It’s been twelve days since I bolted from my partner’s apartment and fled through downtown Reykjavik, frantically searching for somewhere to duck into where I could order a drink, plug in my laptop and figure out what in hell my next move would be.
I’d just discovered abhorrent details of what my partner had been doing behind my back, and they’d extinguished that last torches that still burned for our relationship. As I stalked the streets, my heart punched the wall of my chest so hard I anticipated it bursting forth on a wave of gore.
I found somewhere not too dark, loud or crowded and unceremoniously ended the relationship with my partner over messenger. It couldn’t have been done any other way; there wasn’t a chance I’d have been able to get the words out without screaming like an inaudible banshee.
Yesterday, the realisation we wouldn’t again share a bed fell on me like a dead weight. While raiding my cupboards for teabags, my eye caught the coffee I’d bought for him when he’d first visited and for a few moments, I forgot how to breathe.
I cried last night. I cried a lot. I cried for me, him, and the future we’d never live together to see. I cried because I’d tried to give him a second chance after the first deception, and he didn’t deserve it. I cried because I couldn’t comprehend how any of it could be true. How the beautiful, quirky, talented man I’d fallen for thought nothing of leading another life while my back was turned.
I cried because I’d given my heart to someone, and instead of keeping it close, they discarded my most precious part whenever being my partner didn’t suit a particular moment in their life. I cried because he had friends who didn’t even know I existed. ‘L has a girlfriend?’ one reportedly said. The feeling of being a ghost in the story of my own life became suffocating in those last few weeks we were together.
Last night I mourned the severance of my recently healed trust in people and damned the cowardice I’ve witnessed from both sexes. The cowardice of some women has been especially painful. I don’t care what any other woman says; we’re not all sisters. There are many women in the circle we strange ones move in that the devil wouldn’t dance with.
I needed a hug last night. I needed someone to open their arms and close them around me, like the sheltering walls of a warm cave. But there wasn’t anyone. Grief got in close and ate me up whole.
I have questions. Many questions. Questions I’ll probably never get answers to, like who is the woman that left the black, lace-trimmed knickers on L’s living room floor and the matching bra top in his wash pile?
Every friend I’ve spoken to has said the same thing; ‘you’re going to have to accept you won’t get the answers you want.’ It infuriates me. Of course it does. Playing the reluctant detective in the last few days was harrowing.
When L and I got together, I was still carrying trauma from my previous relationship that had ended three years earlier. ‘I’m not like him,’ L promised before I handed over my heart. And I believed him; his gorgeous, crazed smile told me I could. But I should have bided my time. Burnt twice and scarred deep, I’ve learnt that it what I must always do.
Be careful who you offer your heart to, folks. Ensure they’re worthy of holding it, ensure they’re worthy of keeping it. Bide your time. If they’re deserving of everything you are, they’ll wait.