When you have a fuse that burns slowly it becomes easier over time to recognise that point of no return. When your mood is so deeply affected its like you’re lying awake on the darkest night without a hint of the moon or a twinkle of a star shining above you and feeling like the thoughts flying around in your mind are darker still.
You don’t get to that place slowly, but when you’re there you know it has to get worse before it gets better, the thing is, you just can see ‘better’ to believe in it anymore. Or worse, better is going to be different to what you had hoped it could be.
I think we all know what I had hoped for. I hadn’t given up on Megan and what we had. I hadn’t given up on those once romantic notions of what the future might hold for us. The problem now was that I was clinging to that future and refusing to let go, because if I admitted that I couldn’t see it anymore then I might as well just give up on us, on her, on believing that she might still love me. I just wasn’t ready for that. Would I ever be? Deep down I knew things weren’t the same, but I still refused to let go.
Once we arrived home from Paris we were back to reality. The holiday hadn’t really been that much of an escape for us anyway. Paris hadn’t been romantic, although it is undoubtedly a beautiful city. There was no sense of coming home when we arrived at our apartment, not for me anyway. I know what home feels like, it’s the place where you feel secure, loved, welcome and relaxed. I didn’t feel like that in the place we had tried to make our home anymore.
The pattern of our days continued, I was almost resolutely ignored except for the mundane daily interactions. The routine that had become our life. Eat, sleep, work, repeat. There was only one thing out of the ordinary that week, it was Megan’s birthday. I felt that I had done well in choosing her birthday presents. When we had visited home in Somerset most recently we had discovered a small shop selling unique pearl jewellery, Megan had loved it. I bought her a pendant necklace and a bracelet to go with it, I don’t think she knew to expect it.
Sure enough when her birthday came around she was pleasantly surprised and I got told off for spending too much. I didn’t think it was really that much, on par with what she had spent on me just the week before. She seemed to prefer the necklace but almost seemed too scared to wear it in case she lost it or managed to get it all tangled up. Both of which she was terrible for doing with her jewellery.
Megan happened to share her birthday with one of my closest friends, one that I’ve known since we were at school together. Farrah has an annual BBQ at her place in Wales every year where we all get rather smashed and eat our weight in burgers and sausages. It’s something to look forward to every year and I’d really enjoyed it the year or two before. Especially the one when I got so drunk I forgot that if I put my heels on using my hands it might be a little easier.
I had arranged for Megan and I to spend the weekend in Wales. We could spend the following day shopping or exploring the area. Rather than stay on an airbed in my friends living room I arranged a hotel nearby for us. The week should have gone better than it did. I tried to push my bad mood to the back of my mind so that I could enjoy this time, not just for Megan but for one of my best friends too. I could fake it for a week, even if the darkness had taken hold.
The week back in the office had been difficult too. I was still struggling with meeting the expectations of everyone around me and I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water. I carried that stress with me when I went home and I carried the stress of being in a dysfunctional relationship with me when I was at work. It was easier to blame work for my bad mood than it was to admit to being unhappy in love. If I blamed work then I wouldn’t hurt that person I loved. If I told her how unhappy she was making me, I would lose her. It’s a no-brainer isn’t it?
Even with all that considered, I was looking forward to seeing my friend. She had started dating a new guy that I hadn’t met yet and it’d be nice to meet him as well as just generally catch up. I didn’t want to let on to my friends that Megan and I were having problems, I just wanted to have a good weekend and blow off some steam. It didn’t go to plan.
Megan seemed resolved on not managing to enjoy the weekend. My friends and family are renowned for making wise-cracking jokes at the expense of each other. Megan new this and had been a part of it before, trading the banter freely once she warmed up to everyone. This time however, even knowing what to expect she had a face like thunder. As my friends joked about me and her being lesbians (all tongue in cheek) Megan seemed to get more and more uncomfortable by the minute. She refused outright to drink at all and showed no interest in sticking around to make a proper night or weekend of our stay.
It’s a six hour round trip to Wales, I felt like it had been wasted. Getting a hotel room was a waste of time too. Everything about the weekend was uncomfortable, I just didn’t know what to say to her anymore. She’d been damn-near rude to my friends, something that just isn’t right when you’re a guest in one of their homes. They couldn’t help but notice that something was up and all I could do was either roll my eyes or make lame excuses for her. Excuses that weren’t needed when she wanted to enjoy a drink or two with her colleagues but the moment my friends or I suggested it, suddenly finding it was magically too risky considering her health.
This weekend was the final straw for me, I had been biting my tongue for a long time. Making excuse upon excuse for Megan. Swallowing every lie she told me when she said that she still cared about me that it was all her, her illness, her depression and god only knows what else. I was done with the excuses and I wanted answers. Why was she putting me through all this? If she didn’t want to be with me anymore why couldn’t she just be a decent human being and tell me?
On the Sunday when we started the three hour drive home, once we had been on the motorway in near silence for a long time I decided to broach the subject once more about what the hell was going wrong between us. I knew I’d be sounding like a broken record, I hoped her tune had changed. I hoped to be reassured that we were still in this together, still working on us together. That’s not how the conversation went. It didn’t remain a conversation for long.
I lost it.