Four Words

There are few things sadder in this life than watching someone walk away after they’ve left you, watching the distance between your bodies expand, until there’s nothing but empty space and silence.
— Jane, in Someone Like You

Can you call in sick with a broken heart?

Oh, I knew he wasn’t going to come here and tell me he’s left her because he’s madly in love with me, but still, some small part of me hoped that maybe . . . And of course he’s not going to cheat on her – he’s not that guy, and I wouldn’t want to be with him if he was. And like he said, I deserve better than to be someone’s other woman. But I feel so sad, and I don’t know what to do.

On the way here, in his car, he said, “The more I think about what I want to say, the more I realize there isn’t that much to say.” I said, “Are you nervous? I’m nervous.” He said no. We passed most of the ride in silence.

When we got here, I changed clothes and offered him a beer. He declined; I opened one, but never took a sip. He started: “I can’t. I won’t,” he said. He apologized for sending the wrong signals (which he did, often), and I apologized for trying to charm him away from her (which I did, often). He said he didn’t want to tell me some platitude about how if things were different, even though it’s true. I told him I’d tried for a long time to make these feelings go away because I knew it couldn’t end the way I wanted it to. He said he’d try harder to be a better friend now that there’s no underlying meaning in everything. I told him it might take me a couple of days to feel like I could talk to him again.

I did not say all of the things I’ve been practicing in my head for the last two weeks – that I think I might love him, that I want to kiss him, that I always want to be wherever he is. She is not pregnant, which was my biggest fear because it’s the only thing that’s not fixable if he wanted it to be (“I don’t want to fix it,” he said). He is, I’m sure, not going to send me flirty text messages anymore, and I am sorry about that. I liked getting them; they made me feel good about myself, and they made me feel special. I only cried a little while he was here; now I can’t stop.

I don’t know what I expected, and I know it’s crazy, but right now, in this moment, I feel like if he doesn’t or can’t love me, then I am going to be alone forever. Because I don’t know how to meet anyone else, I am not good at it. He was my friend and we rode the train together, which is how we got to know each other, and I felt like I could be myself around him, and there is no one else here that I trust that much. And every time I saw a couple out somewhere, I imagined us. I wanted to hold his hand.

I had thought from the beginning of our friendship that we were inevitable, but I was wrong. And it’s my own fault. It isn’t like he lied to me – although it did take two and a half months of riding the train together once a week for him to tell me he had a girlfriend, and that was only after he’d asked me to have a drink with him. But from that point on, I was on notice, and I still let myself develop feelings for him, and now here I am, sitting at the computer in tears, pouring my heart out to strangers.

“You drove all the way over here to say four words,” I said. “They needed to be said,” he answered.

I don’t know what to do. I’m sad.


10 thoughts on “Four Words

  1. I hate reading this because I can hear how you feel and I’ve been there, before. It sucks. It so totally sucks, right now. It feels good to wallow in that suckiness, but don’t let it consume you. Don’t let it make you bitter.

    As much as I always hated it when it was said to me, it’s true that love will find you at the oddest times and usually when you aren’t looking for it. My life is proof positive of that.

    I’m sorry that you’re sad. I wish I could make you feel better.

  2. I’m sorry Mel. That made me so sad for you, but Lyds is right (about everything).
    I know you don’t want to hear this either, but as my BFF’s dad told her in high school: There are other boys in the ocean.

  3. I’m so sorry. I’m sorry that you’re hurting and I’m sorry your heart is broken and I wish that things had been different. But please don’t fear a life alone – because from all I can see, you’re an amazing gal (I mean, we’re like twins and if YOU’RE not AMAZING than I’M not AMAZING, and dammit, we’re amazing… right?). One day, you’re gonna be walking down the street and you’re going to be checking out the cherry blossoms and you’ll realize you’ve got a lot to offer someone, and you have a lot to bring to the table, and you’ll be out in the fresh sun, and you’re going to hurt a bit less because all of these experiences just add to who you are – and even the hurt (which sucks, I know it sucks) becomes a part of who you are and why you are how you are, and it’s just a piece of that puzzle. Don’t let it consume you, but don’t be afraid to feel like you’re feeling. It’s alright.

    (And a side note: I love that movie, and I love the book “Animal Husbandry” even more!).

  4. Awww, boo boo.

    I am so sorry you are blue.

    I don’t know what to say. I do know that you are not going to be alone forever. I don’t know what made you think that, but it’s just not true. You’ll see.
    You are too good of a catch.

  5. I’m guessing that most of these people above aren’t strangers to you, and that they (and everyone that comments) really care about you even if some of us have never met you.

    Yes, it feels pretty terrible right now. And maybe it will for awhile. But you are for sure not going to be alone forever. You are way too interesting and funny and intelligent for that. And you have an amazing group of friends and family to support you. So hang on to them for now.

    The best part is that tomorrow is a whole new day and you just never know what will turn up in a new day! For now, maybe it helps that we’re all thinking about you.

  6. I’m so sorry, sweetheart. I’m crying for you. A little for me, too, since you know I’ve been there and you know how recently. You probably don’t know how often.

    You WILL get through this, and you will be great. This too shall pass.

    You are amazingly strong for confronting this the way you have. I’ve gone years without doing so, in the past. It’s a real testament to who you are for standing up to yourself this way.

  7. Thanks, you guys. I appreciate all of your comments and support. I know it’s not the end of the world, and I didn’t lose my friend, but I did lose something, and I have to figure out how to get through that.

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