This time last year I went around wearing a rubberband around my wrist - to prevent my thoughts drifting back to Mr Stupid. Each time it did I'd flick myself, basically training my mind not to dwell on the past - any kind of memory, bad or good that included him, I wanted to banish from my head. I'd have scoffed at this technique before, but I had a serious problem when it came to that guy. And I was open to trying anything that might have saved me any more emotional heartache and precious time preoccupied with a past that did not mean anything to anyone anymore. It worked. More or less.
At the time, an unnerving thought crossed my mind time and again - how on earth did I let myself get so emotionally vested on someone who just wasn't on the same page as me. But I realised I was done with all the 'whys' and 'hows' and 'why nots'. What I wanted was to just move past it. Put it behind me as just a bad chapter rather than a colossal tragedy that ruined my life. Take responsibility for my part in the equation and somehow forgive him his weakness and wrong-doings.
Afterall, I was one who put my heart out to a guy who was indecisive from the start. The quintessential 'hot and cold' guy. He would kiss me one moment and pretend it never happened. Hold my hand after a couple of drinks and then fake an amnesia that he did. He would hug me to sleep if I wanted him to, wake up in the middle of the night to kiss my forehead making me feel precious and loved but the next day be remote and cold. He'd rest his head close to my heart, talking to me and holding me like he never wanted to let go. But the thing is... he always did.
He was my friend one moment, a lover the next and then a distant stranger.
And my mistake was letting him get away with it. I let him treat me like a friend and a lover at the same time although it was hurting me. I looked for instantaneous gratification with him, always getting carried away in the moment, rather than holding back and holding out for more - for him to actually step up, be a man and take responsibility for his words and actions. I let him back in my life again and again, whenever he came looking for me - whether this was a masochistic tendency, plain naiveté or an impalpable optimism which made me truly believe each time I let him back in again things would be different - I don't know. Probably all of the above.
I needed to forgive myself for falling in love with a weak man. A man who held so much of promise but never lived up to it. I knew he wasn't evil or bad or intentionally set out to hurt me. And he probably was looking for a friend in me. But his penis got in the way. And I needed to forgive him and his penis for that.
"You are everything I look for in someone" he once told me.
But when I asked "So, why not me?"
His reply was "I don't know".
Maybe he really didn't. Maybe he didn't want to hurt my feelings anymore than he already had. Maybe I didn't fit his convolutedly conditioned mind's ideal of a wife. So all the chemistry in the world and being his best friend didn't help. In his mind I just wasn't a 'fit'. And so, I needed to forgive his head for that.
At the time I wanted to tell him this: "I feel you're making a mistake. I feel you're bound by some ideal in your head and you are not following your heart. I feel you're settling for mediocrity when you could have had more. I feel if you gave us half a chance, we could have had the time of our lives. But you've made your choice. And now that I think about it, I'm not entirely certain whose loss it is really."
I never did come around to telling him that. Instead I cut all contact with him and I moved on. Just like that, life happened and he wasn't in it anymore.
We bumped into each other in a bar a few months ago and he told me rather nervously that he was getting married. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't shell-shocked. I never thought he was capable of such commitment but apparently I was wrong. I stood there, staring at this guy I once knew so well. He looked and felt the same, his musky scent, his wiry hair, the wrinkles at the corner of his eyes that accompanied his quick laugh. But he was a stranger. Everything was different.
There was a time when I thought a news like that would break me into a million unfixable pieces. I thought hearing it, I'd have a million questions to ask. But I didn't. Instead I hugged him, kissed him on the cheek and wished him well.
Life goes on.