Negotiations

We had two months notice to give on the apartment we rented together. Megan and I would both need to find somewhere new to live by the end of September 2013. I made the arrangements with the letting agent and we promised that we’d make the place available for viewings. It was a nice flat, it’s a shame it was never really our home like it was supposed to have been.

We didn’t ignore each other while we were in the apartment at the same time. In fact we tried to be nice to each other for a very short while. It was strained yet we began to negotiate who would take what when we were to leave. I still couldn’t stop myself from wondering what the hell had gone wrong between us, I still needed to know how we’d ended up at this point. I hadn’t quite resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t get any answers out of Megan on that.

The day after we had broken up I dragged myself to work and tried to pretend that everything was ok. I barely lasted a few hours. Just the day before my boss had called a meeting with me to discuss my performance and I was frustrated with jumping through hoops and putting on a charade.

Generally speaking, I’m one of those people that always seems happy. The one that will have a laugh and a joke with everyone, no problem is too big and I like to think I have a calming affect on people. I’m a thinker and a problem solver, so when I’m not happy on the inside or extremely confused every problem seems to be too big. When it gets too much, that slow burning fuse that’s been smouldering away for days, weeks or maybe even months finally blows and I snap.

My poor boss got a verbal barrage on that day. I let fly about a million and one things. Including the stresses I was under at work, the perceived favouritism, not feeling supported, the daily scrutiny and more. I made it seem to be all about my job, but my reaction was certainly disproportionate to the topic at hand. The language, anger, tears and frustration were proof to that. It wasn’t long before I was incoherent and walked out.

My boss is a very intuitive woman and someone I’m happy to call a friend now. It didn’t take her long to realise that there was much more going on that meets the eye. When she discovered me in a bit of a state trying to calm myself down she calmly made the observation that something more seemed to be going on with me than just a few problems at work. That was the first time I said to anyone out loud that Megan and I were over.

Amazingly, everything at work seemed to get better rather quickly after that day. My boss and I agreed a plan to get me on track at work, I found I could be more open with her to talk about my personal issues. It was win-win. I wanted to be doing better at work but had been reluctant to admit my personal life was getting in the way, once the elephant in the room had been addressed it was quite easy to find a way forward.

Now if only the last two months with Megan had gone as smoothly I might have been able to walk away from the break up feeling a little less destroyed. At the beginning of August I got extremely lucky, my parents gifted me their car after I had told them about the break up and having to move out. They had been planning to trade it in for something new but instead decided my need was greater than the money they’d save. I offered to pay but they weren’t having any of it. That gave me a little more freedom and I was happier knowing that I could escape to Somerset at the weekends to see my family until the rental contract was up.

To begin with Megan and I had talked amicably. Megan had made some good friends among her colleagues and had offered to stay with them if I ever needed space, if living together was getting to be too much. After all, the break up was her idea as I would have preferred to try and work on things. I didn’t think I’d need to take her up on the offer, things were awkward but mostly ok.

As Megan owed me money for the holiday we’d taken to Paris I’d take most of the furniture to make up for the costs. Most of the deposit we had borrowed from her parents so anything we got back would go straight to them. The money side of things was actually one of the easiest parts to manage, except for the fact that I’d been paying towards a car loan on a car I’d never own but I didn’t really even think about that at the time.

We found that we’d chatter when we were both in the flat together. It was surreal because it would sometimes feel like nothing had changed at all. We’d ask how each others day had been, whether we’d each eaten yet. Then it would hit me hard, at night we wouldn’t be falling into bed next to each other giving each other a kiss and saying ‘I love you’ instead we’d we sleeping in separate rooms as I’d lay awake wondering about those answers I’d never get.

I’d walk to and from work most days, or at least walk to get the shuttle bus from the nearest office. On my way home one evening I noticed Megan sat in her car on the phone, she must have been there for quite a while. She knew I had seen her and shortly after she came home to the flat, I asked who she’d been on the phone to before realising that it really shouldn’t be any of my business anymore. It’s not like I’d believe her answer anyway.

I tried to talk to Megan once or twice about what had happened between us. Was it because we moved in together too soon, should we have lived apart for a while after she’d moved to London. The conversations were very circular and speculative. Yes, we moved in together too fast, yes things might have been different but no, it doesn’t change anything.

Sometimes when we talked I still felt hope. I don’t know if I was imagining it or if it was something that was engineered by Megan to keep us moving towards the end of our tenancy amicably. On one of the days when I was feeling particularly hopeful I asked Megan whether there was a hope we might be able to work things out in future, once we’ve both had some space to breathe and maybe get back to enjoy the way we had dated before.

When she had said no, it was like breaking up all over again for me. Another nail in the coffin of what we had been. There would be no more discussion, no more negotiations. The arguments started up again and I began to realise that we wouldn’t be able to walk away from this amicably. Not while there were so many questions left unanswered, so many lies left to uncover and so much respect lost.

I will admit to being a little underhand, if Megan wanted me to believe all the bull she was spewing about our relationship breaking down because of her depression and at the same time telling me to butt out of her life, that I shouldn’t be concerned about her anymore.

Well, I suppose I felt I had a duty (for her own personal safety, of course) I told her mother over the phone some of the things Megan had said to me in the heat of the moment, when she’d made threats of hurting herself for example. That I thought she should know, since Megan wasn’t my problem anymore.

I felt, rather than knew that everything had been a lie when Megan had said such things. So I knew she wouldn’t be best pleased that I had said anything to her mother. Her reaction was all the proof I needed to know I’d been lied to and that there was certainly a lot more going on regarding our break up than meets the eye. I didn’t ask for answers I knew now that I wouldn’t get any, but I would ask her to leave and stay with her friends like she had offered.

I didn’t want to be living with a constant reminder of another failed relationship. Another person I had trusted to be honest and actually care about me just to be deceived again. So when we had both calmed down from this latest spat and we could both accept that it was truly the end I would ask her to go. Since she had offered, I didn’t think it would be a problem. I was wrong.

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