Tonight I’m fighting through the fog of my memories to attempt to tell the story of mine and Katy’s break up. When it finally happened it had been a long time coming. It happened the way I knew it must, when it wasn’t my turn. I wouldn’t be the one on this occasion to end it, that’s why it was the final one, I wouldn’t ask for her back.
We were out with Katy’s family at a pub no more than a hundred meters from my front door. It’s a bit of a shabby pub, with clientele of a certain calibre that I don’t even feel like a snob to say, I wouldn’t usually socialise with. The only times I had ever gone in there willingly before Katy was with my older brother when we were teenagers and he wanted to kick my butt at pool before our parents would come home from work.
We were sat at the pub and Katy was glued to her phone, I couldn’t quite figure out why since we already knew what our friends were doing that night and that they weren’t free. Ryan was busy, on a date if I remember rightly, Peter was at work across town at another pub, the guys were about and we might join them later at Billy’s. We were sat in a pub with all her family, so who else could she have to text all night? I asked. Katy was defensive, if only she’d offered any kind of response I would have dropped it. Her reaction immediately transformed my curiosity to pure suspicion in a heartbeat.
In hushed whispers in the bar I pleaded with her to stop lying to me once and for all, she claimed over and over not to be lying or keeping anything from me. I got tired of the argument, offered my apologies to her family and got up to leave. Katy followed.
She caught up to me outside my house, I wasn’t really in the mood to argue with her on my doorstep yet again. Things started off rather civilly, her car was parked on the street outside my house so we sat in it for a while and I wanted to know exactly what she was keeping from me.
By this point I already knew about Katy and Geri’s text affair and that she had kept a lot from me where she was concerned. I never learned the full extent of Katy’s betrayal but we did fight when I found out. Naively I forgave Katy each time she betrayed me, I could never prove that she had ever slept with someone behind my back so I consistently gave her the benefit of the doubt. The only thing I expected in return is that she would drop all acquaintance with the people concerned to make less problems for us in the future. I thought that was reasonable.
Maybe Katy just liked the attention, she just couldn’t leave these girls alone. The night we broke up the catalyst was that Geri and her were still in contact. I, of course, did not approve. Worse still, Katy had lied again. When she finally owned the truth I was angry. I questioned her relentlessly about why she kept doing this to me, this time I wanted answers, I wasn’t going to let her sweep this aside with promises that things will get better. She had all the chances I was willing to give, now I wanted a reason, not an excuse.
I realise now that there is nothing that she could have said that would have made that night turn out any differently, one way or another our relationship will have ended that night. My questions were endless and finally I broke her down, the last questions I remember asking were:
“Do you want to be with me?” to which she replied “No.”
“Why don’t you just end it?” to which she replied “Because I don’t want to see you with anyone else”
It was the most honesty I had out of her the four years that we dated on and off. Everything clicked into place for me in that moment, I was angry at the way that she had been using me. Keeping me as a reserve while the whole time looking for something ‘new’ and ‘better’ there was no way back from that. I couldn’t stay in this relationship any longer with this out in the open and she knew it. Katy however wasn’t going to let me walk away without a fight.
I started shouting at her out of indignation, hurling insult after insult, telling her exactly what I thought about the way she’d treated me. Every time I uncovered her lies it hurt and I wished so very much that I could hurt her with my words the way that she hurt me with how she had behaved. It just seemed to have no effect, nothing I would ever say would ever make her feel any kind of remorse for how she’d treated me, it just made me angrier.
Katy could see that I was losing it, I don’t remember if I had slapped her or shoved her in the car while I was losing it like that, it was pretty much a red mist frenzy. I think it was the shock of the situation, I had wanted it to be over for so long but I never really expected it to happen, I wanted it to be on my terms somehow even if I couldn’t be the one to end it, this just came from nowhere and blindsided me.
The next thing I remember is that Katy had hold of my wrists, in an iron tight grasp and after a while it was like a switch went off inside me, I just wanted to get out of the situation, run away as far as possible. I couldn’t with her tight hold on me, I tried to pull away and got nowhere, what ever I had done out of anger had fuelled hers and she was yelling at me, I can’t even remember what.
My entire focus was now on getting my hands free, I would struggle to yank them away and it wouldn’t work. Then I’d relax as if defeated to see if she’d relax her grip, nothing. Lastly I jerked forwards towards her and then yanked my hands backwards, I was free. Then I realised why, as I jerked forwards in the cramped space of the car I had head-butted Katy square on the nose, she released my hands to grab her nose just as it started to bleed.
In the shock and anger Katy had thought that I had done it on purpose, in that moment it didn’t matter to me what she thought of me. I couldn’t care less if she thought I’d done it on purpose or not. I was running on pure adrenaline at this point, I was just 20 meters from my front door but I couldn’t go into my parents house like this. I started to walk away.
Katy started to follow me in her car and was shouting at me from her window, again I have no recollection what she had to say. Whatever it was made me snap again, she had started driving slowly in my direction and I remember being stood in front of her car not letting her past. I don’t know if it was because she wanted to know where I was going and I wouldn’t say, or that I didn’t want her to follow me or whether I was just so mad that I hadn’t finished getting over my ‘hulk’ moment. I remember pounding the bonnet of her car with my fists in anger, I must have looked deranged. Shortly after that she drove off, finally giving in, finally accepting it was all over.
I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was shaking and angry and tipsy since we’d been at the pub a few hours. It’s not like I could have gotten in my car and drove off. Then I remembered that Peter was across town working at The Vine Tree. So I headed there, I sat at the bar and told him everything that had happened, that it was over for good. It was about a mile from where I lived so by the time I had reached the pub I had composed myself somewhat although clearly still very upset and angry. The only immediate cure would be alcohol.
