Twice I have had men in my life say to me that they couldn’t come and see me.
Twice they were remote from me and there was an unspoken agreement that they would visit when they had the chance. In each case, it was a big trip, a long trip, but a given. It was what we did, what we needed to do.
Twice they used similar words, strange to hear them tripping out of different mouths.
Twice it signalled the end in neon so bright I couldn’t ignore it, even if I had wanted to.
“Oh, I was planning to do something else over summer.”
Summer it was, both times. They had plans for the summer, not immutable plans, but plans nevertheless.
I heard the truth in those words more plainly than anything else they could have said to me.
I understood the reality: I was not worth it anymore.*
I doubt they realised quite how clearly and harshly the meaning of their words drove home.
The first time I was angry, I raged in disbelief, he capitulated, backtracked, apologised. But I wasn’t angry to make him capitulate. I was angry at the simple truth I discovered in it, I wasn’t interested in changing his mind.
The second time I was relieved, it sliced my heart with razor-sharp precision right in that place that hadn’t quite accepted that we were over. Relieved because I needed that cut to truly believe that we were done.
I can be thankful in hindsight for those moments of clarity where the irrefutable truth slips in sideways, but you recognise it anyway. It removes that doubt, that second guessing, that what-if.
But hell if it doesn’t hurt like a bitch.
* That sentence in this post by rupi kaur brought these memories forth.