am damn sorry I couldn’t make things work with you. May the next lucky bastard to meet you do better.
You deserve it.