I sat there at the bar drinking drink after drink, shot after shot. Making friends with the locals who bought me even more drinks. Finally it was closing time and Peter and I started to walk home, I still wasn’t ready to go home yet and asked him to stay out with me for a drink and dance, he didn’t want to. I think he was worried about Katy and perhaps wanted to check on her, he didn’t tell me that but she was his best friend. It was silly of me to think that in a crisis like this he wouldn’t go to her. I don’t know if he did, but it would have made sense.
As we were passing through town on the way home I spotted some colleagues in a bar. They were almost as drunk as me and their night wasn’t ending. I said goodnight to Peter and jumped ship, I’d spend the rest of the night with these guys. By this time I had already had a skinful and then some but it didn’t stop me drinking more. I had spotted the guys in The Crown which would be closing soon and everyone would be heading up to Bar 11 which was then one of two places in town open late for dancing and drinking.
When we arrived at Bar 11 we were joined by some young ladies, since I can talk for England it wasn’t long until I was actually flirting with one of them. How the hell does that happen in such a small town? I’m pretty sure she wasn’t even gay. When I was out that night I wasn’t even completely aware of the drunken mess that I was, I bumped into old school friends and all sorts.
At some point I decided I had enough drinking and realised that I had a five pound note in my pocket, just what I needed to get into Level One where I could dance the night away. I drunkenly declared to my colleagues that I wanted to dance, put down my drink and headed for the door. This was pretty stupid since there was a dance floor at Bar 11 but who can make sense out of what I do when I’m drunk?
I rock up to Level One solo and just before they stop letting everyone in at 1 am. Once I’m through the door I head straight for the dance floor and with absolutely no inhibitions start dancing like no one’s watching. It only takes a few seconds for someone to recognise me.
He seemed to recognise me but I had no idea who he was. He had dark scruffy hair, quite a young face, and he was wearing a red t-shirt with a Dennis the Menace print on it. From the shouted conversation in the club I managed to figure out that he wasn’t from this particular town in Somerset (I didn’t know him from school then) and he hadn’t been to Level One before, how the hell did I know him?
The mystery man introduced me to his sister and friends who he was out with that night, the whole time I just pretended that I knew who he was, at least then I wasn’t being rude. After some time I had enough, I was miserably drunk, and it got to a point when even the alcohol couldn’t numb the recollection of how disastrous this night had been. In another drunken spur of the moment decision I headed for the exit.
Two weeks later the mystery of the Dennis the Menace clad man would be resolved. I was sitting at work when the gentleman in question turned up that day in exactly the same t-shirt. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole, I remembered the way I had been dancing with him and his friends and I felt suitably embarrassed.
However back to the night in question, I began to stagger home completely incapable of walking in a straight line. No sooner than I had reached the end of the road I realised that I desperately needed to pee, there was absolutely zero chance of getting back in the club at this time so I decided to walk a bit faster home, if I could.
Eventually I decided that I just couldn’t go any further without peeing my pants and did the completely lady-like thing of going behind a shrub. (Don’t judge nearly everyone’s done this at some point!) After this absolute low point I was about ready to check out for the night, I had literally drunk myself into a stupor.
I propped myself up in a shop doorway and turned my attention to my mobile phone. Throughout the whole night I had only spoken with Katy and Lara, Lara had called me to see if I was Ok since after Katy and I parted she went looking for me. Katy went to Lara’s house thinking that would be the first place I would go (she was wrong) and Lara had told me how Katy turned up with dried blood under her nose that she hadn’t even bothered to wipe away, so naturally she was worried about what kind of state I was in. I assured her I was Ok, that I was out drinking with ‘friends’ and it was nothing to worry about, I’d catch her up to speed another time.
When I drunkenly tried to master my phone that’s when I realised that the battery had died. I feebly attempted to turn it on and was aiming to call the most recently dialled number on my phone to see if whoever it was would come and get me and make sure I got home ok.
The call connected and I had a very one sided conversation which perhaps went a bit like ‘Can you come and get me, I’m outside Variety Stores and if someone doesn’t come get me and take me home I think I’m just going to sleep here tonight’ I wasn’t joking either, my phone beeped into non-existence, I had no idea who I’d called and whether they’d got my message, I sunk to the floor where I stood and gave up on my quest to make it home.
The next thing I remember was being bundled into a car and the familiar grumpy voice telling me to stop messing around and just get in the car. It was Katy, I was drifting in and out of consciousness, I think it scared her seeing me this drunk, I’d never been like it before. By the time we got to my house Katy frogmarched me up the garden path just as I realised that I didn’t have my house keys on me. It was about 3 maybe 4 am.
I started ringing the doorbell to wake up my parents to let me in. As the hall light came on and lit up our garden marginally I finally realised that it was Katy that had come to my rescue when I needed to get home. I wasn’t at all grateful because of the events of the evening, I looked her in the face (I would have said eyes but I was far too drunk to have that kind of focus) and said quite clearly ‘And you can F*CK off!’
Katy walked away up the garden path without another word. My mum finally opened the door to let me in, I was drunkenly apologising over and over again while at the same time attempting to tell her that Katy and I had split up, for good this time. I had my cool mum back, this she could understand. She knew how to look after a drunken mess, she told me not to worry, we all get like it sometimes and just to get to bed and sleep it off, we could talk if I wanted to in the morning.
The last I remember of this night is crawling up the stairs and sleeping in the clothes I had been wearing. When I woke up there was a washing up bowl next to my bed which and a pint of water on my bedside table. The following morning I’d have to try and process everything that had happened the night before.