Not the last time

Feeling – words cannot even describe. 

I saw him. 

I went round after work to collect my last few bits that he had found whilst emptying the flat – a red cooking pot, a duvet and some wine. 

I had felt sick all day, excited to see him but dreading it at the same time. I parked and began to feel my legs shake and the tears well up. I told myself I had to be strong, I knew this was going to hurt but I needed to see him before he leaves. 

I knocked on the door, a strange feeling when I used to live here. It brought back memories of when we first started seeing each other and I would knock. He used to open the door and pull me into a kiss. This time he opened the door slowly, almost like he was scared of what he would face. But it was just me, small and fragile on his doorstep. The smell of bleach hit me as he opened the door, wearing his Libertines tshirt which I had bought him as a gift when we went to their gig. He said hello and stepped aside so I could come in. 

I walked into the lounge, spotted my little pile of stuff sorted into a corner. None of it I will keep. 

I followed him through the flat, there was no furniture left. I asked him where he would be sleeping that night, he pointed to a duvet on the floor of the spare room and said the floor. I wanted to offer him a bed to sleep in, but staying with my parents was not an option.

He went over to the duvet and sat down on the floor. A strange move I thought. Still in my coat and boots, I joined him.

We chatted about his leaving drinks the night before, our flights, our accommodation plans so far, our families, work – or lack of for him. We were relaxed and enjoying catching up. The floor was not comfortable, but we both ended up almost lying, leaning on our arms.

He reached out and touched my hair, playing with it between his fingers. I touched his arm with my hand and he looked me, his eyes so intense and handsome. I wanted him so badly. I knew it was a bad idea, although not the first time we had been together since breaking up. I knew that was partly why I was there, I knew this would happen. 

I dropped my head and kissed his fingers, releasing the lock of hair he had been playing with. He ran his thumb over my lips. 

His breathing had become heavier, his stare flicked between my eyes and my lips. Our mouths just inches away from each other now. His arm came over me, touching my body and legs. He asked me what I was thinking, and I replied, same as you. He leant forward and kissed me, gently. I moved forwards and our kissing became more frantic, both needing more.

We had sex. Very hot sex. We always did. That was our thing. 

Once we had finished, I lay face down into the pillow, trembling and trying to hold back the tears, I could feel the hurt and pain filling my heart. “That was not the last time” I whispered. He responded, we’ll see and I confirmed, it wasn’t. 

We lay there, naked and quiet for a bit. He drifted off and I watched a tiny spider keep trying but failing to get from the skirting board onto the wall. Focusing on this helped ease the tears a bit, but then it hit me. I was going to have to leave. However much I hope and pray, this could be the last time I see him. The pain in my heart was unbearable. It was like I could feel it physically breaking inside my chest. 

He woke up and put his arm around me. This wasn’t fair. We should have been exactly where we were but happy and excited. That should have been our last time in the flat, distracted by cleaning and ending up on the floor together. That was the kind of thing that used to happen. I told him this, and he pulled me into a cuddle telling me he was a fuck up and I deserve someone better. I replied that I deserve to be happy. 

The crying continued, and he soothed me, calling me baby and holding me. The tears just kept coming, and I knew they weren’t going to stop until I left. As much as I didn’t want to leave, I knew I was just prolonging the agony. 

We sat up and he put his tshirt on. He offered me dinner, but I couldn’t sit and eat with him, being normal. He went to get up, but I pulled him into me. “One day, I want you to tell me you’re mine again.” He held me tightly and I continued “whilst we do lude acts on a beach together” which made him laugh.

He got dressed and then picked me up from the floor. I felt my knees give as I leaned into him. I got dressed. He said I could stay whilst he carried on cleaning or have some dinner with him. He left the room to carry on cleaning the bathroom. 

I went outside and moved the car up to the door. It entered my mind just to leave. Drive off and avoid the goodbye. But I knew he wanted my stuff gone so I went back in and loaded my car with stuff I didn’t want.

On my last load, I again thought about leaving. Would he cry? Would he come after me? Would I regret it forever? So I went back inside.

Our map, an A1 cork board which I had painstakingly put pins, string and labels of our route into was still pride of place on the shelf in the lounge. The sight of it was like a kick in the stomach. I walked over to it, knowing every detail so well. The only date I had entered was 12th-16th May 2017 in Chiang Mai. This was Thai new year and that was the best place to spend it with a 3 day water fight. The idea was that my mum would have the map and enter the dates as we went, so we would have it when we returned. I had imagined planning our future trips to South America and Africa on it too. I picked up the pen and entered the date he flew from London, followed by his 5 nights in Bangkok which then fitted perfectly with the 12th. He is living out our plan exactly, but without me. 

I thought about leaving again. About walking away, driving off and not seeing him. Would he run out the door once he heard the engine start? Would he let me go without a fight? Would he hate me for not saying goodbye? Would it be easier for me?

He walked into the lounge. Too late to just leave now. This was it. The goodbye. The moment I have been dreading for weeks. 

He came over to me and put his arms around me, kissing the top of my head. Tears trickled from my eyes. He told me that I would have the best time away, to enjoy the elephants. He started to cry, and held me tightly. He kissed me on my lips. 

“I’ll always be yours”

“And I’ll always care about you”

“I know you still love me, you just need to trust in love”

And I pulled out of his arms and walked away. In that moment I thought I was going to break. I just kept telling myself to keep walking, don’t look back and don’t stop as I knew if I did, I would break. He followed me to the door, I could hear his footsteps behind me. 

I walked out the door and into the car. Don’t look back and don’t stop. I got onto the car, shut the door. Damn, it didn’t shut properly so I had to reopen and shut it. Don’t look back and don’t stop. I reached for my seat belt but it was caught behind the duvet that now filled my back seat. Don’t look back and don’t stop. I finally got the belt sorted, turned the key in the ignition and after a deep breath, I drove away.

I got 10m round the corner and had to stop. I could see anything, there were too many tears. My eyes were overflowing and I couldn’t breathe. I took a few moments, deep breaths and counted to 100. A fleeting look in my rear view mirror, just in case, but nothing. I put the car into gear and drove away. 

I got back to my parents house, my eyes red raw from all the crying. Mum had gone over to my sister’s house as she had gone to hospital with pregnancy pains (all is ok). Dad was watching football when I walked in. I tried to be normal, it was dark so I thought I’d get away with it. But after I’d asked him how his day was, he asked if I’d been crying. I nodded and said that he leaves tomorrow. Dad just put his arm around me and said silly girl. It was such a dad thing to say, and so true, that it made me smile. 

I had a bath and then had a chat with dad about work and cyclones. Mum was on her way home but I just needed to get into bed so said goodnight.

We had talked about keeping in contact, and he said it was up to me. I don’t want to stop talking to him but I think a few days without contact could help. Maybe. I decided I would text him on Wednesday to wish him a good flight but nothing before that. 

Exhausted, I fell asleep quite quickly after admitting to B what had happened (no response yet). I woke up at my usual time of 2am, hungry after no dinner and a very heavy head. My eyes are so swollen and sore.

Looking at my phone, there was a text from him from 12.30am

“I’ll miss you xx”

So many responses went through my head; I’ll only be a short flight away. Come and find me. It doesn’t have to be this way. I want a similar message in a couple of months please. I’ll miss you too. 

“Just trust in our love xx”

I don’t think I’ll get a response. But I don’t think it needs one. I just have to hope he will trust and believe in love, and that once his head is sorted out, he will come back to me. Back to Sazzle. 

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