When Ex offered to go to New York instead of D2-Island1, perhaps I should have been alarmed. I mean: D2-Island1. New York. Maybe I wás alarmed, but put it away. Was I still assuming, that there were things to talk about, that we were going to, and that he would not, ever, take me all the way to the other side of the world to break up with me?
It was probably the most dramatic holiday ever. Was it his parting gift? Or had it been a test, to see if I still emerged as the woman of his new dreams? Early in our relationship he told me, how he had broken up with his previous girlfriend on a walk. It seemed like a good idea to him at the time, to literally and figuratively give it some air. Of course, it was also dramatic: she burst into tears, other hikers looked at him reproachfully and muttered shame in passing.
New York was New York, overwhelming, scary, beautiful, exciting, ugly. But no matter how hard I tried to enjoy it, somewhere something kept going wrong. Ex wasn't right. When he wrote our names on the Brooklyn Bridge, I saw how he briefly hesitated before he wrote a plus instead of a heart between our names.
At a Rocky billboard he wanted his picture taken, but without the Love Wins that went with it; I was the photographer and decided to include it. Every time I see that picture, I wonder how he sees it. Love did not Win.
We hadn't had sex for years; that was my fault. There is something in me - I would call it trauma - that I cannot control, a force that stops things in me, that moves or stops my body, disrupts processes or promotes them, and though I can tell afterwards which triggers set it in motion, as soon as it starts I am not aware of it. I can imagine, that's tricky in a relationship. That's why no one ends up staying with me.
To sleep better, we had separate beds in the hotel: after all, you don't know in advance how deep the pit in the middle is.
One night I asked if I would get into bed with him, but he wouldn't. Then I lay awake for hours, actually wanting to leave but couldn't because I didn't know the city and where would I have gone? I felt so alone and rejected.
Had he also felt alone and rejected all these years?
Another night, I had slapped him in the face when we were eating in an almost deserted restaurant, and he had been flirting with the pretty waitresses. We were drinking, the next morning he reminded me. I was embarrassed.
I had also forgotten his birthday, which fell in the middle of that week. There were so many things going around in my head - everything was so different, and then this non-compliance that hung over everything.
I apologised, several times, and each time he said, he had thankfully received many congratulations from others. It felt like there was something else hidden in that sentence: I don't need you.
Because I was afraid I was doing everything wrong, i did everything wrong.
Anyway, we returned to Klotestad and still he hadn't broke up with me. I chose the best photo I had taken of New York, had it printed large and delivered to him as a birthday present. Would it ever have hung on his wall? I never went to his house again.
A week after the holidays, he wanted to go to the movies with me. Same vibes, and now I knew: I did not add up. After the film, he was in a huge hurry to get home (my house). I had resolved to talk about how maybe we should go to therapy to save our relationship. But he beat me to it, and broke up with me. April 6, 2014.
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