The curse. You wonder if this is how it’s meant to be for the rest of your life. The one who is always “too”: much, needy, emotional, cold. It hits you out of nowhere, but you know that the thought has been with you for a long time.
You look back at your dating life, the detritus of ten years, as you look back at what you have written. You write in pencil and wish that things were as easy to erase. But you know that even pencils leave marks. Every kiss is a stain, every touch a bruise. Even if it does not show at the time.
You start off by writing – about heartbreak in general – how the feeling hits you months, sometimes years after you thought you were over it; how you used to work out and look after yourself as revenge only to realise it was a sham and you worked on the wrong part of yourself (the outside); how heartache and loneliness are reluctant bedfellows walking hand in hand, not looking at each other, with you, their child torn between.
Until you realise the root cause of all the ruminating – I like you more than you like me. Like, that word so bastardised by social media, the phase when you know you are not infatuated anymore, but not yet in love. The transitionary period, the crucial time.
Your pencil moves faster than your hand will allow, but you know that no pencil or the fastest fingers on the best computers would be able to keep up if the heart was allowed a language, a voice, a chance to speak. But you’re grateful that the heart knows its own strength and spares you its sermons that would destroy you with its truths.
You think that giving is enough. You think that being there, being present is enough. Ultimately you realise that this is a poison you’re doomed to keep swallowing.
You feel stupid. Juvenile too. Stupid child.
You wonder why something that seems so simple can be so complicated – every single time.
Your eyes are now open to other people in relationships like this. Your thoughts vacillate between pity for the poor person in your shoes, and respect for their patience and determination to be with the one they want. Could this form of partnership grow to be love? Who says it isn’t?
All you did was over read the situation. Blame it on your star sign, maybe on your mind, family issues, past relationships, whatever. Truth is you like him more than he liked you, and that’s all there is to it.
Author Jerome Cornelius