I people watched heartbroken whilst sitting outside a small unknown cafe. One of those questionable days. Asking myself who what how’s and why’s and knowing the answers to many. My phone sat on the table, and every time I looked at it an anxious grip took over the beating heart, squeezing agonizingly. I exhaled and grabbed my chest as if to massage the organ out of its agony.
I found myself repulsive in the moment. Everyone around me seemed ethereal. She stood under an umbrella talking to her love, beads of rain caught in the shroud of her gold hair like tiny crystals. When she looked at me I looked away, pretending my eyes had never been on her. On them. I hated them.
I started regretting coming out to a public space, only to find myself continuously suppressing the urge to cry. Once again my eyes shot to the silent phone. Once again my heart fluttered, as if it was trying to become origami. A waiter came to the table and looked at me. Aha, the look of dreadful understanding. He knew enough by the red-rimmed eyes. I knew on any other day I’d never look at him twice. He was plain and inconsequential, a cog in a machine offering me old grapes. But today against me he was an Adonis.
‘More wine?’ he asked. I could not help but wonder is he loved. I held out my glass while staring outward into the drizzling rain and clouds of exhaust fumes, and the crushed newspapers, and the hand jammed in the pocket while dragging on a good looking cigarette. I lit one to keep busy and my phone finally buzzed. My heart that had just so recently been assaulted by the flutters now began to beat uncontrollably. I felt my chest slowly cascade inwards. Crushing my ribs and tugging at the huge invisible hole that had so recently been blown out of it. So I took a deep pull while narrowing my eyes, and picked up the phone.
It’s not that. I just need space. You overwhelm me. Even now you do.
The eyes scanned the sentence over and over until it blurred. I didn’t care who saw. The blow was crushing. The steam filled streets and sudden burts of laughter grated against my every fiber. I didn’t hesitate. Did my pride matter? It didn’t. Loneliness did.
But please I need you, I’m sorry for everything can’t you see that?? Please I’m sorry. Don’t walk away from me.
I couldn’t have been the only one. As long as there are humans there are breakups. I held my hand against my chest and put a shaky cigarette down. The breaths came a bit short. I made some uncomfortable eye contact and then quickly looked away, trying to pretend this was some other kind of ailment. Why was he being so stupid? We all knew what ‘space’ meant. It meant space, up there, that is never-ending. Couldn’t he understand I was suffering? While he sat and ate fine and slept fine I was up suffering and starving while suffering? Couldn’t he see his power over me? The power to make me suffer? Some distant recess of my mind told me he knew all too well that I suffered. He knew it, and the dark side of him enjoyed this power over another human. For instance his last reply was half an hour later while I anxiously paced and paced inside my head for his reply.
I lifted what was left of my cigarette and took a sip of the wine. Shivers ran up my spine. I was hoping nobody was paying close attention to me. I fought the urge to send another message, and then another, and another…. I felt the need to explain in every religious, scientific and philosophical term why we belonged together and that he was making a mistake. I imagined another hand running its course through his hair.
I tipped my head forward unable to handle the surge of emotions and thoughts. My shoulders jerked forward as I let the tears run freely. All I needed in the moment was him. It hurt knowing I needed him but he didn’t need me. It peeled off my skin slowly and painfully. My phone buzzed. I didn’t hesitate.
No. I don’t want you anymore.
I didn’t understand why a knife in his hand was not a better option. I saw nothing around me, I felt nothing in me but empty destruction. I was repulsive, he was simultaneously repulsive to me and irresistible to me. The people, the woman and her lover, the waiter all repulsed me. I felt the need to bang the table or be extremely rude to the waiter, or to go missing so that he can worry and have many regrets. Elbows on the table I held my face in my hands and looked up slowly at the grey sky and began questioning love again. My heart was in a kind of treacherous pain that seemed designed to be enough to kill while still leaving you alive. I felt nauseated. The situation was completely useless.
There in the blurry distance I could see why in all honestly, as I tried to convince myself, it was all a huge mistake. It was such a life altering decision and it changed too much for me to be prepared for. But I stayed in my seat. I became a zombie. Until the dark told me to leave. But I didn’t. The dark in me was all I could see.